Chapter

Linking Restoration and Ecological Succession

Part of the series SPRINGER SERIES ON ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT pp 19-44

Insights Gained from Succession for the Restoration of Landscape Structure and Function

  • Roger del Moral
  • , Lawrence R. Walker
  • , Jan P. Bakker

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Abstract

Restoration starts with the desire to improve degraded and destroyed landscapes or ecosystems. Land can be returned to utility through enhancing fertility, by reversing the long-term effects of agriculture, mining, or logging or by ameliorating toxicity. Plant communities also can be modified to resemble their former condition in an effort to provide conservation benefits (van Andel and Aronson 2006). In this chapter, we focus on insights from succession that enhance the rate and quality of restoration. Restoration outcomes are affected by aboveground and belowground processes, but are usually assessed as impacts on aboveground structure and function.We emphasize those processes that can be readily manipulated through a model that features “bottlenecks” to effective restoration.