Interventionist Approaches for Restoring and Maintaining Ecosystem Function in the Face of Rapid Environmental Change
A Hobbs, Richard J.A Cramer, Viki A.T. Restoration Ecology: Interventionist Approaches for Restoring and Maintaining Ecosystem Function in the Face of Rapid Environmental Change. 2008. Annual Review of Environment and Resources p. 39-61 33:1 doi: 10.1146/annurev.environ.33.020107.113631
This paper reviews restoration techniques (abiotic, biotic, broader-scale) then moves into reconsidering existing restoration strategies in the face of rapid environmental change (climate, land use, etc). The authors suggest that little progress has been made in applying our increasing understanding of climate change’s likely ecological impacts to on-the-ground restoration approaches. They go on to note that new restoration approaches (particularly those involving altering existing biotic assemblages), “may have profound societal impacts relating to changes in how society perceives and values the natural environment.” I think this is a critically important point, and was surprised to see that the authors did not suggest better communication with the public when they noted that these new approaches, “will require far greater coordination and integration of research scientists, restorationists, land managers and policymakers than currently exists.” Ultimately, the public will play an important role in creating the political environment in which adaptive management strategies are possible, and it is important that the public develops a more nuanced understanding of the “whats” and “whys” of new restoration and environmental management strategies if practitioners are to avoid knee-jerk “maintain the status quo” opposition that drains public support for their efforts.
Photo Credit: Me. It is of no relevance to this article.