EEB 255 Chapter 19.docx

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30 Mar 2012
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Chapter 19
Restorative Ecology
Ecological Restoration is the practice of restoring the species and
ecosystems that occupied a site at some point in the past, but were degraded, or
destroyed
o Provides useful scientific data in he process of its work
Restoration Ecology is the science of restoration the research and scientific
study of restored populations, communities and ecosystems
o Interprets and evaluates restoration projects in a way that can lead to
improved methods
Compensatory Mitigation in which a new site, often incorporating wetland
communities, is created or rehabilitated in compensation for a site that has been
destroyed elsewhere by development
Damage and Restoration
Some ecosystems have been so degraded by human activity that their ability to
recover on their own is severely limited
Ecological restoration may help return functioning ecosystems with some or all of
the original species to such areas or encourage new valuable communities
Adaptive Restoration restored sites need to be monitored for years, even
decades, to determine how well management goals are being achieved and
whether further intervention is required
Reference Sites comparison criteria, the goals of restorative efforts is to create
new habitats that are comparable in ecosystem function or species composition
Ecological Restoration Techniques
1. No Action restoration deemed too expensive, previous attempts have failed,
or experience has shown that the ecosystem will recover on its own (passive
restoration) ex. North American old agricultural fields
2. Rehabilitation replacing a degraded ecosystem with another productive type,
using just a few or many species ex. Degraded forest replaced by pasture
3. Partial Restoration restoring at least some of the ecosystem functions and
some of the original, dominant species ex. Tree plantation replacing degraded
forest
4. Complete Restoration restoring the area to its original species composition
and structure by an active program of site modification and reintroduction of the
original species must first determining and reduce ecological degradation ex.
Controlling pollution source before lake ecosystem can be restored
Practical Considerations
Restoration projects require evaluations to determine if goals are being met,
including costs and speed of recovery
o Can also provide insight into ecological processes
Case studies 443-445
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