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Review article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Multi-purpose Forest Management Practices on the Breeding Success of Forest Birds

Cordeiro Pereira, Joao M.; Mikusinski, Grzegorz; Storch, Ilse


Purpose of ReviewWe aimed to summarize the evidence linking multi-purpose forest management (MPF) to bird nesting and fledging success in temperate and boreal forests and to identify outstanding research gaps. Forest birds are in decline worldwide, but an ongoing move from production-oriented management towards MPF, integrating biodiversity conservation with other uses, may help counteracting these trends. The effects of MPF on bird diversity and abundance are well-studied, but less is known about effects on bird demographics.Recent FindingsWe retrieved 101 studies, reporting 342 outcomes of MPF for nesting and fledging success. Due to the heterogeneity of the studies, we opted for a systematic mapping approach, accompanied by vote-counting and narrative review. Studies covered 11 types of MPF and 151 bird species. The most frequently studied interventions were overstorey retention and prescribed burning, but research was markedly biased towards temperate North America. Most outcomes (79.5%) were non-significant, and studies often found that breeding success was driven by ecological processes at both broader and finer scales than management interventions. Thus, managing for breeding success likely requires complementary management actions at various scales. Nonetheless, significant positive and negative outcomes of MPF were also found, inclusively affecting species of conservation concern, highlighting the variability and context-dependence of MPF effects.SummaryIn order to foster effectiveness of MPF for forest birds, future research should focus on a set of under-researched interventions and regions, as well as on ecosystem-wide experiments accounting for functional links between bird abundance, demographics, nest predation, and food supply.


Nesting success; Fledging success; Nest predation; Evidence-based conservation; Systematic mapping

Published in

Current Forestry Reports
2024, Volume: 10, number: 3, pages: 175–195

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Forest Damage Center

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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