The effect of topsoil treatment on the recovery of rocky plain and outcrop plant communities in Namibia

  • Published source details Burke A (2008) The effect of topsoil treatment on the recovery of rocky plain and outcrop plant communities in Namibia. Journal of Arid Environments, 72, 1531-1536.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add topsoil

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Add topsoil

    A controlled study in 2006 in Karoo shrublands in Namibia (Burke 2008) found that addition of topsoil to areas damaged by excavation increased the number of plant species and plant cover, but these were lower than found at a nearby undisturbed shrubland. The number of plant species was higher in areas where topsoil was added (5 species) than in areas where topsoil was not added (2 species), but was not as high as in undisturbed shrubland (15 species). Areas where topsoil was added also had higher vegetation cover (15%) than areas where topsoil was not added (1%) but vegetation cover was higher in undisturbed shrubland (28%). Two previously excavated areas were restored in 2006 by using a bulldozer to add topsoil. Four previously excavated areas did not have topsoil added. The previously excavated areas and nearby undisturbed shrubland were surveyed in October 2006 using a minimum of thirty 1 m2 quadrats in each area.

    (Summarised by: Phil 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 18

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 Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust