Restoration Ecology (Restor Ecol )

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

Description

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
    1.93
  • 5-year impact
    2.15
  • Cited half-life
    7.40
  • Immediacy index
    0.27
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.69
  • Website
    Restoration Ecology website
  • Other titles
    Restoration ecology (Online), Restoration ecology
  • ISSN
    1526-100X
  • OCLC
    41986237
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months
    • no listing of affected journals available as yet
  • Conditions
    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • Publisher version cannot be used
    • On author or institutional or subject-based server
    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement ("The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com ")
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Threats to riverine landscapes are often the result of system-wide river management policy, located far from where the threats appear, or both. As a result, the rationale for land protection to achieve floodplain conservation and restoration has shifted to require that lands must also have multiple and systemic threat abatement benefits. The Mississippi River Flood of 2011 highlighted the need for increased floodplain complexes along the Mississippi River to provide both systemic threat abatement and conservation benefits. We used spatial analysis, landowner outreach, and market assessment to examine ways to enhance land protection in the Atchafalaya River Basin Floodway, the largest river basin swamp North America and the site of two employed floodway locations during the 2011 flood. We identified six Priority Conservation Areas (77,084 ha) in the floodway that are largely privately owned (mean 78.2 ± 6.4%), with forest dominated by Taxodium distichum (baldcypress) and hydrologic and water quality characteristics considered most suitable for baldcypress regeneration (31.2 ± 2.4% and 10.2 ± 3.0% of area, respectively). Landowners expressed high (80%) interest in land protection programs and found the range of property values derived from market analyzes (minimal protection—$346 USD/ha; additional protections—up to $2,223 USD/ha) to be reasonable. We seek to: (1) enhance current land protection in the Atchafalaya River Basin and (2) provide a model for using land protection to increase the number of floodplains for both systemic threat abatement and conservation benefits.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Habitat restoration within large rivers to enhance early life stages of fish is an emerging field. Prior to restoration, assessment of what constitutes “good” habitat is needed. We exemplify this with a study of larval Alosa sapidissima (American shad) in the Hudson River estuary in New York State, United States, which examines the quality of four main shallow water habitat types that have been reduced greatly by dredging activities. The larval stage has been identified as a sensitive period in need of mortality reduction. Habitats were examined as nursery habitat by comparing ambient conditions to known suitability indexes and by comparing relative abundance, loss rate, daily growth, and relative condition among habitats. Areas of lower velocity had greater abundances of shad ≤15.0 mm in length and shad growth was significantly higher. As shad became larger, those in areas of higher velocity had significantly higher relative condition, suggesting a shift in habitat use as larvae metamorphose into the juvenile stage. Contiguous backwater and secondary channel habitats had reduced loss rates during 2011 when there was high river discharge. No single habitat type examined in this study was found to be overall poor quality, and it is recommended that restoration sites be examined on an individual basis. More broadly, habitat diversity appears needed both for within-year ontogeny as well as for longer-term resiliency in the face of disturbance, such as storm-driven high flows.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other exotic winter-active plants can be persistent invaders in native grasslands, growing earlier in the spring than native plants and pre-empting soil resources. Effective management strategies are needed to reduce their abundance while encouraging the reestablishment of desirable native plants. In this 4-year study, we investigated whether mowing and seeding with native perennial grasses could limit growth of exotic winter-actives, and benefit growth of native plants in an invaded grassland in Colorado, United States. We established a split-plot experiment in October 2008 with 3 mowing treatments: control, spring-mowed, and spring/summer-mowed (late spring, mid-summer, and late summer), and 3 within-plot seeding treatments: control, added B. tectorum seeds, and added native grass seeds. Cover of plant species and aboveground biomass were measured for 3 years. In March and June of 2010, 2011, and March of 2012, B. tectorum and other winter-annual grasses were half as abundant in both mowing treatments as in control plots; however, cover of non-native winter-active forbs increased 2-fold in spring-mowed plots and almost 3-fold in spring/summer-mowed plots relative to controls. These patterns remained consistent 1 year after termination of treatments. Native cool-season grasses were most abundant in spring-mowed plots, and least abundant in control plots. There was higher cover of native warm-season grasses in spring/summer-mowed plots than in control plots in July 2011 and 2012. The timing of management can have strong effects on plant community dynamics in grasslands, and this experiment indicates that adaptive management can target the temporal niche of undesirable invasive species.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
  • Restoration Ecology 07/2014; 22(4).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Estuaries are globally important to fisheries but face many anthropogenic stressors that reduce water quality and degrade benthic habitat. The Maumee River estuary has been degraded by industrial contaminants, high sediment and nutrient loads, channelization and elimination of surrounding wetlands, lessening its value as spawning habitat for fishes of Lake Erie. Regulation and better management practices (BMPs) in the watershed have improved the water quality in this estuary, which should result in a response of the biotic community. We compared recent (2010/2011) larval fish assemblage data to similar data from the 1970s (1976/1977) in order to identify changes due to improved water and habitat quality. Family-level diversity was greater in recent study years compared to the 1970s and family richness increased from 6 to 10. In addition, the abundance of lithophilic spawning fishes was significantly greater in the recent study years. Increased diversity and family richness were consistent with increased water quality in the Maumee River whereas the observed increase in abundance of lithophilic spawners was consistent with an increase in the amount or quality of benthic habitat used by species in these families for spawning. Better wastewater management and agricultural practices in coastal watersheds can benefit the early life stages of fishes, thus benefitting coastal fisheries. Furthermore, larval fish assemblages may be useful indicators of biological integrity because of their sensitivities to environmental change. Routine sampling of estuarine larval fish assemblages could provide practitioners with insight into ecosystem changes and measure the response of the biotic community to restoration.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies have demonstrated the importance of the synergistic relationship between large rivers and adjacent floodplain connectivity. The majority of large rivers and their associated floodplain have been isolated through a series of expansive levee systems. Thus, evaluations of the relative importance of floodplain connectivity are limited due to the aforementioned anthropogenic perturbations. However, persistent elevated river levels during spring 2011 at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create large gaps in the levee system producing an expansive floodplain (i.e. the New Madrid Floodway). Specifically, the New Madrid Floodway (approximately 475 km2) in southeast Missouri was created to divert part of the Mississippi River flow during catastrophic floods and thus alleviate flood risk on nearby population centers. Given the historic flooding of 2011, the floodway was opened and provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the influence of floodplain inundation on fish species diversity, relative abundance, and growth. We sampled the floodplain and the adjacent river at three stratified random locations with replication biweekly from the commencement of inundation (late May) through early October. Overall, we found that species diversity, relative abundance, and growth were higher in the floodplain than the main river. Our data support previous examinations, including those outside North America, that suggest floodplain inundation may be important for riverine fishes. Given these apparent advantages of floodplain inundation, restoration efforts should balance benefits of floodplain inundation while safeguarding priority needs of humans.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A principal challenge to restoring tree-invaded grasslands is the removal of woody biomass. Burning of slash piles to reduce woody residues from forest restoration practices generates intense, prolonged heating, with adverse effects on soils and vegetation. In this study, we examined vegetation responses to pile burning following tree removal from conifer-invaded grasslands of the Oregon Cascades. We quantified the longevity and magnitude of fire effects by comparing ground conditions and the cover and richness of plant species in burn-scar centers (higher-intensity fire) and edges (lower-intensity fire) with adjacent unburned vegetation 7 years after treatment. We interpreted patterns of recovery through the responses of species with differing growth forms, habitat affinities, and clonality. Cover of bare ground remained elevated at the centers, but not at the edges of scars; however, much of this effect was due to gopher disturbance. Total plant cover, consisting entirely of native species, was comparable in and adjacent to scars. However, richness remained depressed at the scar centers. Cover of grass, meadow, and non-clonal species was comparable in and adjacent to scars, but cover of forb, sedge, residual forest, and clonal species was reduced at the centers. Although scar centers had a simpler community structure (fewer but more abundant species) than the adjacent vegetation, they remained free of exotics and recovered quickly, aided by the soil-disturbing activities of gophers and the regenerative traits of native, disturbance-adapted species. Pile burning can be a viable and efficient approach to fuel reduction in the absence of exotics.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical composition of rehabilitated Bauxite Residue Disposal Areas (BRDA) remains the primary indicator of rehabilitation success, with little consideration of microbial community development. We investigated links between the chemical and microbial components of rehabilitated residue at the Aughinish Alumina BRDA (Ireland). Rehabilitated was compared to unamended residue and to an analogy reference soil from unmanaged grassland within the refinery boundary. Bauxite residue comprised of areas with 1, 11, and 12 years following rehabilitation establishment, and gypsum applied at 45 and 90 t/ha. The unamended residue was typical of bauxite residues with high pH (10), sodicity (exchangeable sodium percentage [ESP]-79), exchangeable sodium (19 cmol/kg), salinity (electrical conductivity [EC] 2.6 mS/cm), and low/negligible nutrient content, microbial biomass (71 µg-C/g), and fungal phospholipid fatty acid (PLF). Microbial biomass increased 10-fold with only 1 year of rehabilitation. Gypsum application rate had no effect on microbial biomass. Phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) demonstrated the emergence of distinct microbial community dependent on rehabilitation time and gypsum application rates. Changes of PLFA profiles were correlated (multiple regressions analysis) to shifts in residue chemical properties (sodicity, organic C, total C, total N, salinity, Mg). An increase of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi fatty acid (16:1ω5) with reducing pH has implications on rehabilitation practices. The microbial characteristics of the rehabilitated residue were approaching that of a soil from an unmanaged reference site adjacent to the working site. Gypsum affected PLFA properties, and thereby application has implications for rehabilitation success. For successful ecosystem reconstruction, it is critical that rehabilitation practices consider microbial development.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental decision-making issues in the Atchafalaya River Basin (ARB), Louisiana require innovative approaches that combine scientific understanding and local stakeholder values. Management of the ARB has evolved from strong federal control to establish the ARB as a primary floodway of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project to a state and federal collaboration to accommodate fish and wildlife resource promotion, recreational opportunities, and economic development. The management policy has expanded to include a growing number of stakeholders, but the decision-making process has not kept pace. Current conflicts among many local stakeholder groups, due in part to their lack of involvement in the decision-making process, impede restoration efforts. The absence of a long-term collective vision for the ARB by both local stakeholder groups and management agencies further confounds these efforts. This paper proposes a process to apply a structured decision-making framework, a values-based approach that explicitly defines objectives, to promote stakeholder-driven restoration efforts in the ARB and to better prepare for and manage long-term environmental issues. The goals of this approach are: (1) to create a process founded on stakeholder values and supported by rigorous scientific assessment to meet management agency mandates and (2) to establish a transparent process for restoration planning in the ARB that incorporates current and future non-governmental stakeholders into the decision-making process. Similar frameworks have been successful in other river basins; we feel the structure of current restoration efforts in the ARB is well-suited to adopt a values-focused management framework.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The coast of the Yellow Sea in China, like many other temperate coastal zones, has been experiencing a dramatic decline in the abundance of seagrass. Intensive efforts have been made to restore seagrass communities along the coast to restore the function of the coastal ecosystem. Transplanting adult Zostera marina shoots is labor-intensive, time-consuming, expensive, and detrimental to donor beds; thus, restoring seagrass communities through the use of seeds is highly valued in current, large-scale restoration trials. In this study, an effective method for collecting, processing, and storing Z. marina seeds was developed. From 2009 to 2013, respectively, 122,000, 421,000, 364,000, 1,041,000, and 1,091,000 seeds were successfully collected. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed the interaction between salinity and temperature significantly affected the cumulative germination rate (CGR) (p < 0.01) during the storage period and the viability (p < 0.01) of seeds after storage. The germination rate after storage was significantly affected by salinity and temperature (p < 0.01). The highest viability (89.8 ± 1.0%) and germination rate (75.6 ± 4.5%) were found among seeds stored at 4°C and a salinity of 44.5 psu for 7 months. The cost for planting 1 ha of sea bottom with Z. marina seeds ranged from $2,613 to $80,900 depending on the seeding density and seed loss during storage. The average cost per Z. marina seed in this study was $0.00586.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: River restoration plans often propose multiple rehabilitation actions to address key habitat impairments, but they rarely attempt to quantify the potential benefits of alternative sets of actions for targeted biota. We use geomorphic and biological analyses to estimate restoration potential under three alternative scenarios for a 64-km section of the Trinity River, California, between the North Fork Trinity River and Lewiston Dam, which is the focus of habitat rehabilitation efforts under the Trinity River Restoration Program. The three scenarios are (1) increasing habitat quality by wood additions and alcove construction, (2) increasing habitat quantity by increasing sinuosity and side-channel length, and (3) increasing both habitat quality and quantity. For each scenario, we used existing stream habitat and juvenile salmonid data from previous studies to estimate potential improvements in fry or pre-smolt production. The potential increase in Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Chinook salmon) and O. mykiss (steelhead) fry rearing capacity was 62 and 67%, respectively, for Scenario 1 (increasing habitat quality), and 36 and 44% for Scenario 2 (increasing habitat quantity). Only the most optimistic Scenario 3 (increasing both habitat quality and quantity) more than doubles potential juvenile salmonid production (112% increase in Chinook fry capacity and 107% increase in steelhead fry capacity). These quantitative predictions are useful in developing realistic restoration targets and evaluating whether proposed restoration actions can achieve the aims of a restoration program.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding how insular ecosystems recover or are restructured after the eradication of an invasive species is crucial in evaluating conservation success and prioritizing island conservation efforts. Globally, herbivores have been removed from 762 islands, most with limited active restoration actions following eradication. Few studies have documented the effects of invasive herbivore removal after multiple decades of passive recovery. Here we evaluate recovery of vegetation on Santa Cruz Island, California, after the removal of feral sheep (Ovis aries) in 1984. We repeat a study conducted in 1980, and examine vegetation changes 28 years after the eradication. Before eradication, grazed areas were characterized by reduced plant cover, high exposure of bare ground, and erosion. After 28 years of passive recovery, transect data showed a 23% increase in woody overstory, whereas analysis of photographs from landscapes photographed pre- and post-eradication showed a 26% increase in woody vegetation. Whole island vegetation maps similarly showed a transition from grass/bare ground (74.3% of cover) to woody plants (77.2% of cover), indicating the transition away from predominantly exotic annual grassland toward a community similar to the overstory of coastal scrubland but with an understory dominated by non-native annual grasses. We estimate that replacement of grasses/bare ground by native woody vegetation has led to 70 and 17% increases in the stored carbon and nitrogen pools on the island, respectively. Our results demonstrate that these island ecosystems can experience significant recovery of native floral communities without intensive post-eradication restoration, and results of recovery may take decades to be realized.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Invasion by exotic annual species is increasingly impacting Southern California arid lands, altering ecosystem processes and plant community composition. With climate change, the Southwestern United States is expected to experience increasingly variable rainfall. Larger rainfall events could facilitate invasion by exotic species that can capitalize on high resource conditions. Exotic annual species also have dense shallow root systems that could create positive feedbacks to further invasion by increasing soil organic matter and water holding capacity. Alternatively, fine root inputs could create negative feedbacks to exotic plant growth if they stimulate microbial nutrient immobilization. The dual influences of rainfall regime and fine root inputs on species performance were evaluated in an experiment where native and exotic species were grown individually and in combination under varying watering regimes (large infrequent or small frequent pulses, holding total rainfall constant) and root additions (with or without sterilized exotic roots). Mean soil moisture increased with larger infrequent watering events, and also with root addition. Plant growth (both native and exotic) increased with larger watering events, but declined with root addition. Exotic species growth declined more than native species growth with root additions. Mechanistically, root addition lowered inorganic nitrogen (N) availability, and microbial N immobilization increased with soil moisture content. Together these results show that increased fine root production promotes negative feedbacks to growth of exotic species via microbial N immobilization, especially under conditions of high soil moisture. Further, our results suggest that organic carbon additions are a potentially effective strategy for suppressing growth of problematic desert invaders.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing number of stresses on coastal dune ecosystems requires the use of more effective restoration strategies to enhance dune-building and increase vegetation reestablishment. In this study, the use of a wheat straw as a surrogate wrack was an effective method to improve growth of spring planted Uniola paniculata (sea oats). Approximately 1,000 U. paniculata plugs were planted within 21 × 4 m plots at six replicate sites. Two weeks later, plantings were divided into 11 × 4 m subplots with half of the subplots receiving five bales of wheat straw and the remaining subplots receiving no wheat straw. This surrogate wrack layer measured approximately 10 cm in depth. Mean aboveground biomass of U. paniculata 6 months after planting with surrogate wrack was 9.25 ± 1.00 g compared with 2.18 ± 0.24 g without surrogate wrack. Number of tillers, tiller height, and basal width were also greater at the end of the first growing season for plants treated with surrogate wrack (p < 0.05). Two years after planting, significantly more inflorescences occurred and aboveground biomass (g/m2) was greater with than without surrogate wrack. Sand accumulation was notably greater with surrogate wrack (11.16 cm) than without wrack (7.78 cm) 8 months after planting (p = 0.1093). However, relative sand accumulation was significantly greater with than without surrogate wrack 2 years after planting. Increased sand accumulation suggests surrogate wrack either directly or indirectly traps more sand by creating an additional obstacle or promoting the growth of dune grasses.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;
  • Restoration Ecology 07/2014; 22(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Peatlands in northern Alberta, Canada, are being rapidly impacted by oil sands activities, with potentially long-term consequences for their recovery. In situ oil sands extraction requires exploration of oil resources on a dense network of drilling pads across the landscape. This study examined the recovery of wooded moderate-rich (WMR) fens 10 years after abandonment of these sites with minimal restorative measures. Bryophyte and vascular plant diversity, site microtopography, and water chemistry were assessed on drilling pads and in adjacent areas of undisturbed reference habitat. WMR fens affected by drilling activities were divided a priori into two groups based on strongly divergent trends in their successional development. One group represented the majority of WMR fens observed on the land base; at these sites hummock-forming mosses including minerotrophic Sphagnum species were infrequent and tree recruitment was almost absent. The other group was dominated by Sphagnum species, had Picea mariana and Larix laricina recruitment, and appeared to recover more quickly. Both groups had high abundance of wetland sedges, notably Carex aquatilis. Further, drilling pads belonging to the first group had a high water table, limited elevated microsites, and had surface flooding over a portion of the growing season, in contrast to Sphagnum-dominated sites. Development of the aquatic, bryophyte-poor wetland type is comparable to early stages of wetland succession and these systems will recover relatively slowly, likely from decades to more than a century. Restoring part of the vertical distribution of microhabitats before abandonment of these pads could stimulate the successional recovery of vegetation.
    Restoration Ecology 07/2014;

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