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
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Restoration Ecology website
  • Other titles
    Restoration ecology (Online), Restoration ecology
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • 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
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    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
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    • Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months
    • no listing of affected journals available as yet
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    • 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 ")
    • 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

  • Restoration Ecology 09/2014; 22(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Mangrove forests are active carbon sinks and important for nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems. Restoration of degraded mangrove habitats enhances return of ecosystem goods and services, including carbon sequestration. Our objective was to assess the restoration of primary productivity of reforested mangrove stands in comparison with natural reference stands in Gazi Bay, Kenya. Litter fall data were collected in nine Rhizophora mucronata and Sonneratia alba monospecific stands by use of litter traps over 2 years. Litter was emptied monthly, dried, sorted, and weighed. The reforested and natural stands showed seasonality patterns only in the production of reproductive material. Leaves constituted the highest percentage to total litter fall. Litter productivity rates for the R. mucronata stands were not significantly different and ranged from 6.61–10.15 to 8.36–11.02 t ha−1 yr−1 for the restored and natural stands, respectively. The productivity of 5 years R. mucronata stands reached 5.22 t ha−1 yr−1 and was significantly different from other stands. Litter productivity rates for S. alba stands was 7.77–7.85 for the restored stands and 10.15 t ha−1 yr−1 for the natural stand but differences were not significant. Our results indicate that plantations of at least 11 years have attained litter productivity rates comparable to the natural forests. This suggests that productivity of replanted mangroves is likely to reach complete recovery by this age under the prevailing environmental conditions.
    Restoration Ecology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To combat decades of anthropogenic degradation, restoration programs seek to improve ecological conditions through habitat enhancement. Rapid assessments of condition are needed to support adaptive management programs and improve the understanding of restoration effects at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Previous attempts to evaluate restoration practices on large river systems have been hampered by assessment tools that are irreproducible or metrics without clear connections to population responses. We modified a demonstration flow assessment approach to assess the realized changes in habitat quantity and quality attributable to restoration effects. We evaluated the technique's ability to predict anadromous salmonid habitat and survey reproducibility on the Trinity River in northern California. Fish preference clearly aligned with a priori designations of habitat quality: the odds of observing rearing Chinook or coho salmon within high-quality habitats ranged between 10 and 16 times greater than low qualities, and in all cases the highest counts were associated with highest quality habitat. In addition, the technique proved to be reproducible with “substantial” to “almost perfect” agreement of results from independent crews, a considerable improvement over a previous demonstration flow assessment. These results support the use of the technique for assessing changes in habitat from restoration efforts and for informing adaptive management decisions.
    Restoration Ecology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined patterns of mortality and determinants of survival among elk recently restored to four sites in Ontario, Canada (1998–2005). We predicted that: (1) elk located in release sites closer to the core of their historic range would have higher survival; (2) survival would increase as an animal's time and experience on the landscape increased; and (3) survival rates would decline as animals moved farther away from the release site. During the study, 443 elk were radiocollared and released; 218 mortalities were documented. Predation by wolves was the most important proximate cause of mortality, followed by death due to injuries from translocation and/or capture myopathy, accidents, emaciation, poaching, and Parelaphostrongylus tenuis infection. Overall, annual survival of elk across Ontario ranged from 0.45 (0.37–0.53) to 0.81 (0.66–0.90), with rates being lowest in the years immediately following release and highest in the final years of the study; this pattern was due to high initial mortality from translocation injuries and/or capture myopathy and possibly lack of familiarity with novel habitat. Model-averaged hazards further support this finding, as the most important factor influencing elk survival was the length of holding period, with elk released after limited holding being less likely to survive than those held for longer periods. Our results suggest that mortalities caused by capture myopathy and transportation-related injuries are important sources of risk for translocated elk. The method of introduction to the novel landscape and behavior in the first year should be accommodated via soft-release and appropriate release areas.
    Restoration Ecology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aquatic turtles worldwide are plagued with habitat loss due to development and shoreline alteration that destroys the terrestrial–aquatic linkage which they must cross to reproduce successfully. Furthermore, nesting habitat loss can concentrate nesting, increasing nest predator efficiency. We describe how the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island created nesting habitat for Malaclemys terrapin (Diamondback Terrapin), and document nesting success in response to construction progress and the absence of raccoons and foxes, the primary nest predators. We monitored terrapin nests throughout the nesting seasons from 2002 to 2011 to determine overall and within-nest survivorship. Female terrapins began nesting on the restoration project within 1 year but planned construction during the study eliminated some nesting areas and opened previously inaccessible areas. Overall, nest survivorship was considerably higher than mainland nesting areas due to the absence of raccoons and foxes on the island and within-nest survivorship was similar. Egg size, hatchling size, and the frequency of shell scute anomalies were similar to other terrapin populations, suggesting normal developmental conditions on the island. We documented annual variation in hatchling size that correlated negatively with mean air temperature during the incubation season. Our results indicate that restored or created isolated island habitat can be located rapidly by terrapins and can become an important source of recruitment in regions where nesting habitat is limited and predation is high. Poplar Island illustrates how habitat loss and restoration can affect turtle populations by revealing the changes in nesting patterns and success in newly created, predator-free habitat.
    Restoration Ecology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Classifications are typically specific to particular issues or areas, leading to patchworks of subjectively defined spatial units. Stream conservation is hindered by the lack of a universal habitat classification system and would benefit from an independent hydrology-guided spatial framework of units encompassing all aquatic habitats at multiple spatial scales within large regions. We present a system that explicitly separates the spatial framework from any particular classification developed from the framework. The framework was constructed from landscape variables that are hydrologically and biologically relevant, covered all space within the study area, and was nested hierarchically and spatially related at scales ranging from the stream reach to the entire region; classifications may be developed from any subset of the 9 basins, 107 watersheds, 459 subwatersheds, or 10,000s of valley segments or stream reaches. To illustrate the advantages of this approach, we developed a fish-guided classification generated from a framework for the Great Lakes region that produced a mosaic of habitat units which, when aggregated, formed larger patches of more general conditions at progressively broader spatial scales. We identified greater than 1,200 distinct fish habitat types at the valley segment scale, most of which were rare. Comparisons of biodiversity and species assemblages are easily examined at any scale. This system can identify and quantify habitat types, evaluate habitat quality for conservation and/or restoration, and assist managers and policymakers with prioritization of protection and restoration efforts. Similar spatial frameworks and habitat classifications can be developed for any organism in any riverine ecosystem.
    Restoration Ecology 08/2014;
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    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;
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    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).
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    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: 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 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;
  • Restoration Ecology 07/2014; 22(4).
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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;

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