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

 

Restoring the Colorado River Delta – A framework for binational cooperation in restoration science, finance, and resource management

Abstract:

The Colorado River delta once consisted of 800,000 hectares of riverine, wetland, and estuarine habitat. This ecosystem has contracted to a fraction of its historic extent due to flow regulation and water consumption upstream. In 2012 a novel agreement between Mexico and the US provided for sharing of water under drought conditions and committed water and funding for ecological restoration. A coalition of environmental groups that facilitated negotiations partnered with the two governments to fund and implement restoration. Successful implementation has led to a successor agreement that provides additional commitments of water and funding to support expanded restoration. Remnant wetlands in the delta are part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar wetland. The Colorado River is one of the most intensively managed of 263 international rivers; it provides water for 40 million people and supports critical year-round agriculture through an extensive network of dams, reservoirs, and canals in an arid climate. A 1944 treaty provides for annual delivery of municipal and agricultural water from the US to Mexico, leaving the river with no flow through Mexico. The agreement to dedicate environmental flows to support restoration establishes a global precedent and model for other nations. While upstream water demands limit full restoration of the delta ecosystem, restoration and monitoring implemented to date, as well as creative funding and water ownership models that are driving binationally supported restoration, provide a framework for the restoration and protection of an international river corridor and estuary in a politically challenging border region.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Application of an EFlows Model in the eco-revitalization of the River Ravi, Pakistan

Abstract:

The River Ravi is one of six transboundary rivers comprising the Indus River system. Approximately 50 million people live in the basin, with more than 10 million in Lahore, its largest city. Political differences and careless development have come at profound cost to the River Ravi. In terms of the Indus Water Treaty, all Ravi flow upstream of Pakistan is abstracted by India, and flow downstream is dominated by heavily polluted discharges from cities that lack any effective infrastructure, policies, or regulations to treat their effluents. Most river reaches do not sustain aquatic life throughout the year. In the cities and towns, the stench is overwhelming, affecting the health, safety, and enjoyment of residents and eroding property prices and tax bases. Eco-revitalization efforts in the basin are multi-pronged and include status assessments, visioning, policy and institutional analyses, and investigation of cost-effective waste water treatment. The nature and level of interventions required to meet stakeholders’ visions are being guided by an ecosystem-based EFlows model that uses scientific reasoning and logic to model river ecosystem responses to past influences and interventions aimed at improving water quality, promoting year-round flows, and restoring river channels. The model captures the understanding of driving catchment processes and functioning of the rivers and uses this to provide information on how the implementation of suites of interventions would affect river ecosystem condition and, as a consequence, the potential cultural, recreational, and public health value of the River Ravi and its tributaries.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restoring fragmented habitats using eland as a veld management tool

Abstract:

With the ongoing threats to biodiversity and pressure from human activities on the unique flora of the Cape, the need for modern restoration and conservation practices has emerged. Experimenting with new tools to restore and conserve fragmented habitats is creating opportunities for novel veld management practices in the urban environment. The aim is to reach a balance between human needs while restoring and protecting biodiversity and eco-system services and functioning in the face of climate change. Remaining natural areas within the Cape hold a high biodiversity value and through understanding and enhancing the way we restore these fragmented areas, we will enhance the way people experience and value such sites. The Gantouw Project is testing a restoration tool for modern conservation practises on small, isolated conservation areas in Cape Town, and involves using habituated eland antelope to combat bush encroachment. It is expected that the eland’s browse and trampling activity will reduce canopy size, opening up the veld resulting in changes to faunal and floral communities, mimicking historical actions of large herbivores. The method of using eland as a veld management tool, apart from the ecological value, is also proving to have other beneficial spin-offs to youth of the local community. Employment opportunities are created for youth as eland monitors. Eland monitors go through various skills development programmes, contributing to growing the green economy of South Africa. Mystical eland, once a sacred animal to the San people of southern Africa, are important ambassadors, connecting people, young and old, with nature.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restored ecological infrastructure supports livelihood: Research provides the evidence

Abstract:

The SDG: 2030, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Africa Agenda 2063, the NDP (2011), are just some of the high-level plans meant to tackle ecosystem degradation, thereby securing the services they provide to society. In-fact the World Economic Forum lists climate change resilience, water crisis, extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, right at the top of highest world risks. Unless these high-risk issues are dealt with sooner, the world population, particularly in developing countries will remain in abject poverty, unemployment, and inequity into the future despite the “ambitious” targets. The targets are driven by the extent of degradation which can no longer be tolerated, such as soil erosion, dam siltation, and alien and invasive plants. These targets can be met; however, a lot of resources are required to achieve the targets, especially those due in 2020! Ecological infrastructure (EI) is a concept which has not been taken up by policy and society, including business. Amongst the reasons is proof or evidence that it can secure water at catchment level if cared for. The Water Research Commission of South Africa in partnership with more than 30-organizations funded research projects in uMngeni and uMzimvubu catchments in order to establish facts behind the value played by the EI in water security. One of the key reports highlighting the evidence will be launched at the end of the ecological infrastructure symposium. This is a key policy document which should lead to Government recognition and uptake of the EI, similarly by business and society.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Water and financial flows to guide investment in catchment protection and restoration

Abstract:

This paper forms part of a workshop focussed on sharing findings from the uMngeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership. Through this initiative, a range of catchment stakeholders have committed to investment in restoring, maintaining, and managing the natural landscape to deliver water supply services and other benefits such as job creation, improved agricultural productivity, securing cultural benefits, reduced flood damage, and increased adaptive capacity to climate change. This component seeks to identify sites in the uMngeni catchment where investment can provide long-term and sustainable returns. In essence, “what to do and where to do it” in the catchment to provide optimal benefits. This seemingly simple question encompasses complexity in time, space, and in the connections between different biophysical, social, political, economic, and governance actors as well as uncertainty regarding the most appropriate way of estimating return on investment. Based on an analysis of 10 years of water supply data, we present and test methodologies to consider the returns on investment using the cost to provide 1m³ of water from restoration activities as a basis. Drawing on analysis of ten years of water and financial flow data supply in the catchment, we consider appropriate discount rates and ROI methods and compare these to the volumes provided and costs associated with traditional forms of infrastructure investment. The methodology adopted, results obtained, and recommendations provided are particularly appropriate for rapidly developing landscapes but are also applicable in a wide range of other restoration studies.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Catchment connectivity – a society-water-space trialectic

Abstract:

Understanding the connectivies between the social, economic, biophysical, and political dimensions of the uMngeni Catchment across different landscapes is critical for building improved water governance and water security. Lefebvre’s (1991) concept of a trialectic is employed to map out the multiple relations in the hydro-social cycle of the uMngeni Catchment. The paper explores how ecological infrastructure can be used as a ‘lever of change’ within this set of relations of the water-society-space trialectic to improve water security. Research was conducted in four case studies, all pilot projects of the uMngeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership. In the Upper Catchment critical issues are the pollution of Midmar Dam due to poor service provision and agricultural run-off. Baynespruit, in the Middle Catchment, is impacted on by discharge of industrial effluent, illegal dumping and poor stormwater management. Here constructed wetlands and the rehabilitation of riparian zones are being employed as ‘experiments’ to assess the value of EI in mitigating pollution. The Palmiet Catchment is located in the urban core of Durban. It is exposed to high levels of pollution due to a range of land uses which impact on the river, including industrial pollution, poor maintenance of sewerage systems, and poor service provision in informal settlements. Mzinyathi River is located in the Qadi Traditional Authority, an area undergoing rapid densification. This densification takes place outside of formal planning processes and is having significant impacts on the catchment. These case studies are used to assemble the water-society-space trialectic to show connectivity.

 

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Multi-sector partnership and collaborative water governance in the uMngeni Catchment

Abstract:

In South Africa there has been a shift towards managing catchments as integrated socio-ecological systems to address water security challenges. Catchments represent an appropriate level of water resource governance and management. This approach intentionally links water security to ecological infrastructure management and society benefits. This relies heavily on stakeholder engagement and participation to understand the society demands and pressures on natural resources. The uMngeni catchment in KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa is typical of many rapidly developing catchments with the growing population and increase in economic development resulting in water security challenges. The catchment covers more than 4250 km² and occupies less than 5% of the surface area of KwaZulu-Natal, even though it supplies water to approximately 42% of the population of the province. Despite the investment in built infrastructure, the catchment is no longer able to provide sufficient water of adequate quality to people. The uMngeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership (UEIP), a multi-stakeholder partnership, has focussed on understanding the role that ecological infrastructure (EI) can play to supplement built infrastructure. Multi-sectoral stakeholder governance towards effective collaboration and coordination of activities associated with catchment management has become particularly important for this catchment. The partnership is committed to strategic investment in ecological infrastructure to enhance water security in the catchment. The UEIP has a well-developed research component that improves the knowledge base and contributes to various points along the science-society-policy-practice continuum. This paper provides an overview of the uMngeni Catchment, the UEIP and introduces the key research topics.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

A framework for lesson learning in FLR

Abstract:

Lesson learning generates new knowledge that is particularly important in the context of recently developed approaches, processes, and complex systems with much uncertainty. One such approach is forest landscape restoration (FLR). Although grounded in a number of disciplines (e.g. conservation biology, landscape ecology, restoration ecology), FLR has remained very fluid and moulded to suit different stakeholders, from local to global. Today, many countries or organisations commit to implement FLR. Global commitments, especially following the Bonn Challenge on FLR (2011), aim to up-scale FLR to achieve social, biodiversity, and carbon benefits. However, the FLR approach is relatively new (less than 20 years), complex due to its multifaceted nature, and long-term field experience is still limited. FLR practitioners mainly learn by doing. That makes lesson learning particularly urgent. Combining learning theory and field studies from WWF’s portfolio of long-term FLR projects worldwide, the paper proposes here a framework for lesson learning in FLR that can serve to ground both practice and policy in field experiences to date.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019

Ecological restoration as a tool to increase resilience to climate change: Learning with small farmers of the Colombian Andean-Amazon Piedmont

Abstract:

The Colombian Andean-Amazon Piedmont is one of the richest ecosystems on the Planet and also one of the most endangered. Deforestation of river basins and micro-catchments in the upper reaches has local consequences, but also affects the flow and dynamics of major tributaries. Therefore, WWF Colombia started working towards maintaining key attributes of several micro-catchments based on the results of climate change vulnerability analyses. Traditional farm systems in the area are based on small scale cattle ranching, which depends on clearing forests and using water sources irrationally. WWF used Ecosystems-Based-Adaptation theory and Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) as tools to develop actions towards increasing the sustainability of local production systems. The main difficulty in the process was to show farmers the significance of being part of the project, for which it was necessary to make them realize the increasing necessity of adapting to climate change. The main lessons derived from the process were:

  • Translate the scientific climate-change jargon into concepts the locals understand.
  • Permanent and fluent communication between all implementation partners, technicians conducting the analyses, local field officers, local technicians and farmers and their families is essential.
  • Validating with locals all aspects of the methodology including definitions, actions on the farms and the development of climate change indicators, among others.
  • Assessing the risks and threats at the farm level with the local technical teams before validating them with the spatial analyses.
Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

ResTOOL

Abstract:

Bioversity International and a number of collaborators in Colombia produced ResTOOL, an innovative online tool to select climate ready trees and seed sources for tropical dry forest restoration. ResTOOL also takes into account climate change when choosing appropriate material, and includes information about the propagation of more than 300 tree species.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This resource is relevant for the implementation of activity C1 in that it provides a tool for selecting the appropriate tree species and seed sources for tropical dry forest restoration in Colombia. Furthermore, it aids the selection of tree species that would be best considering predicted environmental and climate changes, in line with activity C2.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Forest Landscape Restoration: Conservation outcomes and lessons from Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal

Abstract:

Nepal has adopted landscape an approach of conservation, establishing the Terai Arc Landscape in 2004. Tropical and subtropical broadleaved forests, riverine forests, grasslands, and floodplains of the Terai Arc Landscape harbor meta-populations of tigers, elephants, and rhinoceros. WWF Nepal initiated the Terai Arc Landscape Program in partnership with the Government of Nepal to mobilize local communities and stakeholders for effective management and restoration of critical corridors and bottlenecks within the landscape to create and maintain ecological connectivity linking protected areas with community forests, plantations, and other conservation-friendly land-uses. A total of 22,791 ha of degraded forest and degraded land has been restored in critical corridors during last 15 years. Moreover, 237,050 families have been managing 162,818 hectares of forests as community forests that increase access to forest resources to local communities. Forest restoration and community-based forest management resulted in an increase in tiger and rhino populations. The tiger population has nearly doubled in the last ten years from 121 in 2009 to 235 in 2018, whereas the rhino population increased from 372 in 2005 to 645 in 2015. Water springs have reappeared in the restored areas within the landscape. Local communities have benefited from economic opportunities through forest and farm based green enterprises and ecotourism. It is recognized that government ownership and community stewardship could bring significant positive results in forest and landscape restoration and in increasing populations of targeted wildlife species.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Atlas of Living Australia

Abstract:

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is a collaborative, digital, open infrastructure that pulls together Australian biodiversity data from multiple sources, making it accessible and reusable. The ALA helps to create a more detailed picture of Australia’s biodiversity for scientists, policy makers, environmental planners and land managers, industry and the general public, and enables them to work more efficiently.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
The Atlas of Living Australia website can be used together with the Climate Change in Australia website to identify potential tolerance of species used in restoration to future conditions, in line with activity C2.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Lessons learnt from 13 years of restoration in a moist tropical forest: The Fandriana – Marolambo Landscape in Madagascar

Abstract:

In 2005, WWF initiated a Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) programme in the Fandriana-Marolambo landscape situated in Madagascar’s iconic moist forest (Center-East). The landscape, harbouring fragmented forest interspersed with savannah, exotic plantations, and fields stretches over 203,080 ha and is home to 150,000 people. It is rich in biodiversity but under pressure of deforestation. The objective of the programme was to restore ecological integrity and improve human well-being. The main lessons learnt:

  • Establish multi-level partnerships and start with capacity building so stakeholders and partners understand all concepts. It is necessary for sustainability and includes technical aspects as well as organizational ones.
  • Strengthening local governance structures and working with a strong social dimension: the sites that were established through a local decision-making process, which was based on social conventions, present the best rate of success and are currently still developing. While those established following unilateral decisions from the forest administration and those decided in a mixed way have varying success. Also, restoration methodologies matter as areas with active and mixed restoration actions are more successful compared to sites with passive restoration.
  • Ground implementation in scientific knowledge: the recommended species have statistically higher growth rates. Linked to the household strategies, restoration areas with households that are less dependent on forest and with other additional activities have good results.
  • Commit to the long term and design an exit strategy.
Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Climate Change in Australia website

Abstract:

Climate Change in Australia (CCIA) is a comprehensive website and suite of reports providing information about climate change projections for Australia. This body of work updates the previous CCIA research published in 2007.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
The Climate Change in Australia website can be used together with the Atlas of Living Australia website to identify potential tolerance of species used in restoration to future conditions, in line with activity C2.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Gathering lessons learnt from WWF’s experience worldwide: An overview based on 8 FLR long term field projects

Abstract:

WWF has supported Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) development since 2000 and shares the goal of restoring 350 million hectares of forest landscapes by 2030. Today more than 200 WWF staffs are involved in an active FLR community. WWF run dozens of field projects (various scales, durations, forest types, and contexts). The program also includes education efforts (EFN Reforestation grant), lobbying for private or governmental engagement including issues initiated by partnerships, participates in platforms (GPFLR, SAFRA, NGP, Trillion Trees) and supports ambitious policies (AFR100, Bonn Challenge). Restoring at the landscape scale is a long-term planned process, requiring multifaceted interventions (both ecological and social), and overall is a much richer but more difficult task than just planting trees. Providing good FLR guidance and implementation to meet commitments made by governments may be the main challenge of the coming decade. FLR practitioners only learn by doing. Thus, facilitating exchanges among field practitioners and grounding all activities on lessons learnt in the field is crucial for WWF. In 2018, WWF launched a lessons learnt exercise based on the analysis of its ‘long-term’ projects (10 to 20 year) to restore landscapes in Tanzania, Madagascar, Nepal, Malaysia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, New Caledonia, and the Lower Danube. The exercise is ongoing. It has already analysed five projects, producing specific reports and 10 to 15 high level lessons for each project. Others are under way (to be completed in 2019). This presentation will capture and share some key lessons learnt and emerging needs.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

There is hope for achieving ambitious Atlantic Forest restoration commitments

Abstract:

Achieving ambitious global restoration commitments is a huge challenge. The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact, created in 2009 as a movement to restore 15 Mha of degraded/deforested lands by 2050, pledged 1 Mha towards the 2020 Bonn Challenge. We documented the restoration of an estimated 673,510–740,555 ha of native forests from 2011 to 2015 in the Atlantic Forest, and expect that a total of 1.35–1.48 Mha will be under recovery by 2020. The Pact is one of the first Brazilian restoration initiatives to monitor an international restoration commitment and to demonstrate that ambitious targets can be reached. Part of this success in large-scale restoration is related to three main Pact activities: (i) development of restoration governance, communication and articulation; (ii) promotion of strategies to influence public policies; and (iii) establishment of restoration monitoring systems. The experience and lessons learned by the Pact could inspire and inform other restoration initiatives worldwide.

Resource Type:Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2019

Seedlot Selection Tool

Abstract:

In North America, web-based tools to identify whether species at sites will still be suited to future climate conditions include the Seedlot Selection Tool, produced by a collaboration between the US Forest Service, Oregon State University, and the Conservation Biology Institute.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This tool is in line with activity C2.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Methods for estimating the total economic values of accelerating restoration: Results for Washington’s Elwha River after dam removal

Abstract:

At an increased cost, ecologists can increase the rate and spatial extent of restoration and thereby accelerate the provision of ecosystem services. In order to justify the increased costs, we estimate the Total Economic Values of ecosystem services (TEVs of use and passive/non-use values) associated with alternative rates of restoration after dam removal on Washington’s Elwha River. TEV was estimated for two distinct restoration projects of: (1) native salmon; (2) riparian forests with associated wildlife. TEV of both projects is measured at three different restoration rates: (a) baseline recovery at no added cost; (b) moderate habitat restoration at medium cost levels; (c) extensive restoration actions at the highest cost levels to households. Washington households would pay a one-time $283 to moderately increase and $332 to substantially increase native salmon restoration beyond the baseline rates. Oregon’s households would pay a one-time $236 to moderately increase and $321 to substantially increase native salmon restoration. This pattern demonstrates that households in both states value increasing the rate of restoration. In addition, the Oregon results demonstrate that there is significant value of restoration even at substantial distances away from Washington’s Elwha River. Lastly, to increase the rate and spatial extent of riparian forest/wildlife habitat restoration, households in both states would pay an average one-time $257. This research demonstrates that the public values and would pay for accelerated restoration. In addition, measuring the full benefit of restoration requires that surveys not be limited to population centers immediately adjacent to the restoration site.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restoring wetlands on a limited budget: The evolution of engineered interventions

Abstract:

South Africa’s Working for Wetlands programme was established in 2000 through Expanded Public Works funding with the aim of restoring wetlands in a manner that maximizes employment creation, develops small enterprises, and transfers relevant and marketable skills to local communities. Balancing between the ecological and social outcomes of wetland restoration presented challenges in terms of the performance triangle of cost, time, and quality of constructed engineered interventions. The use of small, inexperienced contractors and labour drawn from local communities to work in often difficult wetland conditions and at isolated locations compounded the problem. The scale of degradation and the nature of the wetland systems requires a range of “soft” and “hard” interventions to be designed and constructed, and these range from the re-vegetation of mildly eroded soils to complex concrete weir structures that protect bed profiles of large wetland systems. Over time, the engineering budget has been declining, yet the pressure to improve efficiency and deliver more with less has been mounting. This has pushed the boundaries of innovation for the engineering team in terms of more cost-effective materials and cost-efficient designs. New design and construction principles, and more tolerant risk assessment criteria, sometimes going beyond the conventional approaches to engineering design have been developed. This paper presents the history, with examples, of how the engineering component of wetland restoration in South Africa has evolved. These engineering experiences have shaped the way wetland restoration planning and implementation are conducted in the country and may be applicable outside South Africa.

 

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The Presidio Time Machine

Abstract:

The Presidio Time Machine invites you to explore the park’s past and present using re-photography — a process that blends historic and contemporary images. Over 100 acres of Presidio wildlands have been restored during the past 25 years. From daylighted creeks, to grasslands and saltmarsh, explore the transformation!

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens

Abstract:

Botanic Gardens Conservation International hosts the Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens (ERA), through which members share the skills, resources and plant materials of Botanic Gardens to scale up restoration activities around the world.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
The ERA website contains many resources relevant to Group of activities C. Of particular importance for activity C1 are an expertise directory, helpful in identifying appropriate measures for restoration, and the Species Recovery Manual, which can be used to boost plant biodiversity within restoration projects. Project descriptions provide many examples of restoration implementation (C5), and contribute to sharing lessons learned, in line with activity D3.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Examining the cost effectiveness of stream and coastal restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A.

Abstract:

Legislative and regulatory changes since 2013 have significantly increased compliance challenges for many localities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed located in the eastern United States of America. These localities are responsible for sediment and nutrient load reductions from existing sources, or retrofits, for the first time. Stormwater retention ponds and engineered wetland facilities are commonly considered one of the more costly interventions on a dollar per pound of removal basis. Stream restoration, on the other hand, has recently proven to be one of the more cost-effective practices that are approved for water quality (WQ) treatment purposes. The US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office (CBPO) estimates that 670 kilometers of urban stream restoration will be implemented by 2025 in Virginia and Maryland because of these new water quality requirements. To quantify nutrient reductions, the CBPO developed a practical guidance document outlining acceptable methodologies for both river and coastal restoration projects. Within these documents are protocols that assist the locality in quantifying nutrient reductions for proposed WQ improvement projects.  Over the past 6 years, Stantec has tested the relevant protocols, evaluated case studies, and consulted our clients on the most cost-efficient practices for sediment and nutrient crediting towards these requirements. This presentation discusses where numerous case studies on stream and coastal restoration practices fall regarding cost effectiveness versus more traditional engineering approaches. Understanding these data and conclusions has assisted many municipalities with making the best financial decisions regarding both their environmental responsibilities and their tax paying constituents.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Assisting natural regeneration in agricultural landscapes

Abstract:

Landscape transformation due to agriculture affects ca. 40% of the planet’s land area and is the most important driver of losses of biodiversity and its services (ES) worldwide. Strategic revegetation including living fences, road sides, riparian systems, and woodland islets are an alternative to designing ecological restoration in extensive agricultural landscapes. Some benefits of such green infrastructure are well documented in the scientific literature. However, the benefit of triggering natural regeneration is poorly quantified and guidance for large-scale restoration to provide multi-functional landscapes is often lacking. I provide evidence of natural regeneration in Mediterranean cropland 25 years after abandonment and introduction of small woodland islets. Over that time period, an average of 3.8 individuals per ha per year were established. Initial oak regeneration triggered by the planted islets is slowed down by high acorn predation, seedling herbivory, and stressful microclimatic conditions. In addition, I present seven guidelines for buffer strip and hedgerow restoration that stem from ecological principles, the scientific evidence, and experience as practitioner. I tailor these guidelines to a case study in a Chilean biodiversity hot spot as a step towards cost-effective restoration. The target landscapes require restoring 0.89 ha km-2 of woody buffer strips to meet Chilean law; 1.4 ha km-2 of new hedgerows are also proposed. The cost of restoration in this landscape is estimated in ca. USD 6,900 planted ha-1 of buffer strips and hedgerows. Financial incentives, education, and professional training of farmers are identified as key issues to implement the suggested restoration actions.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

First ex situ outplanting of the habitat- forming seaweed Cystoseira amentacea var. stricta from a restoration perspective

Abstract:

In the framework of the EU project ROCPOP-Life, the first ex situ outplanting experience on Cystoseira amentacea var. stricta has been implemented in the Cinque Terre MPA (northwestern Mediterranean). A total of 400 clay tiles were fixed to the rocky shore with screws: the tiles were monitored for the next two months by photographic sampling, and survival, cover and growth were assessed. After two months, over 40% of the tiles were covered with Cystoseira juveniles, which reached approximately 8 mm in total length. The high cover (> 25%), assuring moisture and shading, and the appropriate size of the juveniles, to avert micro-grazing, at time of deployment were key to the survival and growth of the outplanted juveniles.Our finding show that outplanting of midlittoral canopy-forming species is a feasible approach for restoration efforts, with particular attention given to the early phases: i) laboratory culture, ii) transport, and iii) juveniles densities.

Resource Type:Peer-reviewed Article
Publication Date: 2019

The potential for passive restoration in alien plant-invaded ecosystems in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR)

Abstract:

Invasion by alien woody species is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of fynbos ecosystems in the CFR. This degradation impacts negatively on ecosystem services, such as water provisioning, as well as biodiversity. Fire is the main ecological driver in fynbos but also provides a window for invasion by fire-adapted alien trees and shrubs. Many fynbos species are killed by fire – termed obligate reseeders – while the remainder may resprout from lignotubers and other below-ground storage organs. Dense stands of alien trees shade out fynbos so natural recovery potential depends on the persistence of native soil-stored propagules and their germination following alien clearance. Few fynbos species can disperse far, thus colonization of highly degraded sites from intact remnants is slow. Density and duration of invasion are key to understanding thresholds to natural recovery. Other factors that influence recovery potential include the dominant invader species, vegetation type, quality of initial alien clearance and proximity to sources of fynbos and secondary invader species’ propagules.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Use of seed enhancement technologies for overcoming abiotic and biotic limitations to native plant establishment

Abstract:

Rangeland degradation and desertification is a global problem with many regions of the world experiencing declines in ecosystem goods and services and biodiversity. Often the only means of restoring these lands involves seeding with native species. The sagebrush steppe ecosystem of western North America is an example of a dryland system that is undergoing rapid ecological change as wildfires and other disturbances remove native perennial plant communities and convert the system to an exotic annual grassland. Land practitioners currently do not possess the tools needed to consistently reestablish native plants in these degraded landscapes. In this presentation, we will examine limiting factors impairing seedling establishment and show how seed enhancement technologies have the potential to overcome these identified barriers to restoration success. We will specifically share how seed enhancement technologies have the potential to improve seed delivery, protect seeds from predation and pathogen attack, improve seed germination timing, minimize mortality from freezing soils, preserve seed energy levels, and enhance seedling vigor to promote survival under drought conditions. These seed enhancement strategies have the potential to dramatically improve the effectiveness of seeding treatments that are intended to protect or restore the diversity and productivity of dryland ecosystems.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Making small seeds matter in restoration

Abstract:

In ecosystems where the severity of disturbance precludes autogenic recovery, targeted seeding with a diverse mix of native species can be the only means of restoring ecosystems. However, the success rate of broadcast seeding can be constrained by biotic and abiotic factors that impair seedling emergence and development. These effects are felt most strongly for small seeded species. Pelleting small seeds has emerged as a promising strategy to address issues such as poor seedling emergence, physical soil crusting, seed predation, and low rates of seedling establishment. However, there have not yet been any comparative studies undertaken to understand whether single seed or multi-seed pellets represent the most effective strategy for delivery of native seeds in seed-based restoration activities. In this study, the efficacy of single versus multi-seed pelleting was assessed for three different small seeded species from the Midwest region of Western Australia, Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp. supralaevis, E. leptopoda subsp. elevata and Melaleuca hamata (Myrtaceae). Seeds were coated using a Pan Coating machine due to their small size and mass, representing the first such attempt based on review of the seed coating literature for native seeds. The study focused on the comparative performance of un-pelleted seeds, single seed pellets and multi-seed pellets based on the pellet’s physical quality and germination performance in lab-based experiments.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Making the most of seeds in mine site restoration

Abstract:

Seeds are a key component for the successful restoration of landscapes degraded by mining operations. The collection and production of seeds of the appropriate origin, in the quantity and diversity needed to achieve a satisfactory degree of recovery, are onerous tasks that require careful planning and a significant budget.  However, once seeds are obtained, at an average cost of 750 $/kg, sub-standard storing and processing practices can drastically reduce the viability (and value) of the collections. The adoption of practices, standards, and technologies used in the agriculture seed industry and conservation seed banks can help obtain high quality seeds and maintain viability through the seed supply chain. This would improve chances of seed germinating; however, numerous impediments of post-mining restoration scenarios, such as unsuitable substrates and abiotic stresses, still limit seedling emergence and successful plant establishment. Seed coating could help overcome some of these logistical and ecological barriers. Seed coating is a technology developed in the agricultural sector that is used to modify the shape and size of the seed and deliver active ingredients that provide protection from predators and pathogens, stress resistance, enhance growth, and improve survival. A recent study showed that seed coating with salicylic acid improved the survival of three Australian grass species, during the dry summer months. Ongoing research is testing the effect of germination promoters and beneficial microbes, delivered via seed coating, in order to promote plant establishment and, ultimately, improve mine site restoration outcomes.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Using patch dynamics to inform ecological restoration of semi-arid and Mediterranean-type fields in Namaqualand, South Africa

Abstract:

Namaqualand is situated in the Succulent Karoo Biome, a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot. The Kamiesberg mountain range in Namaqualand contains two vegetation systems heavily degraded by cultivation. The diverse floras are being converted into single woody species-dominated communities: Galenia africana in the lower-lying Karoo and Elytroppus rhinocerotis in Mediterranean-type mountainous Renosterveld. Traditional restoration practises often ignore the role of patch dynamics, and the principles of facilitation and succession in arid systems. We tested how best to use pioneer plants and biodegradable shelters (using boxes and brush-packs) to mimic patch dynamics for successful seedling establishment in two vegetation systems in close proximity along an aridity gradient. We conducted a factorial field experiment for three years, seeding 18-20 species from a variety of functional groups in three habitats: under pioneer plants, in areas of recently removed pioneer plants, and in open areas. The Karoo and Renosterveld gave contrasting results. Seeding under G. africana plants resulted in low numbers of establishment but excellent growth rates, whereas seeding under E. rhinocerotis was less effective. Seeding into areas of recently removed G. africana was less successful compared to seeding in open areas; and the opposite results were found with E. rhinocerotis. Succulent Aizoaceae species established successfully in the Karoo, whilst in Renosterveld, grasses and herbs established was greater. Our study showed that it is better to sow seeds into open areas with sheltering structures in the Karoo, including under G. africana. Whilst in Renosterveld, we recommend sowing seeds into the space of recently removed E. rhinocerotis.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Desert soil seed banks: A refuge for plant diversity and a resource for regeneration

Abstract:

After disturbances, regeneration from seed plays an important role in plant community recovery. Soil seed banks can lead to natural regeneration, or landscapes can be actively managed by adding seeds of desirable species. Arid systems tend to experience high environmental variability, which can lead to high levels of seed dormancy. This can result in a higher amount of species diversity within the intact soil seed bank than exists within the above-ground vegetation. When seeding is necessary, understanding seed dormancy can be critical for achieving restoration goals on short timescales (e.g. managing for temporal continuity within above-ground native plant communities). When a passive restoration approach may be desirable, it is important to understand when and where dormant seeds have accumulated in soil seed banks awaiting appropriate conditions to stimulate their germination. I will present information on species and population-level differences in seed germination characteristics for a suite of common, native Great Basin forbs in the western United States, showing the variety of dormancy strategies exhibited among species and across landscapes. Further, I will present information on seed bank variation across 17 locations within the Great Basin sagebrush (Artemisia) steppe, asking whether there are environmental or biotic predictors associated with seed diversity and abundance. Understanding when soil seed banks can help or hinder restoration and understanding the range of seed dormancy strategies that exist among species and populations can help managers decide when, where, and what to seed, or when it may be appropriate to take a passive approach to community recovery.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program