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Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession

TL;DR: A completely revised and reorganised edition of "Ecological Restoration" is presented in this article, with a focus on clarifying terminology, stressing the importance of precision in language for a field that is quickly becoming an established discipline.
Abstract: Originally published in 2007, "Ecological Restoration" has become one of the seminal books in this quickly developing field. This completely revised and reorganised edition presents up-to-date developments and current trends in the field by two of its leaders. Among its key features are: entirely new Virtual Field Trips, with additional examples woven into chapters; full treatment of the controversial topic of the restoration of semicultural ecosystems; up-to-date discussion of reference systems and reference models, which inform almost every aspect of restoration planning; and full discussion of the global issue of ecosystem impairment and the complex topics of what restoration recovery means and how it is accomplished. The authors focus on clarifying terminology, stressing the importance of precision in language for a field that is quickly becoming an established discipline. This new edition will be an invaluable resource for practitioners and theoreticians from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, ranging from backyard volunteers to highly trained academic scientists and professional consultants.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The second edition of the International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration (the Standards) presents a robust framework for restoration projects to achieve intended goals, while addressing challenges including effective design and implementation, accounting for complex ecosystem dynamics (especially in the context of climate change), and navigating trade-offs associated with land management priorities and decisions as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Ecological restoration, when implemented effectively and sustainably, contributes to protecting biodiversity; improving human health and wellbeing; increasing food and water security; delivering goods, services, and economic prosperity; and supporting climate change mitigation, resilience, and adaptation. It is a solutions-based approach that engages communities, scientists, policymakers, and land managers to repair ecological damage and rebuild a healthier relationship between people and the rest of nature. When combined with conservation and sustainable use, ecological restoration is the link needed to move local, regional, and global environmental conditions from a state of continued degradation, to one of net positive improvement. The second edition of the International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration (the Standards) presents a robust framework for restoration projects to achieve intended goals, while addressing challenges including effective design and implementation, accounting for complex ecosystem dynamics (especially in the context of climate change), and navigating trade-offs associated with land management priorities and decisions.

567 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A synthesis of 235 studies with 954 observations from restoration or rehabilitation projects of coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves, salt-marshes, and oyster reefs worldwide is performed, showing that while the median and average reported costs for restoration of one hectare of marine coastal habitat were around US$80000 and US$1600000 (2010), respectively, the real total costs are likely to be two to four times higher.
Abstract: Land-use change in the coastal zone has led to worldwide degradation of marine coastal ecosystems and a loss of the goods and services they provide. Restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed and is critical for habitats where natural recovery is hindered. Uncertainties about restoration cost and feasibility can impede decisions on whether, what, how, where, and how much to restore. Here, we perform a synthesis of 235 studies with 954 observations from restoration or rehabilitation projects of coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves, salt-marshes, and oyster reefs worldwide, and evaluate cost, survival of restored organisms, project duration, area, and techniques applied. Findings showed that while the median and average reported costs for restoration of one hectare of marine coastal habitat were around US$80000 (2010) and US$1600000 (2010), respectively, the real total costs (median) are likely to be two to four times higher. Coral reefs and seagrass were among the most expensive ecosystems to restore. Mangrove restoration projects were typically the largest and the least expensive per hectare. Most marine coastal restoration projects were conducted in Australia, Europe, and USA, while total restoration costs were significantly (up to 30 times) cheaper in countries with developing economies. Community- or volunteer-based marine restoration projects usually have lower costs. Median survival of restored marine and coastal organisms, often assessed only within the first one to two years after restoration, was highest for saltmarshes (64.8%) and coral reefs (64.5%) and lowest for seagrass (38.0%). However, success rates reported in the scientific literature could be biased towards publishing successes rather than failures. The majority of restoration projects were short-lived and seldom reported monitoring costs. Restoration success depended primarily on the ecosystem, site selection, and techniques applied rather than on money spent. We need enhanced investment in both improving restoration practices and large-scale restoration.

460 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A new ecology, free of pre- and misconceptions and directed toward meaningful interventions, is needed because of the widespread no-analogue environments and novel ecosystems that render traditional goals unachievable.
Abstract: Rapid, extensive, and ongoing environmental change increasingly demands that humans intervene in ecosystems to maintain or restore ecosystem services and biodiversity. At the same time, the basic principles and tenets of restoration ecology and conservation biology are being debated and reshaped. Escalating global change is resulting in widespread no-analogue environments and novel ecosystems that render traditional goals unachievable. Policymakers and the general public, however, have embraced restoration without an understanding of its limitations, which has led to perverse policy outcomes. Therefore, a new ecology, free of pre- and misconceptions and directed toward meaningful interventions, is needed. Interventions include altering the biotic and abiotic structures and processes within ecosystems and changing social and policy settings. Interventions can be aimed at leverage points, both within ecosystems and in the broader social system—particularly, feedback loops that either maintain a particular s...

369 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A meta-analysis encompassing 221 study landscapes worldwide reveals forest restoration enhances biodiversity by 15–84% and vegetation structure by 36–77%, compared with degraded ecosystems.
Abstract: Two billion ha have been identified globally for forest restoration. Our meta-analysis encompassing 221 study landscapes worldwide reveals forest restoration enhances biodiversity by 15-84% and vegetation structure by 36-77%, compared with degraded ecosystems. For the first time, we identify the main ecological drivers of forest restoration success (defined as a return to a reference condition, that is, old-growth forest) at both the local and landscape scale. These are as follows: the time elapsed since restoration began, disturbance type and landscape context. The time elapsed since restoration began strongly drives restoration success in secondary forests, but not in selectively logged forests (which are more ecologically similar to reference systems). Landscape restoration will be most successful when previous disturbance is less intensive and habitat is less fragmented in the landscape. Restoration does not result in full recovery of biodiversity and vegetation structure, but can complement old-growth forests if there is sufficient time for ecological succession.

347 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors developed a data-based approach to address these challenges and to achieve medium and large-scale ecological restoration of riparian areas on private lands in the state of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil.

312 citations

References
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TL;DR: The TGB Osborn Vegetation Reserve at Koonamore, South Australia, is a 390-ha exclosure in semi-arid chenopod shrubland and data show evidence for both episodic and gradual change among different species.
Abstract: The TGB Osborn Vegetation Reserve at Koonamore, South Australia, is a 390-ha exclosure in semi-arid chenopod shrubland. The area was heavily overgrazed in 1925 when it was fenced to exclude sheep. Permanent quadrats and photopoints have been maintained to the present. Feral rabbits were sometimes numerous until the mid-1970s but have since been controlled. The records represent 50 years without sheep grazing, followed by 26 years without either sheep or rabbits. Dramatic seedling establishment events have occurred since 1978 for the following species: Acacia aneura Benth., Myoporum platycarpum R.Br., Senna artemesioides subsp. coriacea Randell, S. artemesioides subsp. petiolaris Randell, Acacia burkittii Benth., Dodonaea attenuata A.Cunn., Eremophila longifolia (R.Br.) F.Muell., E. sturtii R.Br. and Maireana pyramidata (Benth.) Paul G.Wilson. However, the chenopod shrubs Atriplex vesicaria Benth. and A. stipitata Benth. increased earlier and did not respond in the same way to episodic rainfall events or rabbit control. Numbers of Alectryon oleifolius (Desf.) S.T.Reynolds and Casuarina pauper F.Muell. ex L.A.S.Johnson have remained almost unchanged, whereas Maireana sedifolia (F.Muell.) Paul G.Wilson and M. astrotricha (L.Johnson) Paul G.Wilson have shown a very gradual increase over time. The data show evidence for both episodic and gradual change among different species.

42 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research suggests that controlled continuous grazing is the best option for both production and pasture management in these communities, and the future use of controlled burning to reduce unpalatable shrubs in belah communities is indicated.
Abstract: This paper reviews those aspects of the scientific literature that bear on the management of the native saltbush, grassland, belah and bluebush communities of south-west New South Wales. In includes information on the structure, vegetation change, erosion, animal production and management, and includes tables of the characteristics of the major plant species. Grazing can induce major vegetation changes in saltbush areas, but only relatively minor changes in the more stable communities, such as belah. Erosion hazards are severe in the bluebush communities, although they are generally stable at present. Animal production is closely related to the winter incidence of rainfall, when both sheep and cattle concentrate their grazing on annual plants. In summer saltbushes, bluebushes and copper burrs become the main constituents and diet quality is adequate for maintenance. Research suggests that controlled continuous grazing is the best option for both production and pasture management in these communities. The future use of controlled burning to reduce unpalatable shrubs in belah communities is indicated.

3 citations