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)
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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