Plant shrubs in clusters

How is the evidence assessed?

Study locations

Key messages

  • A randomized, controlled study in South Africa found that when shrubs were planted in clumps more of them died than when they were planted alone.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A randomized, controlled study in 2000–2001 in a formerly mined karoo shrubland in Cape Province, South Africa (Blignaut & Milton 2005) found that planting shrub species in clumps led to an increase in their mortality. After one year the percentage of shrubs planted in clumps that died (39%) was higher than the percentage of shrubs planted on their own that died (25%). In 2000 adult shrubs of three species (Aridaria noctiflora, Drosanthemum deciduum, and Psilocaulon dinteri) were removed from a shrubland and translocated to a formerly mined area. Ninety-six clumps each consisting of three shrubs of different species were planted with one clump per 25 m2 plot, while 288 shrubs of the three species used were planted alone in each plot. Survival of plants was recorded in 2001.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin, P.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation. Pages 483-525 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Shrubland and Heathland Conservation - Published 2017

Shrubland and Heathland synopsis

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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.

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