Applicability of Landscape and Island Biogeography Theory to Restoration of Riparian Understorey Plants

Holl, K.D. and E.E. Crone

Publication Date:

We tested whether ideas from landscape ecology (local vs. landscape scales) and island biogeography theory (patch size and isolation) predict restoration success for understorey plant communities in a highly fragmented riparian landscape, in an effort to provide guidance on how to allocate scarce restoration resources. Local factors explained more of the variance in understorey plant communities, but much of the variance remained unexplained. Our results provide weak support for the predictions of island biogeography theory and the importance of landscape-scale variables. These theories did not have strong predictive power in this applied restoration context at this temporal scale. Given limited resources, efforts to restore understorey plant communities in this highly fragmented system should focus on local-scale restoration methodologies, such as increasing cover of native overstorey species and reducing cover of exotic plants.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Applied Ecology