Add sulphur to soil

How is the evidence assessed?

Study locations

Key messages

  • One randomized, replicated, controlled study in the UK found that adding sulphur to the soil of a former agricultural field did not increase the number of heather seedlings in five of six cases.

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 study in 1993–1996 in a former agricultural field in Suffolk, UK (1) found that adding sulphur to soils increased the number of common heather Calluna vulgaris seedlings in one of six cases and reduced vegetation cover in four of six cases. In one of six cases, the number of common heather seedlings was higher in areas where sulphur was added to soils (4 seedlings/plot) than in plots where no sulphur had been added (0 seedlings/plot). In four of six cases vegetation cover in areas where sulphur was added to soils was lower (7–48% cover) than in areas where sulphur was not added to soils (92% cover). In fifteen 5 m x 5 m randomly located plots sulphur was added to topsoil while in three other plots no sulphur was added. All plots were rotavated prior to addition of sulphur. In July 1994–1996 vegetation cover was surveyed using 1 m2 quadrats located in the centre of each plot.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Martin, P.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Shrubland and Heathland Conservation. Pages 483-525 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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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

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