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
What are some surprising new approaches to restoration in forest landscapes? What are the ecosystem services provided by deer? Can we use salvage logging to prevent future bark beetle outbreaks? These questions and more are answered in our new Spotlight collection, sharing new insights and innovations in forest management. Associate Editor, Julio Louzada brings together the featured articles. The modern tradeoff between the maintenance of … Continue reading Spotlight: new insights into forest management
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
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?
Johan T. du Toit and Nathalie Pettorelli explore the differences between rewilding and restoration. The authors have adapted this post from an article originally shared by ZSL. Rewilding means different things to different people but in applied ecology it is now broadly agreed that the concept means reorganizing, retooling, or regenerating wildness in a degraded ecosystem. Contrary to what many seem to think, rewilding is … Continue reading Rewilding needs a conceptual framework. Is the adaptive cycle the answer?
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
A Spanish version of this post is available here. After years of research into the biodiversity value of agricultural countrysides, it has become clear that, while there is great potential to conserve wildlife alongside humanity in ‘working landscapes’, wildlife communities remain distinct from those in nature reserves. But can working landscapes ever support vulnerable, reserve-affiliated species? New research from Costa Rica by Karp et al. … Continue reading Forest patches in working landscapes offer surprising opportunities to conserve neotropical birds
Harnessing the power of global citizen science data sets to improve local understanding, Corey T. Callaghan (Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Sydney) introduces the Urban Greenspace Integrity Index as a means to track restoration efforts in urban areas. Restoring urban biodiversity has many benefits (for examples, see here, here, or here), but what should we actually be focusing on in our restoration efforts? If we … Continue reading Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community
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
Continuing our series on rewilding, Jens-Christian Svenning from the Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World, Aarhus University, focuses in on trophic rewilding. Here he considers the foundations and open-ended nature of this approach, and explains why there is still plenty of room for more research in this area. There is rapidly increasing interest in rewilding as an alternative to more human-controlled approaches to … Continue reading Trophic rewilding: restoring top-down food web processes to promote self-managing ecosystems