1 Tahrcountry Musings: Restoration ecology – New direction needed

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Restoration ecology – New direction needed

The restoration of biodiversity: Where has research been and where does it need to go?
Lars A. Brudvig
Am J Bot. 2011 Mar;98(3):549-58.
In this paper Dr Lars A. Brudvig says we need a new direction and impetus for restoration ecology.
Restoration iecology aims at increasing levels of biodiversity by modifying human-altered ecosystems. It provides conceptual guidance and tests of restoration strategies, with the ultimate goal of predictive landscape restoration.
Dr Brudvig construct a conceptual model for restoration of biodiversity, based on site-level (e.g., biotic and abiotic) conditions, landscape (e.g, interpatch connectivity and patch geometry), and historical factors (e.g., species arrival order and land-use legacies). He then asks how well restoration ecology has addressed the various components of this model.
During the past decade, restoration research has focused mainly on how the restoration of site-level factors promotes species diversity. Primary thrust has always been plants. Dr Brudvig says relatively little attention has been paid to how landscape or historical factors interplay with restoration, how restoration influences functional and genetic components of biodiversity, or how a suite of less-studied taxa might be restored.
The researcher present a number of avenues for future research to address often ignored linkages in the biodiversity restoration model. (Interplay of landscape and historical factors). These experiments may require multiple sites and many years of field work.
Dr Brudvig says we might move restoration ecology in a direction of stronger prediction, conducted across landscapes, thus providing feasible restoration strategies that work at scales over which biodiversity conservation occurs.
On the whole this paper is very thought provoking and provides ample fodder for thought

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