Use ‘bracken bruiser’ to control bracken

How is the evidence assessed?

Source countries

Key messages

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, replicated, controlled, before-and-after, paired study in 2005–2013 in a site dominated by bracken Pteridium aquilinum in the UK (Milligan et al. 2016) found that ‘bracken bruising’ increased bracken cover and had no effect on the number of plant species or plant diversity. In plots where a bracken bruiser  was used bracken cover increased over eight years (before: 23–24%, after: 64–74%) while in plots that where a bracken bruiser was not used bracken cover also increased (before: 24%, after: 75%). There was no significant difference in the number of plant species found in plots where a bracken bruiser ha d been used and those where it was not (no data presented). There was no significant difference in the plant diversity of plots where a bracken bruiser was used and those that where it was not (data presented as Shannon-Weiner index). In 2005-2012 a bracken bruiser was used twice a year in three 20 x 20 m plots and in three other plots no bracken bruiser was used. Plots were paired. In 2005–2013 plant cover was assessed by eye in five 1 m2 quadrats which were randomly located in each plot.

    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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