The practice of ecological restoration is a primary option for increasing levels of biodiversity by modifying human-altered ecosystems. The scientific discipline of restoration ecology provides conceptual guidance and tests of restoration strategies, with the ultimate goal of predictive landscape restoration. I construct a conceptual model for restoration of biodiversity, based on site-level (e.g., biotic and abiotic) conditions, landscape (e.g, interpatch connectivity and patch geometry), and historical factors (e.g., species arrival order and land-use legacies). I then ask how well restoration ecology has addressed the various components of this model. During the past decade, restoration research has focused largely on how the restoration of site-level factors promotes species diversity—primarily of plants. Relatively little attention has been paid to how landscape or historical factors interplay with restoration, how restoration influences functional and genetic components of biodiversity, or how a suite of less-studied taxa might be restored.
American Journal of Botany