Spatially designed revegetation—why the spatial arrangement of plants should be as important to revegetation as they are to natural systems

McCallum, K.P., A.J. Lowe, M.F. Breed, D.C. Paton

Publication Date:

The spatial arrangements of plants, both within and between species, play a key role in natural systems and influence many fundamental ecological processes (e.g. survival, competition, facilitation, pollination, and seed dispersal) and ecosystem functions (e.g. habitat value, erosion, water, and nutrient capture). Despite this knowledge, fine‐scale planting arrangements are rarely considered during restoration plantings, yet manipulation of planting designs has the potential to aid the development of resilient and self‐sustaining ecosystems. Here, the authors outline how the spatial arrangement of plants can influence processes both at the vegetation level and more broadly at the ecosystem level. The review is focused on woodland systems, but also draws on key examples from grassland ecosystems. Finally, they outline components of population and community level arrangements (e.g. spacing, aggregation, community composition) that can be considered during restoration plantings—spatially designed revegetation—which are likely to lead to improved ecological outcomes of woodland and grassy woodland revegetation.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology