Editor’s Choice 57:05 – Long-lasting effects of land use on soil microbial restoration

How might previous land uses still affect restoration efforts today? Associate Editor, Gaowen Yang explores our latest Editor’s Choice research by Nash E. Turley and colleagues.   Agricultural abandonment can result in many environmental benefits, such as reduction in soil loss, increase in soil nutrient, biodiversity conservation. However, agricultural history has long-lasting effects (also called land-use legacies) on ecosystem recovery. For instance, when compared with … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 57:05 – Long-lasting effects of land use on soil microbial restoration

Exotic eucalypts in restoration? It can work

Achieving ambitious, yet cost-effective, global forest restoration goals requires creative approaches. Nino T. Amazonas, Pedro H. S. Brancalion & Karen D. Holl present a novel strategy from Brazil, using mixed plantations of exotic eucalypts and native tree species as a transitional stage for tropical forest restoration. Many countries worldwide have committed large portions of their territory to forest landscape restoration, which has been widely advertised … Continue reading Exotic eucalypts in restoration? It can work

How to reduce the financial risks associated with restoration efforts?

High variation in biodiversity recovery in restored forests at landscape scale can increase the risk associated with investments in restoration programmes. Crouzeilles  et al. summarise their new approach, which aims to predict and map landscape variation in forest restoration success and thus reduce the unpredictability associated with financial risk. Investors operating in different businesses usually avoid high-risk transactions, which likely constrains the flow of financial resources … Continue reading How to reduce the financial risks associated with restoration efforts?

The context dependencies of how spillover from remnant grasslands enhances plant diversity in restorations

New research from Sperry et al. provides insights into prairie restoration practice. Associate Editor, Lars Brudvig explains more. Grasslands, including North American prairies, are widely restored through seed sowing onto abandoned agricultural lands. This approach to restoration holds great promise for promoting grassland biodiversity, yet restored prairies typically harbor fewer plant species than remnants without a history of agriculture, and plant diversity tends to decline … Continue reading The context dependencies of how spillover from remnant grasslands enhances plant diversity in restorations

Cover stories: recovering beauty

Our August cover image by Guiyao Zhou (East China Normal University) shows how livestock grazing activities potentially alter many ecosystem functions such as carbon sequestration. But these effects can be markedly regulated by the associated global change factors (e.g., warming, nitrogen addition and drought). Here Guiyao shares the story behind the cover image and the grassland ecosystem work it represents.  These photos were taken in Wayan mountain, a very beautiful alpine meadow … Continue reading Cover stories: recovering beauty

Measuring ecosystem functioning to assess river restoration success

Shortlisted for this year’s Southwood Prize early career researcher award, André Frainer talks us through his work on river restoration and habitat heterogeneity. When rivers are drained, dredged, channelised, or altered in a thousand different ways, they face an almost imminent loss of biodiversity and important ecological functions. This is often a consequence of the loss of habitat diversity and the fauna and flora that … Continue reading Measuring ecosystem functioning to assess river restoration success

Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Restoration has never been more important, with almost a third of the world’s land surface degraded. But what exactly is restoration? And how do we know if it works? Madelon Lohbeck continues our Special Feature series on Functional traits in agroecology. Read the full article, Trait-based approaches for guiding the restoration of degraded agricultural landscapes in East Africa. More than 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest … Continue reading Finding evidence for land restoration strategies

Finding missing branches: Phylogenetic patterns of plant community diversity in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies

Originally posted on The Applied Ecologist:
To round off our series of posts from the Special Feature, Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity, we’re sharing Rebecca Barak’s post from earlier this year on her article Restored tallgrass prairies have reduced phylogenetic diversity compared with remnants.  Tallgrass prairie is one of the most endangered habitats on earth. In my home state of Illinois, USA, back in 1820,… Continue reading Finding missing branches: Phylogenetic patterns of plant community diversity in restored and remnant tallgrass prairies

Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years

Source: Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years Shared from Natural history of Ecological Restoration, Leighton Reid comments on his article, Local tropical forest restoration strategies affect tree recruitment more strongly than does landscape forest cover. The article was recently published as part of the Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity Special Feature in Journal of Applied Ecology. Planting tree … Continue reading Tree islands for tropical forest restoration: the outlook is rosy after 10 years

Variation in soil microbial communities leads to variation in plant communities

In the latest in our series of blogs for the Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiveristy Special Feature, Jonathan Bauer discusses his article, Effects of between-site variation in soil microbial communities and plant-soil feedbacks on the productivity and composition of plant communities. All articles from the Special Feature are available in issue 54.4 of Journal of Applied Ecology. Microorganisms in the soil have strong effects on plant … Continue reading Variation in soil microbial communities leads to variation in plant communities