Remove leaf litter

How is the evidence assessed?

Source countries

Key messages

  • One randomized, controlled study in the UK found that removing leaf litter did not alter the presence of heather.

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 between 1991 and 2004 in a former pine plantation in Kent, United Kingdom (1) found that 12 years after removing leaf litter the frequency of heather Calluna vulgaris was the same as in areas where leaf litter was not removed. After 12 years there was no significant difference in the frequency of heather between areas where leaf litter was removed (heather present in 99% of plots) and areas where leaf litter was not removed (heather present in 69% of plots). Four blocks consisting of two 25 m2 plots were located in the plantation. In one plot leaf litter was removed and in the other leaf litter was not removed. In each plot ten 0.25 m2 quadrats were used to record the frequency of heather plants.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin P.A., Rocha R., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2018) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation. Pages 447-494 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. 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

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation assesses the research looking at whether interventions are beneficial or not. It is based on summarised evidence in synopses, on topics such as amphibians, bats, biodiversity in European farmland, and control of freshwater invasive species. More are available and in progress.

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