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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Do Postfire Mulching Treatments Affect Plant Community Recovery in California Coastal Sage Scrub Lands?

Published source details

McCullough S.A. & Endress B.A. (2012) Do Postfire Mulching Treatments Affect Plant Community Recovery in California Coastal Sage Scrub Lands? Environmental Management, 49, 142-150


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

Use erosion blankets/mats to aid plant establishment Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2009 in sagebrush scrub shrubland that had been burnt in wildfires in California, USA (McCullough & Endress 2012) found that using an erosion control blanket did not increase the number of shrubs, or forb cover and did not reduce the cover of non-native forbs and grasses, but did increase the height of California sagebrush Artemisia  californica and common deerweed Lotus scoparius. After one year, both California sagebrush (47 cm) and common deerweed (57 cm) were taller in areas where erosion control blankets had been laid than in areas where they had not (California sagebrush: 33 cm; common deerweed: 48 cm). In January 2008 a straw-based erosion control blanket was laid in four 8 m x 20 m plots, while in four other plots no blanket was laid. In July 2009 vegetation was surveyed by placing three 20 m transects in each plot and vegetation recorded every 1 m.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

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

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2009 in sagebrush scrub shrubland that had been burnt in wildfires in California, USA (McCullough & Endress 2012) found that using a hydromulch did not increase the number of shrubs, forb cover, or the height of California sagebrush Artemisia californica and common deerweed Lotus scoparius and did not reduce the cover of non-native forbs and grasses. After one year, California sagebrush (32-37 cm) and common deerweed (50-51 cm) were not significantly taller in areas where hydromulch had been used than areas where it had not (California sagebrush: 33 cm; common deerweed: 48 cm). In January 2008 in eight 8 m x 20 m plots hydromulch was applied, while in four other plots no hydromulch was applied. In July 2009 vegetation was surveyed by placing three 20 m transects in each plot and recording vegetation every 1 m.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)