An Ecological Decision Framework for Environmental Restoration Projects

Pastorok, R.A., A. MacDonald, J.R. Sampson, P. Wilber, D.J. Yozzo and J.P. Titre

Publication Date:

Ecosystem restoration projects require planning and monitoring to maximize project success relative to costs, yet many projects completed thus far have been planned on an ad hoc, consensus basis and are virtually ignored after revegetation at the site is complete. We describe a formalized planning process geared specifically to the needs of ecologicalrestoration projects (and ecosystem rehabilitation or management projects; National Research Council, 1992). This process emphasizes: 1) the importance of defining objectives related to the appropriate ecosystem structure, function, and spatial scale; 2) the role of ecological models, restoration hypotheses, and key ecological parameters; 3) explicit consideration of uncertainties in site processes and material performance in the restoration design; 4) guidelines for project design and feasibility analysis and the use of experimentation at this stage; and 5) monitoring and adaptive management of restoration projects after implementation of a design.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecological Engineering