Resource Database

©Danilo Lima, Agripalm Ambiental

The RRC database contains a wide variety of resources and publications related to ecological restoration, and we are actively working to expand this collection. It is our aim to serve as the principal clearinghouse for information and tools to support the work of researchers, practitioners, land managers, educators, students, and anyone else interested in restoration. Use the filter tool below to search the database by title, author, resource type, keyword, or any combination of these factors.

Although SER does review all entries in the database for relevance and quality, these resources have not been rigorously reviewed or extensively vetted in every case, and SER therefore makes no claim as to their accuracy or accordance with generally accepted principles in the field. The database is provided as a resource for visitors to the SER website, and it is ultimately left to the individual user to make their own determinations about the quality and veracity of a given publication or resource.

If there is a resource we missed, please let us know! We are interested in current books, articles, technical documents, videos, and other resources that are directly relevant to ecological restoration science, practice or policy, as well as resources treating the social, cultural and economic dimensions of restoration.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity

In celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2018, Wiley has put together a special collection of over 100 research articles from 12 journals highlighting important contributions to advancing the understanding, protection, and preservation of biodiversity. Articles come from numerous fields in the natural and social sciences. They are free to share, read and download for a limited time.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: various

US Army Corps of Engineers Ecosystem Restoration Gateway

Ecosystem Restoration is one of the primary missions of the Civil Works program. The purpose of Civil Works ecosystem restoration activities is to restore significant ecosystem function, structure, and dynamic processes that have been degraded. Ecosystem restoration efforts involve a comprehensive examination of the problems contributing to the system degradation, and the development of alternative means for their solution. The intent of restoration is to partially or fully reestablish the attributes of a naturalistic, functioning, and self-regulating system.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: N/A

US Army Corps of Engineers Management Measures Digital Library

The purpose of this site is to identify and describe examples of selected ecosystem engineering features or management measures and their components. This site is not intended to be a design manual, but rather to provide sufficient information to stimulate plan formulation and assist planners in identifying what’s out there and to “visualize” how a management measure or engineering feature may be applicable to their project.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: N/A

Ecological Management & Restoration (EMR) Project Summaries

The Australasian journal Ecological Management & Restoration (EMR) is open to submission of short summaries (or groups of linked summaries) of 300-700 words on any interesting ecosystem rehabilitation or restoration project in Australia that is already showing good or promising results. These project summaries are published on an open-access website managed by the journal’s editorial team. They are not a peer-reviewed manuscript type in EMR, but are checked for clarity and content by the project summaries editor.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: N/A

Restoration Evidence

Restoration Evidence is a free resource that aims to make ecological restoration more effective by providing evidence on which restoration actions work, and which don’t. The searchable website contains summaries of scientific research on the effects of actions to restore habitats, in order to support decision making.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: launched in 2018

Biotic interactions in the tropics – challenges for restoration and conservation in the Anthropocene

When ecosystems are lost or transformed, not only is biodiversity simplified or displaced, but key interactions that modulate ecosystem structure and function are also affected.  Therefore, restoration and conservation must have a complete view of the ecosystems to ensure their recovery.

This webinar explores how biotic interactions influence the restoration of natural tropical ecosystems. We examine how feeding interactions, such as predation and frugivory, affect the carbon cycle in the soil-atmosphere and in the trees. In addition, we will discuss changes in animal composition that may induce changes in the spatial organization of tree cohorts and its implication for restoration as a strategy for reviving and sustaining forests.

Finally, we will explore how changes in animal composition (pollinators and disperser) can be partially reversible if we develop functional ecosystem restoration strategies.

Resource Type: Webinar
Publication Date: 2018

Monitoring the social benefits of ecological restoration

Ecological restoration has traditionally been evaluated by monitoring the recovery of ecological conditions, such as species abundance and diversity, physical form, and water quality; monitoring the social benefits of restoration is uncommon. Current monitoring frameworks do not track who benefits from restoration or by how much. We investigate how ecological restoration could be monitored to provide indications of improvement in terms of social conditions. We provide suggestions for measuring several categories of social indicators, including access, beneficiaries, and quality of benefit, using information compiled from natural and social science literature. We demonstrate how to evaluate ecological and social indicators over time at a site or landscape scale using multi‐criteria analysis. We use flood protection and recreation as example benefits to monitor.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Tropical Native Species Reforestation Information Clearinghouse (TRIC)

The Tropical Native Species Reforestation Information Clearinghouse (TRIC) is a resource hosted by the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) and aims to support capacity-building in the field of tropical forest restoration and reforestation. TRIC users can search by resource type, topic, country, region and ecosystem to find valuable reforestation resources. Users can also submit suggested resources for addition to the database.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2018

Reef Resilience Network

The Reef Resilience Network connects marine resource managers with information, experts, resources, and skill-building opportunities to accelerate and leverage solutions for improved conservation and restoration of coral reefs and reef fisheries around the world. The Network is a partnership led by The Nature Conservancy that is comprised of more than 1,350 members, and supported by dozens of partners and TNC staff, as well as over 100 global experts in coral reefs, fisheries, climate change, communication, and more who serve as trainers, advisors, and content reviewers. The Network strengthens members’ ability to effectively manage coral reefs threatened by warming seas, bleaching, coastal development, pollution, overfishing, and changes in ocean chemistry. To achieve this, they synthesize and share the latest science and management strategies to keep busy managers inspired and in-the-know. The website is updated by global experts and features the latest information on key topics, easily searchable summaries of journal articles featuring resilience science, and case studies highlighting successful management strategies and new application of science. They also connect managers and experts to share resources and lessons learned that inform and improve management decisions and inspire greater collaborations.

Resource Type: Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2018

Introducing chicken farming into traditional ruminant-grazing dominated production systems for promoting ecological restoration of degraded rangeland in northern China

Free-range chicken farming (CF) has been demonstrated to be effective in controlling locust plagues and restoring degraded vegetation in rangelands. However, the effects of CF on vegetation growth and soil conditions of rangeland ecosystems are not yet well known. We studied the effects of CF (treated by three stocking rates from low-intensity to high-intensity), livestock grazing (LG) and zero grazing (ZG) on
vegetation characteristics and soil nutrient conditions in a degraded rangeland of northern China. CF significantly improved vegetation growth and soil quality compared with LG. The moderate CF2 with 333 birds per hectare enhanced the aboveground net primary production to 204·0 g m2 yr1 and vegetation cover to 88·8%, which is significantly higher than LG by 80·7% and 62·9%, respectively. Moreover, CF2 neutralized the pH value and raised soil organic matter, total N content, available N content and available P content to approximately 7·59 g kg1, 0·34 g kg1, 83·52 mg kg1 and 3·4 mg kg1, respectively. Compared with ZG, the positive impacts of CF on rangelands depended on the stocking rate, and better performance was achieved when lower stocking rates were used. We also analysed the economic benefits of CF through
a cost–benefit analysis. A local family could obtain a net present value of at least $252·19 per hectare by engaging in CF, which was two-fold higher than LG. Finally, we proposed a novel land-use model that introduces CF into traditional LG dominated system and can be widely applied to promote socio-ecological sustainable development in degraded rangelands.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Reproductive phenology and seed germination in eight tree species from a seasonally dry tropical forest of Morelos, Mexico, implications for community-oriented restoration and conservation

With the aim of providing information for ecological restoration programs, we studied reproductive phenology and seed germination of eight species from the tropical dry forest of Morelos, Mexico. With the participation of students from the local junior high school, we monitored monthly, over one year, the production of flowers, immature and mature fruits for each species. We estimated intensity, duration, seasonality, and synchrony for each fruiting phenophase, and flowering duration. Germination tests were undertaken in a germination chamber (1832 °C), and under the environmental conditions at the local school. We applied specific pre-germination treatments for each species. Two distinct peaks of mature fruit production were identified: one at the beginning and the other one in the middle of the dry season. Fructification seasonality was significant in most cases. Germination was relatively high in three legumes and particularly low in two Bursera species. Four species responded to the germination environments, and differences among pre-germination treatments were significant in most cases. Knowledge on fruiting patterns and seed viability and germination will allow adequate decision-making for seed collection and plant propagation of the study species. Student participation increased their interest and knowledge on local environmental problems and solutions.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Oportunidades y desafíos para la gobernanza de la restauración del paisaje forestal en América Latina

El presente informe contiene los resultados de una investigación, predominantemente cualitativa, que analiza los marcos legales que regulan la protección de los bosques y las actividades forestales restaurativas en 17 países de América Latina. Empleamos para ello dos herramientas de análisis: (1) un análisis sistemático del contenido y la estructura de los marcos legales a partir de una serie de indicadores predefinidos y (2) un análisis sobre las percepciones de actores públicos y privados acerca del contenido, estructura e implementación de los marcos legales. Finalmente, sintetizamos los resultados en relación a las oportunidades y desafíos de los marcos legales existentes en la región con el fin de proponer recomendaciones para mejorar este aspecto de la gobernanza de la Restauración del Paisaje Forestal en Latinoamérica.

This report, published in Spanish, contains the results of a qualitative study analyzing the legal frameworks that regulate activities related to the protection and restoration of forests in 17 Latin American countries. The study used two analytical methods: (1) a systematic analysis of the content and structure of relevant legal frameworks based on a series of predetermined indicators, and (2) an analysis of the perceptions of stakeholders in the public and private sectors with respect to the content, structure and implementation of these legal frameworks. Lastly, the report synthesizes findings regarding the opportunities and challenges presented by existing legal frameworks in the region and presents recommendations for improving Forest and Landscape Restoration governance in Latin America.

Resource Type: White Paper
Publication Date: 2018

Principles and practices for the restoration of ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests of the Colorado Front Range

Wildfires have become larger and more severe over the past several decades on Colorado’s Front Range, catalyzing greater investments in forest management intended to mitigate wildfire risks. The complex ecological, social, and political context of the Front Range, however, makes forest management challenging, especially where multiple management goals including forest restoration exist. In this report, the authors present a science-based framework for managers to develop place-based approaches to forest restoration of Front Range ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests. The authors first present ecological information describing how Front Range forest structure and composition are shaped at multiple scales by interactions among topography, natural disturbances such as fire, and forest developmental processes.  Implementation of these guidelines is expected to enhance forest resilience to disturbance and climate change, as well as sustain important ecosystem services. Finally, this report emphasizes the importance of adaptive management and learning through monitoring and experimentation to address uncertainties inherent in the restoration process.

Resource Type: Technical Document
Publication Date: 2018

The global status and trends of Payments for Ecosystem Services

Recent decades have witnessed a considerable increase in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)—programmes that exchange value for land management practices intended to provide or ensure ecosystem services—with over 550 active programmes around the globe and an estimated US$36–42 billion in annual transactions. PES represent a recent policy instrument with often very different programmes operating at local, regional and national levels. Despite the growth of these programmes, comprehensive and reliable data have proven difficult to find. This Analysis provides an assessment of the trends and current status of PES mechanisms—user-financed, government-financed and compliance—across the domains of water, biodiversity, and forest and land-use carbon around the world. We report the various dimensions of growth over the past decade (number of programmes, geographical spread, dollar value) to understand better the range of PES mechanisms over time and to examine which factors have contributed to or hindered growth. Four key features stand out for scaling up PES: motivated buyers, motivated sellers, metrics and low-transaction-cost institutions.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Decision support tools for forest landscape restoration: Current status and future outlook

Decision-making bodies at all scales face an urgent need to conserve remaining forests, and reestablish forest cover in deforested and degraded forest landscapes. Degradation is often viewed as ‘the problem’, and restoration as ‘the solution’. But, rather than being a goal, restoration is the means to achieve many goals. Despite the many advances in the development and application of decision support tools in FLR, this review reveals a gap in tools for the implementation of landscape-scale restoration initiatives and for guiding monitoring and adaptive management. The review also reveals that available tools primarily focus on assessing restoration opportunities at a broader scale, rather than within landscapes where implementation occurs. Evidence from research on community-based conservation and forest management suggests that tools for the empowerment, land rights and capacity building of local residents can help nurture strong coalitions of landscape restoration practitioners that apply adaptive management of restoration interventions, and evaluate potential restoration scenarios in their own landscapes.

Resource Type: White Paper
Publication Date: 2018

Harnessing ecological processes to facilitate coral restoration

Incorporating ecological processes into restoration planning is increasingly recognized as a fundamental component of successful restoration strategies. We outline a scientific framework to advance the emerging field of coral restoration. We advocate for harnessing ecological processes that drive community dynamics on coral reefs in a way that facilitates the establishment and growth of restored corals.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

CERP Application Webinar

CERP Program Coordinator Jen Lyndall will walk you through the application process. Certification Committee Member, Anne Halford, CERP, will provide a reviewer’s opinion on what works what well on an application. Continuing Education Committee Member, John Wigginton, CERP, will briefly discuss continuing education requirements.

Resource Type: Webinar
Publication Date: 2018

Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation and Ecological Restoration

Across the globe, hundreds of millions of acres of former military zones and bases are being converted to restoration areas, refuges, and conservation lands. David G. Havlick has traveled the world visiting these spaces of military-to-wildlife transition, and in Bombs Away he explores both the challenges—physical, historical, and cultural—and fascinating ecological possibilities of military site conversions.

Resource Type: Book
Publication Date: 2018

Participatory monitoring to connect local and global priorities for forest restoration

New, global initiatives to restore forest landscapes present an unparalleled opportunity to reverse deforestation and forest degradation. Participatory monitoring could play a crucial role in providing accountability, generating local buy in, and catalyzing learning in monitoring systems that need scalability and adaptability to a range of local sites. We synthesized current knowledge from literature searches and interviews to provide lessons for the development of a scalable, multisite participatory monitoring system. Studies show that local people can collect accurate data on forest change, drivers of change, threats to reforestation, and biophysical and socioeconomic impacts that remote sensing cannot. They can do this at one-third the cost of professionals. Successful participatory monitoring systems collect information on a few simple indicators, respond to local priorities, provide appropriate incentives for participation, catalyze learning and decision making based on frequent analyses and multilevel interactions with other stakeholders. Participatory monitoring could provide a framework for linking global, national, and local needs, aspirations, and capacities for forest restoration.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Through Prisons

The purpose of the “Sagebrush in Prisons Project,” is to improve habitat for the greater sage-grouse by engaging state prison systems in production of sagebrush and other important plants for habitat restoration on BLM lands. The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has partnered with the BLM to grow sagebrush with ten prisons in six states. Inmates are involved in sowing plants, growing them over the summer and planting-out on BLM land in the fall. The program is a win-win-win for inmates, community and the environment. Inmates learn horticulture skills, gain confidence from sowing seeds to daily care for the plants to planting-out on greater sage-grouse habitat.

Stacy Moore is the Ecological Education Program Director with Institute for Applied Ecology, a non-profit located in Corvallis, Oregon.

Resource Type: Webinar
Publication Date: 2018

The business of planting trees: A growing investment opportunity

In recent years, hundreds of companies have entered the restoration industry. They represent a wide range of business models that deliver financial returns for investors while restoring forests and agricultural lands. This report profiles 14 businesses that are part of an emerging restoration economy. It highlights four promising investment themes in land restoration: technology, consumer products, project management, and commercial forestry.

Resource Type: Technical Document
Publication Date: 2018

Large- scale restoration increases carbon stability under projected climate and wildfire regimes

Changing climate and increasing area burned pose a challenge to forest carbon (C) storage, which is
compounded by an elevated risk of high- severity wildfire due to long- term fire suppression in the western US. Restoration treatments that reduce tree density and reintroduce surface fire are effective at moderating fire effects and may help build adaptive capacity to changing environmental conditions. Using model simulations, the authors quantified how large-scale restoration treatments in frequent- fire forest types would influence C outcomes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range under projected climate–wildfire interactions. Their results indicate that large- scale restoration treatments are an effective means of reducing fire hazard and increasing C storage and stability under future climate and wildfire conditions. The effects of implementation timing suggest that accelerated implementation of large- scale restoration treatments may confer greater C- storage benefits, supporting California’s efforts to combat climate change.
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Tree plantations displacing native forests: The nature and drivers of apparent forest recovery on former croplands in Southwestern China from 2000 to 2015

China is credited with undertaking some of the world’s most ambitious policies to protect and restore forests, which could serve as a role model for other countries. However, the actual environmental consequences of these policies are poorly known. Here, the authors combine remote-sensing analysis with household interviews to assess the nature and drivers of land-cover change in southwestern China between 2000–2015, after China’s major forest protection and reforestation policies came into effect. The authors found that while the region’s gross tree cover grew by 32%, this increase was entirely due to the conversion of croplands to tree plantations, particularly monocultures. Native forests, in turn, suffered a net loss of 6.6%. The pursuit of profit from agricultural or forestry production along with governmental encouragement and mobilization for certain land uses – including tree planting – were the dominant drivers of the observed land-cover change. The authors also found that households’ lack of labor or financial resources, rather than any policy safeguards, was the primary constraint on further conversion of native forests. The authors conclude that to achieve genuine forest recovery along with the resulting environmental benefits, China’s policies must more strongly protect existing native forests and facilitate native forest restoration.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Temperature accelerates the rate fields become forests

Secondary succession, the postdisturbance transition of herbaceous to woody-dominated ecosystems, occurs faster at lower latitudes with important ramifications for ecosystem processes. This pattern could be driven by the direct effect of temperature on tree growth; however, an alternative mechanism is tree–herb competition, which may be more intense in more fertile northern soils. We manipulated soil fertility and herbaceous species composition in identical experiments at six sites spanning the Eastern United States (30–43° N) and monitored the growth and survival of four early successional trees. Tree seedling mass 2 years after sowing was strongly associated with site differences in mean growing season temperature, regardless of species or soil treatment. The effect of temperature was twofold: seedlings grew faster in response to warmer site temperatures, but also due to the reduction of competitive interference from the herbaceous community, which was inhibited in warmer sites. Our results suggest that increasing temperatures will promote a faster transition of fields to forests in temperate ecosystems.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Contrasting ecological roles of non-native ungulates in a novel ecosystem

Conservation has long focused on preserving or restoring pristine ecosystems. However, understanding and managing novel ecosystems has grown in importance as they outnumber pristine ecosystems worldwide. While non-native species may be neutral or detrimental in pristine ecosystems, it is possible that even notorious invaders could play beneficial or mixed roles in novel ecosystems. We examined the effects of two long-established non-native species—Philippine deer (Rusa marianna) and feral pigs (Sus scrofa)—in Guam, Micronesia, where native vertebrate frugivores are functionally absent leaving forests devoid of seed dispersers. We compared the roles of deer and pigs on seedling survival, seed dispersal and plant community structure in limestone karst forests. Deer, even at low abundances, had pronounced negative impacts on forest communities by decreasing seedling and vine abundance. By contrast, pigs showed no such relationship. Also, many viable seeds were found in pig scats, whereas few were found in deer scats, suggesting that pigs, but not deer, provide an ecosystem function—seed dispersal—that has been lost from Guam. Our study presents a discrepancy between the roles of two non-native species that are traditionally managed as a single entity, suggesting that ecological function, rather than identity as a non-native, may be more important to consider in managing novel systems.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Where and why does restoration happen? Ecological and sociopolitical influences on stream restoration in coastal California

The distribution of conservation effort on the landscape is affected by both ecological and social priorities and constraints. Together these influences can result in bias towards certain types of ecological or human communities. The authors evaluate the distribution of restoration projects on the California Central Coast, USA, to evaluate sociopolitical and biophysical influences on the type and distribution of one type of conservation effort. They compiled data on 699 sites with publicly funded stream restoration and management projects completed in the past 30 years and the biophysical and sociopolitical characteristics of the 310 sub-catchments in the study area. Their database contains three categories of stream projects: ecological restoration to benefit natural ecosystems, human-oriented projects to enhance ecosystem services, and data collection projects for planning and monitoring. Both ecological and human-oriented restoration efforts were clustered near the coastline. Stream activities of all kinds were highest in sub-catchments with water quality impairment, high population density, high pro-environmental voting, and a highly educated, wealthy, non-Hispanic white population. Ecological restoration and data collection were also greater in catchments with higher native fish richness. Our findings indicate that restoration activity is aligned with, and perhaps responding to, ecological need, and that restoration efforts are concentrated near human population centers and restoration organizations. Disparities in conservation effort by income, race, and education are concerning and should be evaluated in more depth and in other regions.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Fire management in the Brazilian savanna: First steps and the way forward

Several decades of frustrated attempts to prevent fires in the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado) have led to deleterious ecological and management consequences. In 2014, the first Integrated Fire Management (IFM) programme was launched in three protected areas (PAs). The IFM programme considers local practices, ecological information, management options and aims to create landscape mosaics of different fire histories to conserve biodiversity, reduce the prevalence of late‐dry season (LDS) wildfires, protect fire‐sensitive vegetation and reduce conflicts between PA managers and local communities. The first 3 years of imposed fire management regimes led to 40%–57% reduction in LDS fires, improved dialogue between researchers, managers and local communities, generating fire management learning communities. This Integrated Fire Management programme represents a major advance in Cerrado management and conservation, by actively managing fires and decreasing the proportion of areas burnt by late‐dry season wildfires. It can contribute to PAs’ management in the Cerrado and other South American fire‐prone ecosystems. Long‐term monitoring and research are essential to understand the ecological implications and to improve fire management practices.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

Effects of national ecological restoration projects on carbon sequestration in China from 2001 to 2010

China has launched six key ecological restoration projects since the late 1970s, but the contribution of these projects to terrestrial C sequestration remains unknown. In this study the authors examined the ecosystem C sink in the project area (∼16% of the country’s land area) and evaluated the project-induced C sequestration. The total annual C sink in the project area between 2001 and 2010 was estimated to be 132 Tg C per y, over half of which (74 Tg C per y, 56%) was caused by the implementation of the six projects. This finding indicates that the implementation of the ecological restoration projects in China has significantly increased ecosystem C sequestration across the country.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

The ecology and economics of restoration: when, what, where, and how to restore ecosystems

Restoration ecology has provided a suite of tools for accelerating the recovery of ecosystems damaged by drivers of global change. The authors review both the ecological and economic concepts developed in restoration ecology, and offer guidance on when, what, where, and how to restore ecosystems. For when to restore, they highlight the value of pursuing restoration early to prevent ecosystems from crossing tipping points and evaluating whether unassisted natural recovery is more cost-effective than active restoration. For what to restore, they encourage developing a restoration plan with stakeholders that will restore structural, compositional, and functional endpoints, and whose goal is a more resistant and resilient ecosystem. For where to restore, they emphasize developing restoration approaches that can address the impediment of rural poverty in the developing world and identifying and then balancing the ecosystems and regions in most need of restoration and those that are best positioned for restoration success.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2018

The Role of Networks Connecting Native Seed Stakeholders

Connecting stakeholders and facilitating the transfer of knowledge is crucial to improve success in ecological restoration. Like the nodes of the ecological networks we aim to restore, those who work with native seeds are connected and dependent on each other for information and resources to address the challenges of seed conservation, research, production and use. Presented by INSR’s Marcello de Vitis.

Resource Type: Webinar
Publication Date: 2018