Basic Principles of Ecological Restoration
Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed.
Ecological restoration focuses on the recovery of an ecosystem's...
Health: Functional processes such as water filtration, sequestration of carbon dioxide, etc.,
Integrity: Species composition and community structure,
Sustainability:Resistance and resilience to disturbance.
Key Ecological Concepts for Restoration
Disturbance is a change of environmental conditions. Although disturbance is a natural and even essential factor in many ecosystems, the increasingly severe disturbance of ecosystems by humans has, at times, degraded, damaged, and even, destroyed ecosystems.
Succession is the process of change in an ecological community over time. After a disturbance, an ecological community generally changes from a simple level of organization to a more complex level. Many ecological communities recover from mild disturbances on their own but with severe, or sustained disturbance, restoration may be needed to assist with restoring ecological successional processes.
Fragmentation occurs when ecosystems are divided into small, unconnected fragments and can only support small populations. These small populations are much more vulnerable to extinction. Sometimes, restoration projects can overcome this by simply adding area or developing habitat corridors that link isolated fragments. Increasing habitat connectivity is an important goal in ecological restoration.
Ecosystem functions are the basic processes of natural systems such as nutrient cycles and energy fluxes. Two of the critical ecosystem functions of our wetland systems include recharging groundwater and reducing the overall impact of storms.