This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add topsoil (alongside planting/seeding)

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Add topsoil (alongside planting/seeding)

    A randomized, replicated, paired, controlled study in 1997–2000 in a former coal mine in Wyoming, USA (1) found that addition of topsoil alongside sowing of seed increased the biomass of grasses but reduced the biomass of forbs in comparison to addition of topsoil alone. Areas where topsoil was added and seed sown had higher grass biomass (51-93 g/m2) than areas where topsoil alone was added (14 g/m2). However, in areas where topsoil was added and seed sown, forb biomass was lower (12-37 g/m2) than in areas where topsoil was added alone (76 g/m2). Topsoil was spread to a depth of 56 cm over the entire site in December 1997. In spring 1998 the entire site was seeded with barley Hordeum vulgare which was later cut to provide a mulch. In December 1998 grass seed was sown in twenty 6.5 x 27 m plots, while in four plots no seed was sown. Wyoming big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis seeds were also sown in all plots. In July 2000 clippings of vegetation were taken in four 0.18 m2 quadrats within each plot to determine biomass.

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 latest volume: Volume 17

Special issues: Amphibian special issue

Go to the Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

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