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Table 3 Overall assessment of study validity/risk of bias

From: What is the effect of prescribed burning in temperate and boreal forest on biodiversity, beyond pyrophilous and saproxylic species? A systematic review

Studies were assigned Low validity if any of the following factors applied
  Any of these questions answered with “No” or “Unclear”
• Did the study have a temporal and/or spatial control? • Degree of replication appropriate and representative?
OR Any of these questions answered with “No”
  • Does treatment allocation account for spatial heterogeneity? and/or Intervention and comparator sites well-matched • No severely confounding factors present? apart from those present at baseline • Intervention was likely appropriately and realistically applied? • Outcome measure method was appropriate? • Study methodology and results are generalisable to other prescribed burns in temperate or boreal forest
Studies that were not assigned Low validity were considered to have Medium validity or Medium (unclear) validity if any of the following factors applied
  Any of these questions answered with “Partly”
• Did the study have a temporal and/or spatial control? • Degree of replication appropriate and representative? (to outcome measure)
OR Any of these questions answered with “Partly” or “Unclear”:
  • Does treatment allocation account for spatial heterogeneity? and/or Intervention and comparator sites well-matched • No severely confounding factors present? apart from those present at baseline • Intervention was likely appropriately and realistically applied? • Outcome measure method was appropriate? • Study methodology and results are generalisable to other prescribed burns in temperate or boreal forest
  1. If a study was classed as Medium solely due to being “Unclear” (i.e. no “Partly” in any field) it was classed as “Medium (unclear)”
  2. If none of the above factors applied, the study was considered to have High validity