Action: Build artificial bird perches to encourage seed dispersal
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One study evaluated the effects on peatland vegetation of building artificial bird perches. The study was in a tropical peat swamp.
- Vegetation cover (1 study): One replicated, paired, controlled study in a peat swamp forest in Indonesia found that artificial bird perches had no significant effect on seedling abundance.
Artificial bird perches may help to restore peatland forests. Perches are placed near to remaining forest patches to encourage birds to fly out, perch and defecate onto degraded land. The seeds transported in this way might belong to peatland plants (especially tropical swamp forest trees) that would otherwise not disperse into degraded land. Consequently, the abundance and diversity of seedlings may increase in areas with perches (Agra et al. 2016).
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Agra H., Carmel Y., Smith R.K. & Ne’eman G. (2016) Forest Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2007–2008 in a degraded, burned, peat swamp forest in Kalimantan, Indonesia (Graham et al. 2011) found that installing artificial bird perches along a forest edge had no effect on tree seedling abundance. After one year, seedling density was not significantly different under artificial perches (2–6 seedlings/m2) and in adjacent plots not under perches (1–2 seedlings/m2). Most seedlings under the perches were tampohot Syzygium sp. (79% of all seedlings). In July 2007, ten 8 m tall artificial bird perches were erected in logged and burned peatland, 50 to 200 m from the edge of a remnant forest patch. Two 1 m2 plots were monitored for each perch: one directly underneath the perch and one next to it. All seedlings initially present were marked. In July 2008, new tree seedlings were counted.