How effective are perches in promoting bird-mediated seed dispersal for natural forest regeneration? A systematic review protocol


Forest landscape restoration (FLR), often through tree planting, is one of the priorities in many global and national initiatives for carbon offsetting as part of climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. However, active efforts to meet FLR objectives entail substantial costs for the procurement of planting stocks and require an experienced workforce for planting and nurturing tree seedlings. Alternatively, restoration projects can be more cost-effective and potentially may have greater biodiversity gain through assisting and accelerating natural forest regeneration. The use of perches is one of the strategies under Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and is used to attract avian seed dispersers to degraded habitats for increased tree seed supply and seedling establishment. This systematic review and potential meta-analysis aim to determine the effectiveness of artificial and natural perches in promoting natural forest regeneration. Specifically, we will evaluate their effectiveness in driving seed richness, seed density, seedling richness, and seedling density. The results will synthesize available evidence on the topic, identify knowledge gaps we need filling to upscale the strategy, and inform their use in concert with other ANR strategies.


The search strategy was informed through a literature scan and discussions with stakeholders and experts. A total of eight databases, which include an organizational library and a web-based search engine, will be searched using the refined search string in English. The search string was formed using keywords corresponding to the PICO structure of the research question, and its comprehensiveness was evaluated using 10 benchmark articles. The search results will be screened by the review team (composed of a primary and at least two secondary reviewers) using the set eligibility criteria at the title and abstract level, followed by the full-text screening. The screened studies will then undergo critical appraisal using the assessment criteria based on risk of bias and methods. Data from the accepted studies will be extracted to the standard data sheet for meta-analysis. Effect size (Hedges’ g) will be computed to determine whether perches are effective in increasing seed dispersal and seedling establishment in degraded sites. The effect of potential modifiers relating to the landscape will be explored via mixed models.


Reforestation, Regrowth, Avian, Frugivores, Artificial perch

In Progress