Ecological Theory and Community Restoration Ecology

Palmer, M.A., R.F. Ambrose, and N.L. Poff. 1997. Ecological Theory and Community Restoration Ecology. Restoration Ecology 5(4):291-300

unity ecological theory plays an important role in the development of restoration ecology. As one of the classic reviews, this paper discussed several major questions, including: What are our evaluation endpoints of restoration success? What is the relationship between biodiversity and community restoration? Is restoration of habitat a sufficient approach to reestablish species and function? What are the roles of natural disturbance regimes and successional processes (the roles of dispersal, colonization, and community assemble theory) in restoration?

Even though it was published in 1997, lots of the specific questions posted here are still popular or debated in recent studies and management. For instance, how do we define the restoration potential for community attributes? Are there critical thresholds of physical habitat restoration that will ensure restoration of species and ecological function? How do we assess the degree to which established exotic species will prevent successful restoration of a functioning community? In this paper, I found most interesting is the explanation of the utility of different community ecology restoration theories will vary depending on attributes of the natural communities. So it’s important to know the community attributes (relatively predictable or stochastic) for stored sites.

Based on the frameworks of this paper, we definitely need to explore more specific evidences and theory explanations to get deeper understandings on community restoration.

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