Resilience as a background principle of ecosystem restoration projects

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Shane Grundy

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Background resilience is an extremely important component to understand for any restoration project. The key to being able to assess resilience, loss of resilience, and future impacts affecting resilience requires a comprehensive understanding of local ecosystem functions and any external impacts effecting the project area. All sites have tell-tale signs of their resilience, that is their ability to regenerate naturally, or through assisted restoration techniques. To establish the site regeneration potential there are many individual components that need to be considered. These include but are not limited to: Stored resilience in the soil through a seed bank Connectivity to areas of high resilience Changes in hydrology Ongoing degrading impacts Remnant vegetation Ongoing human usage Once the assessment has been made of the site’s resilience, it is then critical to select the correct restoration techniques to ensure that maximum benefits are gained from the retained site resilience. It is also important to understand that there is potential to reduce the sites resilience through the incorrect implementation of restoration techniques or their order of application. A good understanding of your site’s resilience and knowledge on how to best use it can often mean a large saving in restoration costs. A poor understanding of resilience in planning stages can focus on fabrication of an ecosystem, which is very costly. The first priority is to always to protect existing site resilience.  

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration