Add woody debris to protect seeds/plants

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of adding woody debris to protect seeds/plants on grassland vegetation. The study was in Kenya.





About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, randomized, paired, controlled study in 2002–2003 in degraded rangelands in north central Kenya (King & Stanton 2008) found that sowing buffel grass Cenchrus ciliaris beside piles of branches did not affect seedling survival. At the end of the first growing season, there was no significant difference in survival between buffel grass seedlings planted next to piles of thorn branches (9%) and those without protection (6%). Survival in the second and third growing seasons after planting also did not differ significantly between seedlings with (91–98%) and without (95–100%) thorn branches. In April 2002, prior to seasonal rains, nine rows of 14 holes (14 cm diameter and 25 cm deep) were dug in bare ground. Seven holes in each row were piled with thorny Acacia branches, and seven holes were refilled as untreated controls. Buffel grass seeds (0.2 g) were sown in furrows 5 cm deep, 20 cm long and 10 cm away on either side of the rows of holes, and covered with soil. The site was grazed at a density of 0.8 sheep and goats/ha. Seedling survival was monitored from April 2002–November 2003, which included three complete growing seasons.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin, P.A., Ockendon, N., Berthinussen, A, Smith, R.K. and Sutherland W.J. (2021) Grassland Conservation: Global evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Grassland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Grassland Conservation
Grassland Conservation

Grassland Conservation - Published 2021

Grassland Synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust