3 years ago

Inclusion of Biodiversity in Habitat Restoration Policy to Facilitate Ecosystem Recovery

A. Randall Hughes, Heather M. Leslie, Susan L. Williams, Steven Scyphers, Jonathan H. Grabowski
Maintaining biodiversity is a central tenet of conservation, in part because biodiversity influences ecosystem functions across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems. Biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships have clear relevance for the design of habitat restoration efforts, yet the degree to which biodiversity has been incorporated into restoration practice is unclear. We conducted a review of the published literature on habitat restoration to evaluate this potential science-practice gap. The number of published restoration studies including the term biodiversity has increased slightly from 1990 to 2015 relative to the broader restoration literature. A greater percentage of empirical restorations, and a higher percentage of those with a biodiversity component, were from terrestrial than freshwater or marine ecosystems. The majority of studies considered biodiversity as a response to restoration rather than incorporating it in the restoration design. In fact, nearly half of the studies in our database that actively transplanted species manipulated only a single target species. Little consideration was given to genetic or trophic diversity despite their documented importance for ecosystem function. Given the limited resources available for and high economic costs associated with habitat restoration projects, we recommend policies that account for biodiversity to bridge this gap and maximize ecosystem function and restoration success. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/conl.12419

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