Wilkins, S., D.A. Keith and P. Adam
We compared the floristic composition and structure of restoration areas of eucalypt woodland with untreated pasture (control) and remnant vegetation (reference) in western Sydney. The restored areas comprised over 1,000 ha of abandoned pasture, which had been treated to reduce weeds and planted with seedlings of 26 native plant species raised from seed obtained locally from remnant vegetation. Plantings were carried out 0–9 years ago. The results therefore suggest either failure of restoration treatments or a restoration trajectory that is too slow to detect within 10 years of establishment. Our conclusions agree with those of similar studies in other ecosystems and support: (1) the need to monitor restoration projects against ecological criteria with rigorous sampling designs and analytical methods, (2) further development of restoration methods, and (3) regulatory approaches that seek to prevent damage to ecosystems rather than those predicated on replacing losses with reconstructed ecosystems.