Are Ecosystem Composition, Structure, and Functional Status Related to Restoration Success? A Test from Semiarid Mediterranean Steppes

Maestre, F.T., J. Cortina and R. Vallejo

Publication Date:

We conducted experimental plantings of the native late successional shrub Pistacia lentiscus in 10 semiarid steppes located in southeast Spain and related seedling survival rates to measures of ecosystem structure and composition and to surrogates of ecosystem functioning. Our results suggest, but cannot confirm, that the functional status of the ecosystem may not limit the early stages of establishment of P. lentiscus in semiarid steppes and that abiotic conditions play an overriding role in this process. If true, its introduction in these areas would not necessarily need a previous phase of recovery of ecosystem functions like nutrient cycling and infiltration.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology