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.

Publication Year:
Resource Type

‘‘How Local Is Local?’’—A Review of Practical and Conceptual Issues in the Genetics of Restoration

Here we focus on genetic concerns arising from ongoing restoration efforts, where often little is known about ‘‘How local is local?’’ (i.e., the geographic or environmental scale over which plant species are adapted). We review the major issues regarding gene flow and local adaptation in the restoration of natural plant populations. Finally, we offer some practical, commonsense guidelines for the consideration of genetic structure when restoring natural plant populations.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2005

4 returns,3 zones, 20 years: A holistic framework for ecological restoration by people and business for next generations

With the ‘4 returns, 3 zones, 20 years’ approach presented in this paper, a collaborative effort is created to envision a comprehensive and integrated way in which humanity can bring to bear its best awareness, management, capital and technical capacity to ensure human survival and sustainability by restoring fundamental ecological functionality to degraded landscapes on a planetary scale. This effort is urgently needed to stimulate and catalyse the monumental efforts that are required to show that humanity can act as a species on a planetary scale.

Resource Type: White Paper, Publication Date: 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Desert Restoration

Desert restoration, like restoration in other areas, has suffered from a lack of communication among active and past restorationists. The Desert Restoration Task Force is working to improve communication by making this guide available in both print and electronic form. We expect this to be a working document that will be updated as information is shared and new lessons are learned. Our understanding of how desert ecosystems function and how to restore them is growing, but limited; but there are still many successes to report. By communicating both successes and failures, we can build on the knowledge base rather than repeating the same mistakes.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 1995

A Beginner’s Guide to Wetland Restoration

Wetlands were once considered useless wastelands or potential pasture. Today, we recognise that they are important and hugely diverse ecosystems – and that conserving and restoring them benefits not only wetland species, but also many other aspects of our environment and way of life.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2009

A Checklist for Ecological Management of Landscapes for Conservation

We assess six major themes in the ecology and conservation of landscapes. We identify 13 important issues that need to be considered in developing approaches to landscape conservation. They include recognizing the importance of landscape mosaics (including the integration of terrestrial and aquatic areas), recognizing interactions between vegetation cover and vegetation configuration, using an appropriate landscape conceptual model, maintaining the capacity to recover from disturbance and managing landscapes in an adaptive framework. These considerations are influenced by landscape context, species assemblages and management goals and do not translate directly into on-the-ground management guidelines but they should be recognized by researchers and resource managers when developing guidelines for specific cases. Two crucial overarching issues are: (i) a clearly articulated vision for landscape conservation and (ii) quantifiable objectives that offer unambiguous signposts for measuring progress.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2008

A Checklist for Wildlands Network Designs

The checklist consists of eight general standards, each of which includes several specific criteria that relate to the qualifications of staff, choice of biodiversity surrogates and goals, methodological comprehensiveness and rigor, replicability, analytic rigor, peer review, and overall quality of scholarship. Application of the checklist is meant to be flexible and to encourage creativity and innovation. Nevertheless, every plan must be scientifically defensible and must make the best use of available data, staff, and resources. Moreover, some degree of consistency is required to link individual plans together into a continental-scale network. The checklist may provide a template that other conservation organizations, agencies, scientists, and activists can adapt to their programs.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2003

A Citizen’s Guide to Wetland Restoration: Approaches to Restoring Vegetation Communities and Wildlife Habitat Structure in Freshwater Wetland Systems

This guidebook is designed to help citizens restore and improve wetland and riparian habitats within the Puget Lowland. The intended audience is private landowners who have access to a degraded wetland or stream, and wish to improve the function or landscape aesthetics of the site without involving earthwork or altering water flows. As a result, planting vegetation and installing wildlife habitat features are the main restoration techniques described in this guidebook.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 1994

A Citizen’s Call for Ecological Forest Restoration: Forest Restoration Principles and Criteria

The Citizens’ Call for Ecological Forest Restoration is proposed as a national policy framework to guide sound ecological restoration policy and projects. Through these restoration principles, we seek to articulate a collective vision of ecologically appropriate, scientifically supported forest restoration. Scientifically credible principles and criteria provide a yardstick with which to evaluate proposed forest restoration policies and projects that can be used both on the ground and in policy debates.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2003

A Climate-Based Approach to the Restoration of Fire-Dependent Ecosystems

Recurrent fires are integral to the function of many ecosystems worldwide. The management of fire-frequented ecosystems requires the application of fire at the appropriate frequency and seasonality, but establishing the natural fire regime for an ecosystem can be problematic. Historical records of fires are often not available, and surrogates for past fires may not exist. We suggest that the relationship between climate and fire can provide an alternative means for inferring past fire regimes in some ecosystems.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2005

A Comprehensive Overview of Elements in Bioremediation

In this review, we discuss the various in situ and ex situ bioremediation techniques and elaborate on the anaerobic digestion technology, phytoremediation, hyperaccumulation, composting and biosorption for their effectiveness in the biotreatment, stabilization and eventually overall remediation of contaminated strata and environments. The review ends with a note on the recent advances genetic engineering and nanotechnology have had in improving bioremediation. Case studies have also been extensively revisited to support the discussions on biosorption of heavy metals, gene probes used in molecular diagnostics, bioremediation studies of contaminants in vadose soils, bioremediation of oil contaminated soils, bioremediation of contaminants from mining sites, air sparging, slurry phase bioremediation, phytoremediation studies for pollutants and heavy metal hyperaccumulators, and vermicomposting.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2010

A Conceptual Model of Ecosystem Restoration Triage based on Experiences from Three Remote Oceanic Islands

A conceptual model, that illustrates restoration, ecological landscaping, rehabilitation and regreening, is developed. It considers biocentric, historical, aesthetic and engineering aspects. The term ecosystem restoration triage is used because the first step is to decide whether to do nothing (because, on the one hand, the system is too degraded to warrant restoration, or, on the other, because biological integrity is relatively intact and therefore either none, or minimal, restoration is required) or to do something (because restoration is worthwhile, urgent and feasible). This approach hinges on the definition that restoration in the strictist sense is a biocentric activity that returns the original compositional, structural and functional diversity, along with its dynamics and natural evolutionary potential. _ Original _ is a difficult qualifier as it depends on just how far back in time we go. Where human values are involved, this is not restoration in the pure sense of restoring ecological integrity, but is ecological landscaping, rehabilitation or regreening. Experience from three remote oceanic islands [Easter Island, Cousine Island (Seychelles), Marion Island (Sub-Antarctic)] and which represent near extremes of this model are used to illustrate it.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2000

A Conditional Trophic Cascade: Birds Benefit Faster Growing Trees with Strong Links between Predators and Plants

Our results suggest that this trophic system is predominately bottom-up driven, but under certain conditions the influence of top predators can stimulate whole tree growth. When the most limiting factor for tree growth switched from water availability to herbivory, the avian predators gained the potential to reduce herbivory. This potential could be realized when strong links between the birds and plant, i.e., species that were both abundant herbivores and preferred prey, were present.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2010

A cost-benefit framework for analyzing forest landscape restoration decisions

Forest landscape restoration activities are often misunderstood as involving high upfront costs and low rates of return. To address this gap in knowledge, this report presents a cost-benefit framework for accounting for the ecosystem services and economic impacts of forest landscape restoration activities in a way that allows the results to be structured to inform multiple types of restoration decision-making that can help decision makers understand the trade-offs of different restoration scenarios. The results can be used to set prices for payment for ecosystem services, identify sources of restoration finance, identify low-cost/high-benefit pathways towards carbon sequestration, and identify priority landscapes for restoration based on return-on-investment analysis.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2015

A critique of the ‘novel ecosystem’ concept

The ‘novel ecosystem’ concept has captured the attention of scientists, managers and science journalists, and more recently of policymakers, before it has been subjected to the scrutiny and empirical validation inherent to science. Lack of rigorous scrutiny can lead to undesirable outcomes in ecosystem management, environmental law and policy. Contrary to the contentions of its proponents, no explicit, irreversible ecological thresholds allow distinctions between ‘novel ecosystems’ and ‘hybrid’ or ‘historic’ ones.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2014

A cross sector guide for implementing the mitigation hierarchy

This guidance document is designed to guide users through the practical implementation of the mitigation hierarchy, and offers guidance for understanding each step in the sequence described above, both at the initial design and planning stages of a project and throughout the project’s lifespan. It is aimed primarily at environmental professionals, working in, or with, the extractive industries, and who are responsible for managing the potential risks of project impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2015

A Distance-based Framework for Measuring Functional Diversity from Multiple Traits

A new framework for measuring functional diversity (FD) from multiple traits has recently been proposed. This framework was mostly limited to quantitative traits without missing values and to situations in which there are more species than traits, although the authors had suggested a way to extend their framework to other trait types. The main purpose of this note is to further develop this suggestion. We describe a highly flexible distance-based framework to measure different facets of FD in multidimensional trait space from any distance or dissimilarity measure, any number of traits, and from different trait types (i.e., quantitative, semi- quantitative, and qualitative). This new approach allows for missing trait values and the weighting of individual traits.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2010

A Financial Analysis of Small-Scale Tropical Reforestation with Native Species in Costa Rica

In 1990 four Peace Corps Volunteers in Costa Rica completed their service and started a private reforestation project. The goal was to see if a small tree plantation could be profitable compared with traditional land uses. This article discusses the economics of the first 15 years of the project, using actual cash flows, and makes projections for financial outcomes. We documented the yearly expenses and revenues (cash flows) for operating a small tropical woodlot, costs and/or revenues from the specific woodlot management operations, and profit projections over the 25-year life of the project. We used realized growth rates, milling costs, and wood sale prices to show that small-scale reforestation with mixtures of native species can be financially profitable, both for an investor and a farmer/landowner.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2006

A Forest of Blue: Canada’s Boreal

This report highlights the unique status of the Canadian boreal forest in housing globally significant water resources. Maintaining the integrity and abundance of this “forest of blue” is still possible, and increasingly urgent. The report explores the ever-expanding list of threats to remote and abundant water resources across the Canadian boreal, and identifies opportunities to protect water resources at geographic scales that will maintain freshwater integrity and abundance into the future.

Resource Type: White Paper, Publication Date: 2011

A framework for conducting effectiveness evaluations of watershed restoration projects

The purpose of a ‘framework for conducting effectiveness evaluations’ is to assist
people in developing watershed restoration evaluation plans for roads, gullies,
landslides, riparian areas and streams. Well designed and properly implemented
evaluations are a prerequisite to determining the success or failure of watershed

Resource Type: White Paper, Publication Date: 1999

A Framework for Debate of Assisted Migration in an Era of Climate Change

Assisted migration is a contentious issue that places different conservation objectives at odds with one another. This element of debate, together with the growing risk of biodiversity loss under climate change, means that now is the time for the conservation community to consider assisted migration. Our intent here is to highlight the problem caused by a lack of a scientifically based policy on assisted migration, suggest a spectrum of policy options, and outline a framework for moving toward a consensus on this emerging conservation dilemma.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2007

A framework for developing monitoring plans for coastal wetland restoration and living shoreline projects in New Jersey

This document provides guidance on how to select monitoring metrics and develop a monitoring plan for coastal wetland restoration and living shoreline projects in New Jersey. Because it is important for all projects to have some level of monitoring, this framework is intended to cover a variety of coastal wetland restoration and living shoreline techniques and be adaptable to the needs of users from a range of backgrounds – from those with little experience and small budgets, to experts with larger budgets who may plan to publish their findings and advance the understanding of living shoreline and wetland restoration activities.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2016

A Framework for Managing and Monitoring Bush Regeneration Programs: A Case Study from Lake Macquarie, NSW

While general guidelines for monitoring are available, few examples of effective site monitoring and reporting exist in practice. The note describes a framework developed for managing and monitoring a bush regeneration programme for coastal NSW and evaluates it against a set of principles for monitoring ecological restoration programmes. The example illustrates how tools could be developed to improve management and monitoring practice.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2011

A Framework for Risk Analysis in Ecological Restoration Projects

This report is a framework document that provides the general planner with a basic understanding of risk analysis in the USACE six-step ecosystem restoration planning process. The USACE objective in ecosystem restoration, one of the primary missions of the USACE Civil Works program, is to contribute to national ecosystem restoration by measurably increasing the net quantity and/or quality of desired ecosystem resources. The focus of this report is on risk analysis: identifying the range of possible outcomes from alternative ecosystem restoration actions, assessing the potential for achieving the desired outcome, characterizing the likelihood of adverse consequences, and communicating these findings to stakeholders and decision makers.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2004

A framework for the practical science necessary to restore sustainable, resilient, and biodiverse ecosystems

Despite increasing restoration research activity, a gap between the immediate needs
of restoration practitioners and the outputs of restoration science often limits the effectiveness of restoration programs.
Regrettably, studies often fail to identify the practical issues most critical for restoration success. We propose that part of
this oversight may result from the absence of a considered statement of the necessary practical restoration science questions.
Here we develop a comprehensive framework of the research required to bridge this gap and guide effective restoration. We
structure questions in five themes: (1) setting targets and planning for success, (2) sourcing biological material, (3) optimizing
establishment, (4) facilitating growth and survival, and (5) restoring resilience, sustainability, and landscape integration.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2016

A General Framework for Prioritizing Land Units for Ecological Protection and Restoration

Our objective in this paper is to provide such a framework for cases where the goal of setting priorities is to maximize the ecological benefit gained from limited resources. We provide simple and general models that can be used to prioritize sites based on the projected ecological benefit per unit restoration or protection effort and to estimate the total projected benefit of restoring or protecting a set of sites. These models, which are based on an expression of the functional relationship between an end point and effort, hold up under a variety of situations and provide a common language for prioritization. We then discuss procedures for estimating model terms—calculations from regression curves when data are available, and use of judgement indicators when data are relatively limited. Finally, we present two case studies that apply the models and examine selected past prioritizations in the context of our framework.

Resource Type: Peer-reviewed Article, Publication Date: 2000

A guide for incorporating ecosystem service valuation into coastal restoration projects

This guidebook provides a framework for incorporating ecosystem service valuations at the beginning, rather than at the end, of coastal habitat restoration and creation projects. Applying ecosystem service valuation to coastal restoration projects has multiple advantages, including greater stakeholder support and greater likelihood of project success.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2015

A Guide to Bottomland Hardwood Restoration

The primary focus of this guide is to provide information for land managers and landowners who want to reestablish bottomland hardwood forest vegetation, particularly the trees, on lands where they formerly occurred. Restoration and reforestation are approached with the realization that hydrology, as the driving force of wetland ecosystems, must be explicitly considered in all projects. Without the proper hydrologic regime for the site conditions and tree species selected for planting, it is unlikely that a project will be a success. It is assumed that the goal of the audience using this guide is at least the reestablishment of bottomland hardwood forest systems and hopefully the restoration of all functions and values associated with these forests (e.g., storage of floodwaters, water quality improvement, provision of wildlife habitat, etc.).

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2001

A Guide to Community-Based Mangrove Reforestation and Management in WIO

The current Guide targets communities involved in mangrove reforestation and management in the WIO region. The Guide provides background information on the nature of mangrove ecosystem, its attributes as well as the major problems affecting the mangroves – both human and natural pressure. Using long term experience in mangrove reforestation works at Gazi, the Guide analyses challenges facing community based mangrove reforestation projects; and provide possible solutions to these projects.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2010

A Guide to Prairie and Wetland Restoration in Eastern Nebraska

Restoration of the following plant community types is covered in this document: tallgrass prairie, mixed-grass prairie, sand prairie, freshwater wet meadow and marsh, Rainwater Basin wet meadow and marsh, and saline wet meadow and marsh. The methods we use are generally affordable and not complicated. To quickly summarize, we handpick and machine harvest seed, do little seed cleaning and broadcast plant with a fertilizer spreader. We do not mow annual weeds during the initial years after planting and manage established restorations with prescribed fire and grazing.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2003

A guide to the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) : Assessing forest landscape restoration opportunities at the national or sub-national level : working paper

This handbook presents the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), which provides a flexible and affordable framework for countries to rapidly identify and analyse FLR potential and locate special areas of opportunity at a national or sub-national level. The handbook offers practical advice and options to bear in mind when considering or conducting an FLR assessment using ROAM, as well as real-life examples of the kinds of outputs you can expect, and will enable you to commission or design a tailor-made process to meet your specific needs.

Resource Type: Technical Document, Publication Date: 2014