Study

The effectiveness of active and passive restoration on recovery of indigenous vegetation in riparian zones in the Western Cape, South Africa: A preliminary assessment

  • Published source details Ruwanza S., Gaertner M., Esler K.J. & Richardson D.M. (2013) The effectiveness of active and passive restoration on recovery of indigenous vegetation in riparian zones in the Western Cape, South Africa: A preliminary assessment. South African Journal of Botany, 88, 132-141

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cut trees

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Cut trees and use prescribed burning

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Cut trees

    A replicated, controlled study in 2010–2012 in fynbos habitat invaded by non-native trees in Western Cape Province, South Africa (Ruwanza et al. 2013) found that cutting non-native trees reduced their cover and increased herbaceous plant cover, but did not increase cover of native woody plants. After two years, the cover of native woody species was not significantly different in areas where non-native trees were cut (6%) and areas where non-native trees were not cut (10%), but was lower than in a relatively undisturbed fynbos site (60%). Cover of native herbaceous plants was higher in areas that were cut (5%) than areas that were not cut (0%) or in an undisturbed site (0%). In areas where non-native trees were cut their cover was lower (22%) than in areas where they were not cut (56%), but higher than in a relatively undisturbed fynbos site (7%). In 2010 non-native trees were cut and removed from part of the site. Eight 25 m2 plots were established in areas where trees were cut, eight in areas where trees were not cut, and four in a nearby undisturbed fynbos site. Vegetation cover was estimated in the plots in 2011 and 2012.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

  2. Cut trees and use prescribed burning

    A controlled study in 2010-2012 in fynbos habitat invaded by non-native trees in Western Cape Province, South Africa (Ruwanza et al. 2013) found that cutting of non-native trees, followed by burning, reduced the cover of non-native trees and native woody plants but did not alter herbaceous cover. After two years, areas where non-native trees were cut and burned had a lower non-native trees cover (41%) than areas where they were not cut or burnt (56%), but a higher cover than in a relatively undisturbed fynbos site (7%). Cover of native woody species was lower in areas where non-native trees were cut and burned (0%) than in areas that were not cut or burnt (10%), and also lower than in a relatively undisturbed fynbos site (60%). Cover of native herbaceous plants was not significantly different in areas that were cut and burned (1%) and areas that were not cut or burnt (0%) or in an undisturbed site (0%). In 2010 non-native trees were cleared and burned on part of the site. Eight 25 m2 plots were established in areas where trees had been cut and burned, eight in areas where trees were not cut or burned, and four in a nearby undisturbed fynbos site. Vegetation cover was estimated in the plots in 2011 and 2012.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

Output references

What Works in Conservation

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, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust