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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Efficacy of vegetated buffer strips for retaining Cryptosporidium parvum

Published source details

Tate K.W., Pereira M.D.G.C. & Atwill E.R. (2004) Efficacy of vegetated buffer strips for retaining Cryptosporidium parvum. Journal of Environmental Quality, 33, 2243-2251


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Water: Plant buffer strips Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated study in May 2004 on pastureland in California, USA, found that vegetated buffer strips decreased the amount of Cryptosporidium parvum (a protozoan pathogen) in runoff, after bovine manure application. Pathogens and pesticides: Overall, vegetated buffers (1 m wide) with over 95% vegetation cover and slopes of 5–20% decreased the amount of C. parvum in runoff (data reported in logarithmic units). Implementation options: Overall, reduction of C. parvum for every meter of vegetation was higher for 5% slopes, compared to 12% and 20% slopes (data reported in logarithmic units). Methods: Soil boxes (0.5 x 1 m, 0.3 m deep) packed with soil from open grassland (Madera County) were planted with grass (150–200 g of seed/box) and had varying slopes (5, 12, and 20%, four replicates each). Bovine faeces (200 g) spiked with C. parvum (2 x 108) were applied to the plots. Grass was clipped to 10 cm high, one day before faeces and water was added. Water was added (53 mm/h, 2 h, four times). Surface runoff and subsurface flow were collected separately at 5-min intervals. Total volume was measured for each sample.