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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Ineffectiveness of Two Annual Legumes as Nurse Plants for Establishment of Artemisia californica in Coastal Sage Scrub

Published source details

Marquez V.J. & Allen E.B. (1996) Ineffectiveness of Two Annual Legumes as Nurse Plants for Establishment of Artemisia californica in Coastal Sage Scrub. Restoration Ecology, 4, 42-50


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

Plant/sow seeds of nurse plants alongside focal plants Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1993–1994 in former shrubland in California, USA (Marquez & Allen 1996) found that sowing California sagebrush Artemisia californica seeds with the seeds of nurse plants reduced its survival in four of seven comparisons and reduced its biomass in seven of seven comparisons. In four of seven comparisons, California sagebrush seedlings showed lower survival where they were sown with seeds of nurse plants (5–75% survival) than when they were sown without seeds of nurse plants (100% survival). In seven of seven comparisons California sagebrush biomass was lower when sown with seeds of nurse plants (0-1 g/m2) than when sown without seeds of nurse plants (5 g/m2). In three 0.75 m2 plots California sagebrush seeds were sown, while in 18 plots a mixture of California sagebrush and succulent lupine Lupinus succulentus or rose clover Trifolium hirtum seeds were sown. Plant survival was recorded in May 1994 following which all plants were harvested and dried to calculate their biomass.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)