Ecological restoration in the light of ecological history.

Jackson, S. T., & Hobbs, R. J. (2009). Ecological restoration in the light of ecological history. Science, 325(5940), 567-569.

This article turns on its head the centrality of the historical reference state to restoration goals. The authors engage the reader with the question of whether historical states will be appropriate given global change, as well as the question of what is 'undisturbed,' given indigenous management techniques. They point out that, far from providing a single reference state, the paleoecological record suggests that there may be many states that a particular ecosystem has shifted through in the last 20,000 years. The authors do also emphasize that paleoecology is still important and historical reference states are still useful; they simply suggest that they should not be taken as gospel. Overall, the thinking is fresh and stimulating, and this is a nice addition to the TREE novel ecosystems paper for generating thinking 'outside the box' on how to manage ecosystems into the future. Questions still remain as to how exactly to use historical/paleoecological information to inform decisions regarding 'natural' ecosystems which will be hard to maintain against changing climates or how to cope with managing novel ecosystems, but for a Science paper they manage to pack in a surprising amount of information and ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment