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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of sulphur addition and weeding regimes on growth of potted heather Calluna vulgaris seeds, Craibstone, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Published source details

Lawson C.S., Ford M.A., Mitchley J. & Warren J.M. (2004) The establishment of heathland vegetation on ex-arable land: the response of Calluna vulgaris to soil acidification. Biological Conservation, 116, 409-416


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Add sulphur to soil (alongside planting/seeding) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, controlled study in 1994–1996 in an arable field near Aberdeen, UK (Lawson et al. 2004) found that the addition of sulphur to arable soil increased the survival of heather Calluna vulgaris seedlings after six months, but after two years almost all seedlings had died. In plots where sulphur was added survival of heather seedlings (26% survival) was higher than in plots where no sulphur was added (12% survival). After two years survival in plots where sulphur had been added (2% survival) was higher than in plots where no sulphur was added (0% survival). Sulphur was applied in eight 2.6 m x 2.6 m plots, while in eight other plots sulphur was not applied. All plots were sprayed with glyphosate to kill weeds in May 1995. One hundred seedlings were planted in each plot and survival was recorded after six, 12 and 22 months.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)