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
Keyword
Title
Author

 

Stream-bank Restoration: New York Native Grasses, Sedges and Forbs in Gravel

Abstract:

Background: A failing 1990’s flood control structure along Fall Creek, a protected waterway, designed to preserve the integrity of the intact flood plain forest, and unique 8-acre natural area, needed attention to prevent its collapse. This historic natural area managed by Cornell Botanic Gardens and used by elementary through graduate students to study native plants, offered an opportunity to demonstrate a novel stream-bank restoration.

Objectives: The objectives were to stabilize the stream-bank and restore the site with drought tolerant herbaceous native plants capable of establishing and thriving in gravel: grasses, sedges, and forbs; to be a model for future habitat restoration; to be a teaching tool for classes; and to appeal aesthetically to students and visitors.

Methods: Working with Cornell University’s Environmental Engineering team, a gabion basket structure was modified, anchored, and fitted with additional drainage. The Natural Areas staff botanist, staff gardener and Finger lakes Native Plant Society steering committee member developed a restoration plan and a design for seeding and planting the site using locally sourced gravel and regionally sourced seeds.

Results: The stabilization of the new structure, with a rapidly thriving, drought tolerant native plant community representing both common and rare species of the New York flora, is aesthetically appealing to landscape architects, students, and visitors.

Conclusion: Within three years, an established community of plants has developed; site stabilization has been fully achieved; seedling recruitment is annually occurring; and aesthetic criteria have been met, demonstrating the positive impact of a created, functioning landscape.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Do predators have a role to play in wetland restoration? An experimental study in New England coastal salt marshes

Abstract:

Traditional approaches to wetland restoration often emphasize reestablishing native vegetation and engineering the correct hydrology along with other environmental features, thereby setting the stage for nature to do the rest. With this bottom-up focus, the biotic diversity of wetlands and their related trophic interactions are treated as measures of restoration success rather than factors that may influence it. However, recent studies have shown that the loss of predators in coastal salt marshes can lead to significant reduction of wetland extent due to overgrazing by herbivores. Such studies indicate that consumers may play a much larger role in the maintenance of wetland ecosystems than was previously thought. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate whether altering top-down control by manipulating the presence of predators can lead to measurable changes in salt marsh ecosystem properties. Between May and August of 2015 and 2016, we established exclosure and enclosure cages within three coastal wetlands and manipulated the presence of green crab predators to assess how consumers affect changes in ecosystem functions. Predator presence was associated with changes in aboveground biomass and the rate of soil nitrogen absorption at one study site, while changes in other ecosystem processes were largely driven by bottom-up factors. These results challenge the recent consensus that consumers have strong effects, instead indicating that predator effects may instead be context-dependent and therefore may not be required for improved restoration outcomes.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The fate of biological soil crusts after fire: A meta-analysis

Abstract:

Fire is a global disturbance that is predicted to increase in frequency and severity in many parts of the world due to climate change. Biological soil crust (biocrust) communities are often overlooked in fire studies despite having a substantial effect on ecological function and the adjacent communities. The goal of this study is to synthesize and analyze existing data elucidating the recovery of biocrust cover following fire at the global-scale and suggest avenues for future research and restoration. We performed a meta-analysis of studies from 1984 to 2019 to address the response of biocrust after fire and determine the moderating factors governing their response. Overall, fire reduced biocrust cover by 50% and had a significantly negative effect on biocrusts classified as cyanobacteria or algal dominated. Additionally, as time since fire increased, total biocrust cover increased but this response was modulated by biocrust type indicating compliance with traditional biocrust successional models. However, there was significant unexplained heterogeneity within the meta-analysis. This reflects a critical need for more studies specifically addressing the effect of fire on biocrust communities as they are an ecosystem engineer in drylands around the world. We suggest more thorough characterization of biocrust organisms through field and laboratory studies to understand the mechanisms of biocrust response to fire. Additionally, research is needed across a broader geographic range to represent the known distribution of biocrust communities, particularly as fires increase in severity and scope.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Monitoring and Assessment of Valued Ecosystem Components (VEC) in a Constructed Juncus-dominated Salt Marsh on the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract:

Monotypic stands of Juncus roemerianus dominate the marshes of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, but few studies to date have examined the effects of restoration efforts on faunal inhabitants of these marsh ecosystems. This study examined environmental characteristics, faunal community structure, and trophic support in two restored marshes (5+ yrs and 15+ yrs) and a natural reference marsh (100+ yrs). Microbial diversity assessment in fall 2016 discovered that plants from the restored and reference areas supported similar microbial diversity indicating the rapid colonization of planted grasses with indigenous soil microbiota. Sampling in Spring and Fall 2017 through 2019 assessed the vascular plant community diversity and biomass, as well as relating these parameters to geomorphological characteristics of the area by measuring elevation and soil condition. The two constructed sites were found to have a diverse array of vegetation, but function of the salt marsh in terms of root production and sediment organic carbon deposition remained underdeveloped when compared to the natural reference site. Sampling targeted invertebrate abundances along the transects, which found to be were significantly higher in the natural marsh. Nekton abundance, species richness, and Simpson’s index of diversity varied by site and season. Stable isotope analysis provided additional insight into carbon sources and how energy is transferred through consumers in the restored marshes compared to the natural marsh. To survey breeding marsh birds, we utilized a standardized avian point count methodology to determine occupancy rates and species abundance for restored and natural tidal marsh sites. Construction of the sites with a fully enclosed berm and higher elevation than the natural reference marsh appears to have long-lasting consequences on restoration succession in a number of ecosystem structural and functional metrics.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The Ontario Tree Atlas Project: Using participatory science to map the occurrence of over 100 tree species in Ontario, Canada

Abstract:

The Ontario Tree Atlas Project began in 1994 in an effort to document, for the first time, the distribution and abundance of the major tree species in Ontario, Canada. At the time of the projects’ inception and still today, the distribution and abundance of Ontario’s trees had never been comprehensively determined, and the species range maps used in books and guides remain largely generalized. Throughout the data collection phase of the project, from 1995 to 2006, over 1,300 volunteers contributed 63,000 observations of species abundance, generating valuable information for the conservation and management of Ontario’s trees. As we reach twenty-five years since the project began, the Tree Atlas data can now serve as a historical point-in-time estimate of species occurrence. Pre-dating the advent of popular online participatory science platforms such as iNaturalist and others, the observations offer a comparison for how species occurrences have been altered by three decades of environmental change. Data from the Tree Atlas was shared publicly for the first time in 2021 through the publication of the Ontario Tree Atlas and will ultimately be made available through an online interactive mapping platform.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Pilot salt marsh restoration techniques in New York City, USA: managing ecosystem recovery in an ultra-urban coastal context

Abstract:

Salt marshes are some of New York City’s (NYC) most valuable ecosystems. They are threatened by erosion and rising sea levels. NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) is piloting innovative techniques to restore these critical ecosystems. NYC, in the northeastern United States (US), has over 8,000,000 human residents, 8,000 hectares of natural areas, and thousands of species of native plants and wildlife. Today, less than 10% of the historic extent of NYC’s salt marsh remains—about 1,600 hectares. To combat this loss, NYC Parks is piloting restoration of eroding coastal wetlands and planning for salt marsh migration. At Alley Creek, Queens, we piloted clean sand placement in the marsh interior and are designing a living shoreline. We will also conduct thin-layer sediment placement at Idlewild, Queens and Four Sparrow, Brooklyn, to increase marsh surface elevation and restore habitat for nesting birds. Finally, we have mapped areas that are likely to be flooded under sea level rise and identified locations throughout NYC to protect and create pathways for marsh migration. With funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency, we will develop monitoring protocols to evaluate the efficacy of these pilot projects and assess the conditions of migration zones. Using SER’s International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration, we will establish target attributes for ecological restoration and conduct annual monitoring to assess their recovery. Successes and lessons learned from these projects have broad application to practitioners conducting salt marsh restoration in ultra-urban coastal areas.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The Restoration and Forestry Observatory – A platform to monitor restoration in Brazil

Abstract:

The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration represents a great opportunity for job creation, food and water security, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. The goal of the decade is to restore 170 million hectares over the world. Brazil has committed to restore 12 million hectares by 2030.

Leaded by the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a movement that encompasses several important stakeholders on agribusiness sector and civil society organizations in the environmental area in Brazil, the Restoration and Forestry Observatory was developed to monitor and measure the progress of restored land in all 6 Brazilian biomes by allowing users to consult and account areas under restoration for different geographies, providing transparency and reliability to monitor the committed goals.

The compiled dataset compass three main types of information: restoration projects sites, naturally restored vegetation based on satellite imagery and forestry. The source of information varies widely from public, private or ONG sector, and scales (local, regional and national), nevertheless this effort aimed to provide information of most successful restoration techniques, passive or active, and to support public managers to design strategies for large scale forest restoration and forestry.

Despite of several challenges to develop the Observatory, such as data availability and accessibility, data integration at multiple-scales and different mapping sources, the Observatory will provide more completely understanding of restoration dynamics for different territories, also by providing visibility to the restoration projects and its organizations and it may induce appropriate environment to create new coalitions on the restoration agenda.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Plant-Soil Carbon Responses to a Thin Layer Placement Experiment in a Southern New England Salt Marsh (USA)

Abstract:

Thin Layer Placement (TLP) of sediment is an increasingly used restoration method in coastal marshes to stimulate plant productivity, subsequently promoting soil accretion and resilience to accelerated sea level rise. However, few experimental field studies have investigated using dredge material for TLP in meso-tidal estuaries, and none holistically examine plant-soil carbon dynamics. Our goal was to investigate the biological and biogeochemical responses of applying dredge material for restoration of a coastal salt marsh in Connecticut, USA. Our objectives were to determine how application of varying levels of sediment affect: (1) above and belowground biomass allocation of Spartina alterniflora, and (2) soil carbon cycling processes including decomposition and carbon mineralization. We used an in situ experiment to manipulate soil surface elevation (low: +5cm, medium: +10cm, and high: +15cm). We monitored plant traits (above and belowground biomass, stem height, stem density, leaf area) and soil parameters (EC, pH, redox, NH4 +, sulfides, C:N, carbon mineralization, decomposition, bulk density). Preliminary analyses suggest low and medium treatments increased stem heights, but reduced stem density compared to controls. No stems grew in the high treatment but had similar root biomass in the medium treatments. These results demonstrate the ability of roots to penetrate the thickest sediment and may lead to increased belowground contributions and marsh resilience. Results from ongoing soil carbon analyses will elucidate relationships between sediment application, plant growth, and carbon cycling dynamics. Collectively, our work will guide wetland managers develop restoration specifications for protecting coastal marshes in the face of rising seas.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Tropical dry forest seedling growth and survivorship depends upon fertilization and irrigation

Abstract:

Tropical dry forests are critically endangered, as 97% of their area is threatened by human disturbances. Thus, countries like Colombia have prioritize its restoration establishing an ambitious project to restore 12,000 hectares of dry forest. Previous initiatives using passive restoration methods in this area were unsuccessful due to lack of precipitation, and soil nutrient depletion. That is why this project employs active interventions including large-scale planting of seedlings and management using fertilizers and irrigation. To test the efficacy of these practices we established a large-scale experiment in south-western Colombia on abandoned pastures to determine 1) if fertilizer application and irrigation increase seedling survivorship and growth and 2) if phosphorus is the only nutrient limiting plant growth. We also evaluated the costs of these practices. We planted 11,382 seedlings of 11 native species coupled with six treatments: 50g complete fertilizer+water, 25g complete fertilizer+water, phosphorus+water, 50g complete fertilizer-water, water, and a control. Survival and growth were measured seasonally over 1.5 years. Survivorship after 1.5 years ranged from 45%–97% among species. Treatments that lacked supplemental water experienced higher initial mortality, however, after 1.5 years no differences among treatments were found. Plants that received any complete fertilizer treatment had the highest growth rates, suggesting that phosphorus is not the only limiting nutrient. Our data show that water is key for early seedling establishment and fertilization with multiple nutrients increases seedling growth more than watering after seedling established. Importantly, high rates of fertilizer application had no additional benefit to growth compared to low doses.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Planting the marsh: Comparing methods of planting at recovering salt marsh restoration sites in the Bay of Fundy

Abstract:

Salt marshes provide many important ecosystem services, including coastal protection, and interest in restoring these systems is growing in the face of climate change. In Atlantic Canada, salt marsh restoration has focused on restoring tidal flow, without planting vegetation. Over time, these sites can show persistent deficits in vegetation diversity. We evaluated five methods of planting (plugs, field transplants, seed, wrack, tilling) eight native species (Carex paleacea, Juncus gerardii, Limonium carolinianum, Plantago maritima, Poa palustris, Solidago sempervirens, Sporobolus alterniflorus and Sporobolus michauxianus) at two Bay of Fundy salt marsh restoration sites to test their ability to accelerate plant recovery. Community structure and planting performance (growth rate, summer and winter survival, health) were monitored over two years. Planting plugs produced the highest abundance of perennial halophytes over both years and plantings had high survival rates (76.4 % ± 0.02 SE) while plants transplanted from adjacent sites had higher mortality and slightly lower abundance. All planted
species survived and grew. Growth rate, health, and winter survival were all more strongly related to site than planting treatment, indicating that location was more important than planting method. We found evidence that differences in elevation, inundation, soil salinity and soil nutrients at each site may explain these differences in performance. Planting plugs and field transplants may both be useful for restoration in the future and mixing methods to capitalize on respective strengths may produce best results when planting. Our results also highlight the need to tailor planting plans to individual sites as plantings may respond differently in different situations.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

SER Webinar: Peatland Restoration as a Natural Climate Solution in Minnesota

Abstract:

Wetland restoration is increasingly being considered as a climate change adaptation by conservation organizations globally. Peatlands store as much as 30% of the world’s terrestrial carbon. The Nature Conservancy is developing natural climate solutions (NCS) as an approach to address climate change. Since peatlands are abundant in Minnesota, in the northern U.S., covering approximately 1,400,000 hectares, the TNC regional chapter is assessing the potential for peatland restoration as an NCS strategy. There are 2 to 3 million acres of wetlands classified as histosol soils, mucks with less organic matter than peat, that support other wetlands types  Most organic-soil wetlands in the southern half of Minnesota were drained for agriculture, while about 1/6 of northern peatlands were impacted by drainage for forestry, grazing or agriculture. Although most of the peatlands remain intact, recent research estimates annual loss of 38,000 Mg of carbon from oxidation from drainage. Carbon accumulation rates in Minnesota peatlands have been estimated to range from 0.5 Mg/ha/yr in northern peatlands to 3.0 Mg/ha/yr in southern Minnesota wetlands. Re-wetting of drained peatlands greatly reduces decomposition of organic matter, but can increase release of methane. Logistically it is easier to block shallower ditches surrounded by public lands then deep ditches near pastureland or roads.  Therefore, a three-pronged peatland restoration strategy for is recommended: protect large standing stocks of carbon in peatlands, re-wet partially drained peatlands in the north and restore large southern “mucklands” for short-term carbon sequestration and multiple benefits.

Speaker: Dr. Chris Lenhart is SER’s CERP coordinator and a Research Assistant Professor with the BBE Department at the University of Minnesota and contributes to The Nature Conservancy, Mn-ND-SD chapter. His work focuses on focused on treatment wetlands, stream restoration and water quality management, particularly in agricultural areas.

Resource Type:Webinar
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Use of native pine species to recover degraded areas and increase their resilience in the Cointzio micro-watershed of the Municipality of Morelia Michoacán, Mexico

Abstract:

In the Cointzio micro-basin, the loss of forest cover has caused soil erosion, and silting of the Cointzio dam. The vegetation of the micro-basin favors water infiltration, which provides an important input of water to the city of Morelia. Thus, it is essential to carry out soil recovery actions through the introduction of native species.

The objective of the work was to evaluate the development of different pine species introduced in degraded areas, to avoid soil loss and to afford the ecosystem resilience.

In the community of El Escobal, the introduction of 250 one-year-old plants of P. pseudostrobus, P. oaxacana and P. patula was carried out by random planting in an area of gullies of 40 X 40 m. and one with secondary vegetation of 40 X 40 m. To relate the growth and survival of the seedlings, microclimate features were determined.

After eight months, the survival was 54%, being taller in the secondary vegetation (73%) and lower in gullies (27%). Height growth was higher in the gullies area and lower in the secondary vegetation area without significant differences, diameter growth was higher in secondary vegetation and lower in gullies with significant differences. Features of soil indicated differences in pH, organic material, soil moisture and, differences between nutrients phosphorous, calcium and magnesium concentrations. The difference in photosynthetically active radiation was consistent with the orientation and with the presence of plant cover of each area. Our results suggest the best species to recover degraded areas in this ecosystems, was P. pseudostrobus.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Applying an animal-centric approach to restoration for wildlife

Abstract:

Habitat loss and fragmentation are leading causes of biodiversity decline. To restore landscapes that support native animals requires moving beyond the traditional focus on vegetation to grounding restoration activities in mechanistic knowledge of the local and landscape elements that different species require. We developed an animal-centric approach to ecological restoration and applied this to native mammals and birds in the Tasmanian Midlands, Australia’s oldest and most fragmented European agricultural region. Greening Australia is planting biodiversity corridors, connecting and restoring woodland across the region. We used species-appropriate technologies to assess the decisions made by individual animals to find food and shelter and to disperse across this fragmented landscape, and linked these, together with patterns of occupancy, across multiple spatial and temporal scales. We focussed on a native (Spotted-tailed Quoll Dasyurus maculatus) and an invasive (Feral Cat Felis catus) carnivore, a woodland-specialist herbivore (Eastern Bettong Bettongia gaimardi), microbats and woodland birds including the native-invasive Noisy Miner. Our results, which show intense predatory and competitive pressure of Feral Cats and Noisy Miners on native fauna, demonstrate the significance of structural complexity of restored vegetation for supporting the recolonisation and persistence of native fauna and evoke innovative approaches in plantings and artificial refuges to reduce habitat suitability for Noisy Miners and predatory impacts of Feral Cats. At large landscape-scale, we demonstrate the importance of retaining small habitat elements, including ancient paddock trees, pivot irrigation corners and small, degraded remnants, in facilitating occupancy and dispersal and therefore persistence of wild animals across this agricultural region.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Community bird changes due to ecological restoration of terrestrial areas on an Andean periurban wetland (Bogotá, Colombia)

Abstract:

The native ecosystems of the Bogotá plateau have been transformed as a consequence of the dynamics of occupation, finding today remnants of wetlands with bird species in a serious threat of extinction. In response to those changes, ecological restoration research line of Bogotá Botanical Garden establishes the Pilot Area of Research on La Florida Regional Park. An area of high importance for bird conservation, and an opportunity to propose birds as indicator of the restoration success. The park has six land covers, including two covers with around ten years of restoration process, two without restoration (a mixed forest plantation and a recreational zone), one of a natural wetland habitat and a lake. The areas in restoration process was established using implantation designs with native plants. The success of the vegetation process was measured using the variables as: survival, composition and structure that could explain changes on bird communities produced by the restoration, serving as a comparative framework. In total, 170 species were recorded throughout the park, including species of conservation importance. The greatest changes are observed in the covers under restoration in which there is a significant increase on bird diversity that can be explained by structural variables of vegetation such as growth habits, strata and in general understory features. Similarly, changes were found in the cover without restoration, in which has a similar structure to the coverage under restoration, but with less diversity of plant and bird species. Those results highlight the importance of bird monitoring in ecological restoration processes, and also highlighting compositional and structural variables that can boost an increase in bird diversity.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Using Floating Treatment Wetlands to Remove Nutrients and Restore Meadow Marsh Habitats in Wetland Systems in the northeastern United States

Abstract:

A significant threat that watersheds face is nutrient pollution, particularly excess phosphorus in freshwater systems. Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) can remove excess phosphorus by plant and microbial uptake directly in the water column. We examined phosphorus removal rates in a mesocosm setting using different combinations of four wetland plant species native to northeastern North America; Carex stricta (tussock sedge), Iris versicolor (northern blue flag), Juncus effusus (common rush), and Eleocharis palustris (common spikerush), two different substrate conditions; no substrate and coconut coir, and a control with no plants or substrate. Each substrate was paired with three different plant combinations, tussock species (Carex stricta and Iris versicolor), reed species (Juncus effusus and Eleocharis palustris), and a mixture. We determined the total phosphorus and orthophosphate removal rates along with changes over time in chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, and pH. Based on our results from week 1 and week 7 of this 9-week experiment, we found that tussock species with coconut peat substrate had the highest mean total phosphorus removal percentage at 76%. All three plant combinations with coconut peat substrate had mean removal percentages greater than 70%, while only one plant combination with no substrate had removal percentages over 70%. The treatment with the lowest total phosphorus removal percentage was the control at 55% removal. Future directions of this study include a field application of FTWs to determine nitrogen and phosphorus removal rates in aquaculture ponds, and testing the efficacy of transplanting FTW plants into wetlands to extend their lifecycle.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Evaluation of ecological restoration through mammal monitoring in a lava field of Mexico City

Abstract:

The Pedregal de San Ángel Ecological Reserve (REPSA) has been affected by substrate destruction, introduction of invasive plant species, the presence of domestic rodents and feral fauna. Several patches have been subjected to rescue of basaltic substrate and mechanical subtraction of exotic plants, like Eucalyptus spp. To evaluate the degree of recovery, we compare mammalian communities associated to sites subjected to 11-13 years of ecological restoration and conserved areas. Sherman traps were placed during the dry and rainy seasons. Density of cottontail rabbits was determined through the density of their fecal pellets; other mammals were registered through excreta and sightings. In the sites under restoration, six species of native mammals were recorded: Peromyscus gratus, P. melanophrys, Otospermophilus variegatus, Didelphis virginiana, Bassariscus astutus and Sylvilagus floridanus; and three exotic mammals: gray squirrels, cats and dogs. All sites were shelter for native mammals. Peromyscus gratus was recorded in all sites, and they depend on the lava-field ecosystem but, as a generalist mouse, it is a useful indicator at the first stages of restoration. Exotic rodents were no longer found in the sites subjected to restoration, and their absence could be a good restoration progress indicator because their populations have decreased without direct control. It was found that the basaltic substrate addition strategy to improve plant community might affect the P. gratus and S. floridanus activity. Considering mammals since planning is important, because focusing on the plant community strategies might not generate a suitable habitat for mammals.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

SER-NW Webinar: Tribal leadership and sovereignty and the relevance of restoration planning

Abstract:

This webinar is the second in SER-NW’s series: Inclusion in Ecological Restoration.

Speaker: Dezarae Hayes, Sound Transit Director of Tribal Relations, and the Director of Transportation for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Resource Type:Webinar
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Using Google Earth for Planning, implementation and monitoring of invasive species management as a part of restoration initiative in and around Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

Abstract:

Junglescapes, a non-profit based in Bangalore is carrying out ecological restoration in a Tiger landscape of southern India since the last 12 years. A key aspect of the project involves management of Lantana camara over a large heterogeneous area of over 8000 ha. A mapping using GIS tools to detect relative abundance of Lantana camara helped prioritize areas for management. However, management of invasive species requires micro-level planning and implementation considering the topography, presence of native vegetation and secondary invasive species, etc.  Lantana management demands a high level of customized treatment and rigour which is difficult to achieve in larger plot sizes. These were aspects aimed to be addressed by this methodology.

Land parcels of approximately 100 acres were selected using Google Earth in the priority areas. These were further divided into 10 to 12 acre grids. The grid map (polygons) and coordinates of the polygon corners were shared as KML / KMZ files and transferred to handheld GPS device. These grids were surveyed physically for documenting baseline conditions. This real time data in combination with photographs and Google image were used for developing the treatment plan for each grid. Use of Google Earth image with survey waypoints and photograph enabled virtual tour of the site which enabled coordination with field managers working on site. Post-implementation monitoring, resurgence of native vegetation and habitat use by fauna also were plotted in the Google Earth image, which provides an insight to the ecological role of the restored area as a wildlife life habitat in the larger context.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Removal of an invasive wetland grass (Phragmites australis) increases the quantity of emerging invertebrates and avian aerial foraging activity

Abstract:

Invasive Phragmites australis subsp. australis (European Common Reed) is now found throughout North America. Phragmites australis displaces resident vegetation and replaces it with tall, dense stands that negatively alter wetlands. To contend with invasion, the Ontario government began a project to control P. australis and restore native vegetation diversity in Long Point, ON, a peninsula located on the north shore of Lake Erie, by aerially applying glyphosate-based herbicide. Since Long Point is ecologically significant and a regional biodiversity hotspot, we wanted to assess how restoration influenced its ecological function and habitat value for species at risk. In particular, we quantified the amount and quality of emerging invertebrates (secondary production) and the foraging activity of aerial insectivore birds (i.e. swallows), including Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), which are classified as threatened in Ontario. We paired point-count surveys with emergence traps in 2017 and 2018 in herbicide-treated marsh habitat, invaded (P. australis) habitat, and resident (i.e. meadow marsh, cattail marsh) habitat. Preliminary data indicates that twice as many invertebrates are emerging from herbicide-treated habitat compared to other habitat types. Further, total aerial insectivore abundance was 54.5% higher in herbicide-treated habitat and 35.5% higher in resident habitat compared to invaded habitat. Barn Swallow specifically preferred herbicide-treated habitat, as abundance was 123% higher compared to invaded habitat. We conclude that efforts to eradicate invasive P. australis and restore wetland vegetation provide improved foraging habitat for at-risk aerial insectivore birds, most likely by increasing the quantity of invertebrate prey.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Vegetation Function and Diversity on Reclaimed Surface-mined Lands of Southeastern Ohio, USA

Abstract:

Surface coal mining has transformed certain regions of Appalachia. Reclamation laws have evolved over the past fifty years, creating spatiotemporal variability in reclaimed landscapes. While the vegetation composition of reclaimed lands is well understood, less is known about the associated development of ecological function. We used two attributes of the plant community—diversity and the capacity to absorb photosynthetically active radiation—as fundamental indicators of ecosystem composition and function. Using both satellite-derived light reflectance and field sampling, we characterized the successional trajectory of reclaimed lands, reference forest, and reference grasslands in southeastern Ohio, USA. We also assessed the importance of active management in ecosystem restoration. The reclaimed lands in this study represent four different eras of regulation, from pre-1972 to post-1981. We compared the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within and among sites from 2000-2016, and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index among sites in 2016-2017. In this study, the oldest reclamation sites (45-50 years since reclamation) achieved the highest capacity for light absorption by 2016, suggesting that time since disturbance, reclamation technique, or a combination of the two are conducive to the restoration of ecological function. Younger reclaimed sites (25-35 years since reclamation) accrued function more rapidly than older sites—reaching NDVI equivalence with reference ecosystems 28-34 years after mining—suggesting that reclamation technique can accelerate recovery. Active management of reclaimed lands does not improve light absorption capacity, but it does increase plant diversity, which is linked to a variety of other ecological functions.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

SER-NW Webinar: Tiscornia Marsh

Abstract:

Join Douglas Mundo, Marco Berger, and Pablo Quiroga for a discussion of their work with the Tiscornia Marsh Restoration and SLR Adaptation Project.

Resource Type:Webinar
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Vegetative Community and Health Assessment of a Constructed Juncus-dominated Salt Marsh in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract:

Deer Island provides a buffer from storm and flood damage as well as shore-line stabilization to the mainland of Biloxi, Mississippi. The US Army Corps of Engineers and MS Department of Marine Resources have conducted restoration with beneficial use material, and two sites have since been planted with native vegetation. The sites are anticipated to function similarly to the Juncus roemerianus dominated salt marshes natural to the northern Gulf of Mexico and provides a test case for the success of future salt marsh loss mitigation.

This study assessed the vegetative health of the constructed sites using vascular plant community diversity and biomass, as well as relating these parameters to geomorphological characteristics of the area by measuring elevation and soil condition. Sampling in Spring and Fall 2017 through 2019 demonstrated establishment of planted salt marsh and naturally-recruited sand-berm vegetation but planted J. roemerianus, however, failed to establish. The two constructed sites were found to have a diverse array of vegetation, but function of the salt marsh in terms of root production and sediment organic carbon deposition remained underdeveloped when compared to the natural reference site.

The sea level rise was projected at the two constructed sites under three scenarios to assess the sites’ vulnerability to rising sea levels. All sites were found to be vulnerable to sea level rise except under the lowest sea level rise scenario. Further monitoring should be conducted to observe the development of ecological functions at these constructed marshes and evaluate their success in the long term.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restoring Least Bell’s Vireo habitat across California’s diverse ecosystem by adjusting proven methods from the Central Valley

Abstract:

Least Bell’s Vireos declined dramatically as the river processes which create and maintain vireo habitat were degraded through land conversion and flood control projects, reducing California’s population to 300 breeding pairs concentrated in San Diego by 1986. In response, a riparian restoration program in California’s Central Valley created thousands of acres of habitat, successfully attracting active nesting. Climate, topography, and other conditions facilitate rapid, cost-effective riparian restoration in this agricultural community; however, birds must disperse long distances from their current range to reach this habitat. To facilitate population growth in existing Southern California populations and thereby drive dispersal to the species’ historic range, River Partners adapted Central Valley horticultural restoration methods to the rivers of Southern California. Regional ecological differences (water availability), socio-political differences (risk perception, labor availability), and differing landscape context (urbanization, predation pressures) were incorporated into design and implementation. We used high-efficiency drip irrigation to reduce water use, delivering sufficient water to support rapid establishment and growth of potted stock and cuttings while limiting establishment of seeded understory species compared to Central Valley techniques. Stakeholder outreach drove site design and maintenance in this highly visible restoration context, impacting costs and development of future projects to a greater extent than in other regions. Although Least Bell’s Vireo quickly dispersed to newly restored riparian vegetation and attempted breeding in Southern California, continued refinement of restoration techniques could address variation by site and rain year of robust understory establishment, threats of nest parasitism and predation, and deeper understanding of prey resources.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Financial Mechanisms for Restoration at scale: Payment for Environmental Services Platform Transaction

Abstract:

Ecosystem restoration is one of nature-based-solutions that can help tackling climate change, but still does not occur at the scale to attend this urgency. It is necessary to reduce costs and engage landholders to restore lands. To reduce costs, it can be applied conducting natural regeneration technique in many regions in the Atlantic Forest. In order to outreach landowners, sometimes it is necessary to provide incomes.
To foster PES Programs in Brazil, it was organized a workshop with 59 experts. After that, we noticed that few landowners received resources to restore their lands and the main bottlenecks to scale up PES are: lack of financial resources; high operational cost (more costly than PES that reaches the landholders); lack of PES Public Policies; excessive bureaucracy; juridical insecurity.
In order to address these challenges, a Task Force was formed to looking for scale up restoration, using PES as a tool. The key conclusion was the urgency to create a National Policy and also to develop a PES transaction platform, aiming to bring a market concept to several environmental services (water, climate and biodiversity), joining “sellers” and “buyers” in the same place, reducing bureaucracy, providing legal certainty to both parties, developing an efficient monitoring system and decreasing operational PES costs.
Currently, National PES Policy was created and the PES Platform is under development and until of the end of this year, the first financial transactions for environmental services should be happen generating positive social and environmental impacts on the ground.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Accelerating the science and practice of agricultural stream restoration in the Great Lakes Basin (Canada) and Canterbury (Aotearoa, New Zealand)

Abstract:

The solution for water quality and ecosystem health issues in freshwater ecosystems lies on the land through a suite of measures and coordinated activities at individual, community and watershed scales. This is especially clear for human-impacted, agricultural landscapes where individual farm actions have the potential to address and mitigate the losses of soil organic matter, nutrients and other run-off. Rather than a single solution, the reality is that a toolbox of approaches is required from farm field to tile-drain, and from headwaters to downstream waterbodies. Individual actions therefore rely on coordination and robust evidence. Here I present two case studies of aligned science-practice across lowland agricultural streams: one in Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand, and another in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin of North America/Turtle Island. Shared between these examples were a commitment to engaging in local communities, from farmers to Indigenous stewards, and a broad range of practitioners, agencies and community groups. We engaged in a reciprocal process of knowledge co-production and coinnovation of possible solutions. Notably, the Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment (CAREX), was a five-year region-scale experiment on waterways located on privately owned farms. The CAREX approach was then adapted for the local socio-ecological context of agricultural watersheds in southwest Ontario, Canada. This talk will illustrate how community responsive, local-context driven approaches have been crucial to accelerating and coordinating science and actions on the ground, and will be the critical factors underpinning successful freshwater restoration on local to global scales.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Wetlands in Agricultural Landscapes as Habitat for Aquatic Wildlife

Abstract:

Wetlands provide critical habitat and valuable ecosystem services. However, land use conversion in southern Ontario over the past 200 years has led to the loss of 72% of wetlands. Wetlands in agricultural landscapes may offset wetland loss but are susceptible to contamination by pesticides and nutrients. We tested to what degree wetlands in agricultural landscapes supported aquatic wildlife based on surrounding land cover. We expected that wetlands surrounded by agricultural activity would be low quality habitat for aquatic species due to impaired water quality. We sampled 28 open-water wetlands in southwestern Ontario that were created, restored, or enhanced by Ducks Unlimited Canada within the past 5–10 years in partnership with local landowners. These wetlands were surrounded by forests, grasslands, and/or agricultural fields (Figure 1). We measured pesticide and nutrient levels and identified the aquatic invertebrate and fish communities throughout the summer after planting season. Of the pesticides tested for, 24 compounds were detected across 36% of wetlands. From our preliminary identification of invertebrates, 53 taxa were found across wetlands (14 ± 1.4 per wetland), with greater diversity in wetlands with cooler water temperatures and more surrounding forest cover (p = 0.04). Eight fish species were found across 89% of wetlands (2 ± 0.3 per wetland). Restoring wetlands in agricultural landscapes may therefore provide habitat for and bolster wetland-dependent species, as long as there are no long-term negative effects on these species, and will help to offset wetland loss in Ontario.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Freshwater ecosystem restoration in La Mauricie National Park: 16 years of ecological gains and the rewriting of the territory’s human occupation

Abstract:

A century and a half of logging and log driving prior to the creation of La Mauricie National Park have caused significant degradation of freshwater ecosystems. Some sixty log drive dams at lakes outlets altered water levels, hydric regimes and fish movement. In many locations, logs sank or washed up along shores, further
altering riparian and lake habitats. The dismantling of 20 dams and the removal of 110,000 logs from lakes in the last 16 years restored many water regimes and lake habitats in the park. Beyond these ecological gains, Resource Conservation team wanted to evaluate the resilience of riparian vegetation and the establishment of native or exotic species on newly exposed banks. The vegetation of lakes with dam removal 3, 4 and 16 years earlier was assessed and compared with a control lake. Using randomly
positioned transects, the study showed: 1) the presence of native plant species only, 2) the establishment of a secondary succession after 3 years, and 3) similar vegetation structure and composition after 16 years compared to the control.
The restoration work also allowed to make important archeological and historical discoveries in the area. The recovery of lake water levels has also revealed new paleohistoric occupation sites, demonstrating a more easterly human presence on the territory than previously assumed. Dendrochronological analysis of dam’s logs revealed an industrial scale log driving activity half a century before previously thought. The ecological restoration of lakes in La Mauricie National Park significantly improved the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems while allowing the establishment of native riparian vegetation, contributing to human history and improving beach access to park visitors.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Mitigation Approaches to Fund Stream Restoration Projects

Abstract:

Stream restoration continues to grow in popularity throughout North America. The practice of stream restoration has really taken off since the 1990’s particularly in the eastern United States and has been significantly funded through the mitigation process, which typically involves onsite mitigation or off-site mitigation as required by Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act. In the case of off-site mitigation, this is normally accomplished through the use of mitigation banks or in-lieu fees (ILF). There are advantages/disadvantages to each approach to mitigation, however the overwhelming advantage of each type of mitigation approach is that it creates a funding stream to pay for the restoration of stream impairments, which could be potentially replicated by other countries to help fund restoration projects. The author has been personally involved in on-site mitigation projects as well as off-site mitigation projects through mitigation banks and ILF programs. On-site mitigation can often be advantageous because it results in restoration of a stream that is directly being impacted. Offsite mitigation through mitigation banks and ILF programs also have advantages because they provide a means to pool mitigation dollars together so that larger more comprehensive stream restoration can be completed on a larger watershed scale. There are times when each form of mitigation represents the most viable alternative to accomplish restoration goals. The key is to develop and structure a mitigation program where each form of mitigation can be used as an option when appropriate.
This talk will focus on the various forms of mitigation practices and will provide case studies of on-site, mitigation banks and ILF mitigation projects. The talk will focus on mitigation drivers, different approaches to accomplish mitigation goals, and advantages/disadvantages of the various forms of mitigation to achieve restoration goals.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Conserving Shellfish Reefs – A Systematic Review Reveals the Need to Broaden Research Efforts

Abstract:

Globally shellfish reefs have experienced unprecedented declines from historical levels, imperilling the surrounding ecosystems and the services they provide. Shellfish conservation and restoration projects have emerged to combat and reverse this decline but are hindered by a scattered knowledge base and a lack of evidence-based best practice. To address this concern, we conducted a systematic review of English-language peer-reviewed articles studying the impacts of conservation-based actions on reef-building bivalves. A comprehensive search identified 281 relevant articles for the review. Articles were then categorized to establish the temporal and geographic extent of shellfish reef conservation research, quantify collaboration within the field, and develop a systematic map of the distribution of evidence across intervention and outcome categories. The results confirm a substantial increase in shellfish reef research with 72% of articles published since 2010. However, this evidence base is skewed, with 80% of research occurring in the United States and Northern Europe, 71% only on oysters, and 58% by only academia-affiliated authors. The systematic map of linkages and gaps also reveals disparities in the evidence base, as ecological interventions and outcomes are undertaken and measured at a far greater rate than social interventions and outcomes, despite evidence that social aspects are critical components of conservation work. To ensure future restoration practitioners have evidence that is relevant to the circumstances of their projects, this evidence base needs to be diversified and we offer recommendations on reprioritizations for future research as well as a comprehensive database of existing shellfish conservation papers.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

From Atlantic Forest Biome to local: Strengthening local forest landscape restoration networks

Abstract:

The Atlantic Forest (AF) is one of the tropical forests with the highest priority and global potential for restoration efforts. There is an urgent need for its recovery and investments must go beyond legal compliance. Considering different motivations and scales of interventions of the institutions interested in the forest landscape restoration (FLR) of the AF is crucial to guarantee that local institutions, especially the implementers, are involved and are being strengthened to access the opportunities that  will emerge for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and play an active role in it.
In 2020, Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (AFRP) supported an integrated effort with three local institutions (AFRP regional Units) in different AF landscapes. These efforts aimed to strengthen their capacity, their technical expertise, and their geospatial database aiming to increase their protagonist to support FLR local networks as well as the planning and implementation of restoration projects in the field.
According to AFRP regional units and lessons learned on this process, there is still a need for the creation and standardization of local geospatial databases in a collaborative way, so that they can be integrated on national platforms. In addition, continued technical training and experiences sharing are necessary, as well as a better connection between local implementers with a more diverse number of investors and sources of funding. The AFRP needs to continuously strength the integration between multiple platforms and access opportunities for local restoration networks – that is one of the goals of the Pact Challenge in this decade.

Resource Type:Conference Presentation, SER2021
Publication Date: 2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program