Ecological restoration for future sustainability in a changing environment

Choi, Young D.; Temperton, Vicky M.; Allen, Edith B., et al. 2008.
15(1): 53-64.

This paper presents an overview of the challenges that restoration ecology faces in light of climate change, and proposes 5 major changes to allow the field to adapt to the changing future.

The Good:
It offers a critical review of the practice of restoration, particularly that of its retrospective and idealistic goals and suggests that restoration needs to become "future-focused." I found this suggestion welcome and refreshing because current restoration efforts often fail to address the future climatic conditions likely to occur on site. The authors propose succinct, (and I thought valid) recommendations to alleviate the main criticisms of the field, from the failure to accommodate societal pressures to focusing primarily on the restoration of ecosystem structure. They cite a vast number of studies and papers to broadly defend their proposals, and highlight relevant examples of successful projects.

The Not-so-Good:
Because the paper was so broad, it did not explore any of the recommendations in depth. I would have appreciated further discussion about the transition from historically-informed restoration to proactive, climate change-informed restoration. The paper lacked examples of projects that successfully "restored" an ecosystem to be resilient in the face of climate change. My final critique is that a few of the proposed changes were too elementary to be anything ground-breaking or interesting.

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