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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Arthropod and Plant Communities as Indicators of Land Rehabilitation Effectiveness in a Semiarid Shrubsteppe

Published source details

Gardner E.T., Anderson V.J. & Johnson R.L. (2009) Arthropod and Plant Communities as Indicators of Land Rehabilitation Effectiveness in a Semiarid Shrubsteppe. Western North American Naturalist, 69, 521-536


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

Sow seeds Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A site comparison study in 1994–2003 in sagebrush scrub habitat that had previously been burnt by wildfire in Utah, USA (Gardner et al. 2009) found that sowing seeds increased shrub and perennial grass cover, but decreased cover of weeds. After nine years, shrub cover in areas where seeds had been sown was higher (10%) than in areas where seeds had not been sown (0%), but not significantly different to that found in undisturbed shrublands (13%). Perennial grass cover was also higher in areas where seeds had been sown (5%) than in unsown areas (0%) but was also higher than that found in undisturbed areas (1%). Cover of weeds was lower in areas where seeds had been sown (2.3%) than in unsown areas (55%), and it was also lower than in undisturbed areas (12%). In 1994 a wildfire burned part of the study area. Part of the burned area was subsequently seeded with a mixture of native and non-native shrubs and grasses, while another part was not seeded. A nearby unburned area was also used for comparison. In 2003 twenty 0.25 m2 quadrats were randomly located in each area and vegetation cover estimated.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)