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Toward an Era of Restoration in Ecology: Successes, Failures, and Opportunities Ahead

Published on Dec 1, 2011in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics10.878
· DOI :10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102710-145115
Katharine N. Suding42
Estimated H-index: 42
(University of California, Berkeley)
Sources
Abstract
As an inevitable consequence of increased environmental degradation and anticipated future environmental change, societal demand for ecosystem restoration is rapidly increasing. Here, I evaluate successes and failures in restoration, how science is informing these efforts, and ways to better address decision-making and policy needs. Despite the multitude of restoration projects and wide agreement that evaluation is a key to future progress, comprehensive evaluations are rare. Based on the limited available information, restoration outcomes vary widely. Cases of complete recovery are frequently characterized by the persistence of species and abiotic processes that permit natural regeneration. Incomplete recovery is often attributed to a mixture of local and landscape constraints, including shifts in species distributions and legacies of past land use. Lastly, strong species feedbacks and regional shifts in species pools and climate can result in little to no recovery. More forward-looking paradigms, such a...
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  • Citations (409)
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References128
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#1Richard J. HobbsH-Index: 97
#2Lauren M. HallettH-Index: 16
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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 ...
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#1Kerrie A. Wilson (UQ: University of Queensland)H-Index: 49
#2Megan E. LulowH-Index: 6
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P>1. In general, conservation seeks to prevent further habitat loss but in many cases there is a need to reverse habitat degradation. Restoration of habitat is necessary to achieve biodiversity conservation goals but often it is a costly and time-intensive process. Prioritization of where and when habitat is restored can help to ensure the cost-effective delivery of desired outcomes.
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Given the extent of land use and land cover change by humans on a global scale, conservation efforts have increasingly focused on restoring degraded ecosystems to provide ecosystem services and biodiversity. Many examples in the tropics and elsewhere, however, show that some ecosystems recover rapidly without human intervention which begs the question of in which cases and to what extent humans should actively work to facilitate ecosystem recovery. We recommend that all land managers consider a ...
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Although ecological restoration is widely used to combat environmental degradation, very few studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of this approach. We examine the potential impact of forest restoration on the value of multiple ecosystem services across four dryland areas in Latin America, by estimating the net value of ecosystem service benefits under different reforestation scenarios. The values of selected ecosystem services were mapped under each scenario, supported by the use of a s...
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Islands house a majority of the world's biodiversity and are thus critical for biodiversity conservation. Seabird nesting colonies provide nutrients that are integral to maintain island biodiversity and ecosystem function. Invasive rats destroy seabird colonies and thus the island ecosystems that depend on seabird-derived nutrients. After rat eradication, it is unclear how long ecosystem recovery may take, although some speculate on the order of centuries. I looked at ecosystem recovery along a ...
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#2John Mauremootoo (Mauritian Wildlife Foundation)H-Index: 5
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Invasive alien species pose one of the highest threats to biodiversity, especially in isolated oceanic islands where high rates of both endemism and extinction risk also usually prevail. Few studies have investigated the impact of invasive alien plants on butterflies in insular ecosystems, despite butterflies representing a key indicator group for terrestrial arthropod diversity. Using the Pollard Technique, we quantified butterfly species richness and abundance in eight wet lowland forest areas...
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#1Helge Bruelheide (MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)H-Index: 40
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