The Dynamic Restoration Regime Concept for Ecosystem Management and Restoration

Mayer, A.L. and M. Rietkerk. 2004. The Dynamic Restoration Regime Concept for Ecosystem Management and Restoration. BioScience 54(11): 1013- 1020.

This paper retreads a lot of the ground covered in the Suding et al. (2004) paper we read this week; I don’t suggest it as our additional paper. It gives a comprehensive overview of dynamic regime theory, but stops short of providing recommendations for incorporation of these theories into practice. Specifically, it emphasizes measuring at different resolutions (grain), scales (extent), and time periods in order to assess whether internal or external processes are influencing regime stability and/or resilience. Moving between scales may help identify factors that are internal to a larger system yet forcing change at a smaller scale.
I appreciated learning a new term: hysteresis- the “conditions under which an ecosystem shifted to one regime can be different from those in which the system will shift back.” It is useful when describing the non-linearity of ecosystem recovery that may push disturbed systems to novel or alternate stable states that differ from restoration objectives.

Finally, socio-economic factors that function on a global scale (often outside the realm of restoration managers) could inhibit restoration success by continuing to externally force conditions.

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