To what extent does surrounding landscape explain stand-level occurrence of conservation-relevant species in fragmented boreal and hemi-boreal forest?–a systematic review protocol
Silviculture and land-use change has reduced the amount of natural forest worldwide and left what remains confined to isolated fragments or stands. To understand processes governing species occurrence in such stands, much attention has been given to stand-level factors such as size, structure, and deadwood amount. However, the surrounding matrix will directly impact species dispersal and persistence, and the link between the surrounding landscape configuration, composition and history, and stand-level species occurrence has received insufficient attention. Thus, to facilitate optimisation of forest management and species conservation, we propose a review addressing ‘To what extent does surrounding landscape explain stand-level occurrence of conservation-relevant species in fragmented boreal and hemi-boreal forest?’.
The proposed systematic review will identify and synthesise relevant articles following the CEE guidelines for evidence synthesis and the ROSES standards. A search for peer-reviewed and grey literature will be conducted using four databases, two online search engines, and 36 specialist websites. Identified articles will be screened for eligibility in a two-step process; first on title and abstract, and second on the full text. Screening will be based on predefined eligibility criteria related to a PECO-model; population being boreal and hemi-boreal forest, exposure being fragmentation, comparator being landscapes with alternative composition, configuration, or history, and outcome being occurrence (i.e., presence and/or abundance) of conservation-relevant species. All articles that pass the full-text screening will go through study validity assessment and data extraction, and be part of a narrative review. If enough studies prove comparable, quantitative meta-analyses will also be performed. The objective of the narrative review and the meta-analyses will be to address the primary question as well as six secondary questions, and to identify important knowledge gaps.
Biodiversity, Continuity,Deadwood-dependent species, Deforestation, Habitat loss, Indicator species, Isolation, Landscape configuration, Red-listed species, Taiga