Rapid evidence reviews provide a possible alternative to evidence synthesis, with the aim to complement the time- and resource-intensive systematic reviews. Developed by the health care sector, rapid reviews adopt shortcuts to reduce the time required while maintaining the rigour and reliability of systematic reviews. For example, one option is to focus on synthesising the evidence from reviews, rather than primary studies.

It is unclear if rapid reviews are applicable for answering conservation and environmental management questions. If they prove useful, they may fill a gap in the current evidence-based conservation space, to increase the uptake of evidence syntheses into management and policy decisions.

Global peatland rapid evidence review

This rapid review evaluated the effectiveness of conservation actions for cool-climate peatlands, by synthesising the scientific evidence reported in 23 reviews, which included data from over 450 primary studies (Rowland et al. 2021, Biological Conservation). We mapped this evidence on to a conceptual diagram, which was a novel and useful approach for presenting a large body of evidence for a complex ecosystem.

The results are summarised in this factsheet and blog written by Jess Rowland.

Associated peatland resources:

Other rapid evidence reviews in progress

  • Australian temperate woodland rapid review
  • Australian woodland bird rapid review
  • Defining ecosystem recovery rapid review

Funding: Monash Data Futures Institute; Advancing Women’s Success Grant, Monash University; Advancing Diversity in Biology Grant, Monash University.