Effect of seed source, topsoil removal, and plant neighbor removal on restoring California coastal prairies

  • Published source details Buisson E., Holl K.D., Anderson S., Corcket E., Hayes G.F., Torre F., Peteers A. & Dutoit T. (2006) Effect of seed source, topsoil removal, and plant neighbor removal on restoring California coastal prairies. Restoration Ecology, 14, 569-577.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove topsoil or turf before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Remove topsoil or turf before seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2004 in two coastal prairies in California, USA (Buisson et al. 2006) found that removing topsoil before planting California oatgrass Danthonia californica plants increased their survival compared to planting without topsoil removal. After 18 months, survival of California oatgrass plants was higher in areas where topsoil was removed and plants planted (39%) than in areas where topsoil was not removed and plants were planted (12%). In each site, in August 2002 topsoil was removed from twenty-four 1.5 × 1.5 m plots to a depth of 10 cm by tilling, while topsoil was not removed from 24 plots. In January 2003, four California oatgrass plants were planted in each plot. Survival of plants in each plot was recorded in March, June and December 2003 and June 2004.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

Output references
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 20

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 Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust