Severe disturbances usually denude an ecological community of its structure (based on its species composition) and function. Restoration requires that the community be re-assembled, but the question is what key aspects need attention and in what order or priority? Parks and protected areas offer some challenges but the opportunities offered by the existence of good, protected ‘reference states’ for comparison to degraded areas and restored areas are attractive to researchers. To begin to test methods of ecological restoration of forest communities, I compared four sites within a medium sized municipality (Region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada). Two sites were relatively undisturbed forest communities in protected areas; the other sites were disturbed by construction of housing developments.
Parks Research Forum of Ontario