Restoration Ecology (Restor Ecol )

Publisher: Society for Ecological Restoration; Society for Ecological Restoration International, Blackwell Publishing


Restoration Ecology fosters the exchange of ideas among the many disciplines involved in the process of ecological restoration. Addressing global concerns and communicating them to the international scientific community, the Journal is at the forefront of a vital new direction in science and ecology. Original papers describe experimental, observational, and theoretical studies on terrestrial, marine, and freshwater systems, and are considered without taxonomic bias.The primary emphasis of the Journal is on ecological and biological restoration, and it also publishes papers on soils, water, air, and hydrologic functions. Edited by a distinguished panel, the Journal continues to be a major conduit for research scientists to publish their findings in the fight to not only halt ecological damage, but also to ultimately reverse it.

Impact factor 1.99

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  • Website
    Restoration Ecology website
  • Other titles
    Restoration ecology (Online), Restoration ecology
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    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Blackwell Publishing

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    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ecological and financial constraints limit restoration efforts, preventing the achievement of desired ecological outcomes. Harvesting invasive plant biomass for bioenergy has the potential to reduce feedback mechanisms that sustain invasion, while alleviating financial limitations. Typha × glauca is a highly productive invasive wetland plant that reduces plant diversity, alters ecological functioning, its impacts increase with time, and is a suitable feedstock for bioenergy. We sought to determine ecological effects of Typha utilization for bioenergy in a Great Lakes coastal wetland by testing plant community responses to harvest-restoration treatments in stands of 2 age classes and assessing community resilience through a seed bank study. Belowground harvesting increased light penetration, diversity, and richness and decreased Typha dominance and biomass in both years post-treatment. Aboveground harvesting increased light and reduced Typha biomass in post-year 1 and in post-year 2, increased diversity and richness and decreased Typha dominance. Seed bank analysis revealed that young stands (<20 years) had greater diversity, richness, seedling density, and floristic quality than old stands (>30 years). In the field, stand-age did not affect diversity or Typha dominance, but old stands had greater Typha biomass and slightly higher richness following harvest. Harvesting Typha achieved at least 2 desirable ecological outcomes: reducing Typha dominance and increasing native plant diversity. Younger stands had greater potential for native recovery, indicated by more diverse seed banks. In similar degraded wetlands, a single harvest of Typha biomass would likely result in significant biodiversity and habitat improvements, with the potential to double plant species richness.
    Restoration Ecology 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: At an historic moment, when Colombia is emerging from 60 years of armed conflict, the 7-year-old Colombian Network for Ecological Restoration (Red Colombiana de Restauración Ecológica [REDCRE]) has created four subnational nodes, and is actively developing several more. All of this is taking place in the context of the Ibero-American and Caribbean Society for Ecological Restoration (Sociedad Ibero-Americana y del Caribe de la Restauración Ecológica [SIACRE]). In mid-November 2014, over 200 representatives of government agencies, academia, private enterprises, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the entire country attended a symposium to launch the Antioquia Province node, and take stock and plan the way forward. There are bright prospects of transdisciplinary and public–private collaborations in Colombia for ecological restoration and restoration of natural capital as part of a strategy to transition smoothly to a post-conflict era. We suggest some goals and guidelines to help move forward an ambitious agenda to mainstream ecological restoration.
    Restoration Ecology 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tropical montane cloud forest is rapidly disappearing and our knowledge of how to restore this system is limited. In a cloud forest of central Veracruz, Mexico we studied seedling survival, growth and causes of mortality (microenvironment and herbivory) of three native tree species: Fagus grandifolia, Quercus germana and Q. xalapensis transplanted into abandoned pastures (< 1 year old) and secondary forests (9-17 years old). Microenvironment differed between the two habitats, temperature and photosynthetically active radiation were higher and humidity was lower in the abandoned pastures than in the secondary forests. Seedling survival was greater in secondary forests than in pastures for all species: F. grandifolia, 94 and 64%; Q. germana, 88 and 68%; and Q. xalapensis, 61 and 57%, respectively. The cause of mortality differed between habitats with gophers (24.2% mortality) and mice (4.8%) killing the most seedlings in pastures, and damping-off (16%) was the most important cause in secondary forests. The relative growth rate in height and basal area of all species was significantly higher in abandoned pastures than in secondary forests; Q. xalapensis had the highest growth rate, followed by Q. germana and F. grandifolia. The environmental conditions in this mountainous cloud forest region seem less stressful to planted seedlings than the conditions of other lowland systems, since frequent clouds favor their establishment even in open sites. We conclude that Fagaceae species can successfully establish in abandoned pastures in mesic environments. Thus, the species studied can be used to speed cloud forest regeneration in the same area at different successional stages.
    Restoration Ecology 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Degradation of ecosystems is ongoing in Latin America but there is also a strong upswing in conservation and restoration efforts. SIACRE – the Ibero-American and Caribbean Society for Ecological Restoration – is playing a key role in coordinating and promoting this trend at international, national, and subnational levels. In October 2014, SIACRE members organized the first national seminar on ecological restoration in Chile, with participants representing both academic and non-academic sectors. This seminar served as the catalyst for this essay and was an historic event at the national level. Much work has been underway in the science and practice of restoration in Chile, but until now it has been fragmented. This first national seminar enabled helped the principal strengths and challenges that Chile has and must face in the transdisciplinary domain of ecological restoration. Since 2004, various meetings have been organized in the region, in order to communicate the importance of restoration, especially in Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and more recently in Chile and Argentina. Here we trace the history of national and subnational restoration networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, and of SIACRE, and then outline some goals and challenges for the coming years.
    Restoration Ecology 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Native re-forestation is a widely used restoration tool, typically undertaken with the expectation that planting native trees will initiate succession processes (including the re-establishment of native fauna) that will eventually return the ecosystem to a native-dominated state. Invertebrate groups can be used to assess restoration progress, as their life history traits enable them to respond more rapidly to environmental change than many other organisms. In this study, we assessed beetle responses to re-forestation. Using two trapping methods (flight intercept traps and pitfall traps), we compared beetle assemblages in exotic pasture (pre-restoration state), <10-year-old planted native forest (restoration intervention) and approximately 40-year-old unmanaged regenerating native forest (reference state). Analysis of the flight intercept-trapped beetles suggests that re-forestation has initiated a transition from an exotic-dominated pasture fauna toward a native-dominated fauna: in planted forests, 75% of all flight-intercept-trapped beetles were native (compared with 22% in pasture and 87% in unmanaged forest). Flight intercept-trapped beetles also had higher native diversity and abundance in both forest types than in pasture. Pitfall-trapped beetle species were predominantly native in both forest types, but there were few statistically significant differences between the forests and pasture in the pit-fall trap data set. Both trapping methods detected significant compositional differences between the beetle assemblages in planted forest and unmanaged forest. Replanting native forest has increased native beetle diversity, abundance, and dominance (compared with the pre-restoration state), but convergence with the unmanaged reference forest has not yet been achieved.
    Restoration Ecology 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Loss of functional habitat in riverine systems is a global fisheries issue. Few studies, however, describe the decision-making approach taken to abate loss of fish spawning habitat. Numerous habitat restoration efforts are underway and documentation of successful restoration techniques for spawning habitat of desirable fish species in large rivers connecting the Laurentian Great Lakes are reported here. In 2003, to compensate for the loss of fish spawning habitat in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers that connect the Great Lakes Huron and Erie, an international partnership of state, federal, and academic scientists began restoring fish spawning habitat in both of these rivers. Using an adaptive management approach, we created 1,100 m2 of productive fish spawning habitat near Belle Isle in the Detroit River in 2004; 3,300 m2 of fish spawning habitat near Fighting Island in the Detroit River in 2008; and 4,000 m2 of fish spawning habitat in the Middle Channel of the St. Clair River in 2012. Here, we describe the adaptive-feedback management approach that we used to guide our decision making during all phases of spawning habitat restoration, including problem identification, team building, hypothesis development, strategy development, prioritization of physical and biological imperatives, project implementation, habitat construction, monitoring of fish use of the constructed spawning habitats, and communication of research results. Numerous scientific and economic lessons learned from 10 years of planning, building, and assessing fish use of these three fish spawning habitat restoration projects are summarized in this article.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A major challenge to advancing the science and practice of ecological restoration is working across large landscapes containing diverse sites that may respond differently to restoration. We conducted a 5-year restoration experiment, replicated across 9 sites spanning 3 soil parent material types within a 9,000-ha Pinus ponderosa forest landscape. We evaluated plant community response to restoration Pinus thinning, grazing, and aqueous smoke application. We measured vegetation before (2003) and 3 (2006) and 5 (2008) years after treatment. Plant community responses of species richness, cover, and composition were diverse, ranging from increases, decreases, or no change depending on soil parent material, tree thinning, and presence or exclusion of grazing. Restoration outcomes were under hierarchical control: soil parent material constrained response to Pinus thinning, which in turn influenced grazing effects. On limestone-derived soil, responses included no change in species richness but increased plant cover with Pinus thinning. Both plant richness and cover increased on benmorite soil after thinning, and cover generally increased more without grazing. On rocky, basalt soil, plant richness increased but cover did not after any treatment. Diversity of responses to restoration has implications for: (1) setting goals or monitoring indicators tailored to inherent soil capability; (2) identifying where grazing most affects restoration outcomes; and (3) forecasting responses to restoration across landscapes. Diverse responses to restoration along physiographic gradients such as soil parent material warrant consideration when developing restoration across degraded landscapes.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Community assembly theory predicts that resource availability, biotic interactions, and dispersal dynamics will determine community composition. Recent work has demonstrated that manipulating these processes or “filters” to exclude exotic species may assist in restoring invaded plant communities. In this study, we began by manipulating an abiotic filter, summer water availability, on the theory that irrigation prior to the growing season could trigger the germination of exotic species during unfavorable environmental conditions. First, we performed a greenhouse experiment to assess the germination traits of 23 native and exotic species at low (16°C, spring) and high (30°C, summer) temperatures. At summer temperatures, we found high emergence of many exotic and native grasses and low emergence of native forbs suggesting that summer irrigation may help deplete the exotic seed bank. In a second experiment, we established field plots to test the efficacy of summer irrigation and simultaneously manipulated a biotic and a dispersal filter, subjecting some plots to grazing and/or native seed addition. Summer irrigation and seed addition had no effect on percent cover or species richness while grazing reduced native cover but increased native species richness and soil nitrogen content. Our data suggest that manipulating grazing (a biotic filter) may be more effective than altering abiotic or dispersal filters when restoring invaded serpentine grassland. However, summer irrigation may also be effective, if applied at lower temperatures or for longer periods.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the degree to which fencing, livestock exclusion, and replanting of riparian zones affected avian assemblages in massively cleared landscapes. Measurements were made at three creeks in the southern Murray–Darling Basin in southeastern Australia, each of which had circa 1-km long treated sections and paired “untreated” circa 1-km sections, where no fencing, planting, or stock exclusion was done. We measured the change in vegetation characteristics and abundances of native birds for up to 8 years after works were completed. Prior to data collection, we developed expected responses of bird species based on the anticipated time-courses of change in vegetation structure. We used hierarchical Bayesian models to explore the effects of the management actions, and to account for within-site variation in vegetation characteristics. There were major changes in vegetation structure (reductions in bare ground and increases in shrubs and tree recruitment) but avian responses generally were small and not as expected. There are at least four possible reasons for the limited avian responses: (1) there has been a long-term decline in woodland birds across the region; (2) the study was conducted during the longest drought in the instrumental record in the study region; (3) the total amount of replanted vegetation was small in a massively denuded region; and (4) monitoring may have been over too short a term to detect responses to longer-term changes in structural vegetation.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2009, a group of practitioners took action to restore 175 miles of riparian habitat impaired by invasive plants along the Dolores River in southwestern Colorado and eastern Utah. Recognizing the magnitude of ecological, jurisdictional, and management challenges associated with this large-scale initiative, this group of managers built trust and relationships with key partners to foster collaboration across boundaries and cultivate consensus of a variety of perspectives and forms of knowledge. What emerged was a network of individuals, organizations, and agencies dedicated to restoring the Dolores River riparian corridor while sharing information and learning from one another. This public–private collaboration, called the Dolores River Restoration Partnership (DRRP), has been successful in creating a process by which financial, technical, and human resources are shared across boundaries to restore a riparian corridor. Specifically, the DRRP developed effective planning documents, a responsive governance structure, monitoring protocols, and a shared mindset for extracting lessons learned that have been instrumental in making progress toward its shared restoration goals and addressing a wide variety of restoration challenges. The tools developed by the partnership and lessons learned from their utility are outlined in this case study as a means to inform other collaborative restoration efforts.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Surface mining has altered a vast land area in the Appalachian Region, threatening highly biodiverse native forest, contributing to habitat fragmentation, and generating severely disturbed sites that are unsuitable for succession to native ecosystems. Although there are many factors that influence species colonization and establishment on these sites, selection of topsoil substitutes suitable for native species is of particular concern. A series of experimental plots was installed in 2005 on a reclaimed mine site in eastern Kentucky, United States, to examine the suitability of three spoil types (unweathered GRAY sandstone, weathered BROWN sandstone, and MIXED sandstone/shale) as topsoil substitutes. Bareroot 1:0 seedlings of four native hardwood species (Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Quercus rubra, Q. alba, and Liriodendron tulipifera) were planted in the spoil. Seed required for ground cover was not applied so that natural colonization could be evaluated. Two years after installation, researchers concluded that tree growth was highest on BROWN; in addition, species richness and ground cover of volunteer vegetation were higher on BROWN. In 2013, tree volume was over 50 times higher in BROWN than GRAY. In addition to planted hardwoods, naturally colonizing vegetation provided nearly 100% cover on BROWN compared to 20% on MIXED and less than 10% on GRAY plots. Species richness of volunteer vegetation continued to be higher on BROWN (41) than GRAY (30) or MIXED (30), with native species comprising 65–70% of total species richness on all plots. Findings suggest that when topsoil substitutes are used, weathered spoils are more favorable to reforestation than unweathered spoil.
    Restoration Ecology 12/2014;
  • Restoration Ecology 11/2014; 22(6).
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    ABSTRACT: Mimicking the natural heterogeneity of wetland substrates, e.g. by roughening surface soil or constructing hummocks, has been shown to facilitate wetland plant establishment. We asked if incorporating substrate heterogeneity could also help plants withstand variation in moisture levels. In a wetland with Carex stricta (tussock sedge) as the main restoration target, we manipulated substrates to create different soil moisture environments for planted C. stricta plugs. Our artificial mounds mimicked tussocks formed by C. stricta in natural meadows (circa 10–40 cm in height); we also varied mound compositions and created shallow depressions. Monitoring demonstrated variation in soil moisture among our treatments and natural differences in soil moisture between experimental blocks. Additionally, rainfall varied from severe drought in year 1 to extreme rainfall in year 2. Plug survival, flowering, cover, biomass, leaf length, and growth rate all varied with treatment, block, and/or year. Interactions among those factors were common. Planting plugs in shallow depressions exacerbated stress in a wet block during a wet year, causing low survival. Planting plugs in moisture-retaining peat pots allowed them to survive and sustain growth even in a dry block during a dry year. We conclude that heterogeneous substrates can be used to hedge against environmental variability by widening the range of microsites available within a restoration site and thereby moderating stressful conditions in some areas.
    Restoration Ecology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: An international consortium of botanic gardens and arboreta is launching a collaborative Ecological Restoration Alliance under the auspices of BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International). We describe the Alliance and the ways in which it serves worldwide restoration efforts. Botanic gardens and arboreta are uniquely positioned to contribute to restoration science and practice. They have the plant collections and information required to understand flora and vegetation, and the horticultural expertise and experience needed to propagate, grow, manage, and conserve plants, all of which are essential for successful restoration. Botanic gardens work beyond their walls to network, educate, advocate, develop policy, build capacity, and engage in restoration projects throughout the world.
    Restoration Ecology 11/2014; 22(6):713-715.
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    ABSTRACT: Site preparation designed to exhaust the soil seedbank of adventive species can improve the success of tallgrass prairie restoration. Despite these efforts, increased rates of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition over the next century could potentially promote the growth of nitrophilic, adventive species in tallgrass restoration projects. We used a field experiment to examine how N addition affected species composition and plant productivity over the first 3 years of a tallgrass prairie restoration that was preceded by the planting of glyphosate-resistant crops and multiple applications of glyphosate to exhaust the pre-existing seedbank. We predicted that N addition would increase the percent cover of adventive plant species not included in the original seeding. Contrary to our prediction, only the cover of native species increased with N addition; native non-leguminous forbs increased substantially, with Conyza canadensis (a weedy native species not part of the restoration seed mix) exploiting the combination of high N and bare ground in the first year, and non-leguminous forbs (in particular Monarda fistulosa) and native C3 grasses, all of which were seeded, increasing with N addition by the third year. Native legumes was the only functional group that exhibited lower cover in N addition plots than in control plots. There was no significant response by native C4 grasses to N addition, and adventive grasses remained mostly absent from the plots. Overall, our results suggest that site pre-treatment with herbicide may continue to be effective in minimizing adventive grasses in restored tallgrass prairie, despite future increases in atmospheric N deposition.
    Restoration Ecology 11/2014;