Guidelines for Embedded Experiments in Ecological Restoration and Management in Australia

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Linda Broadhurst, Suzanne M. Prober , Lucy E. Commander, Guy Boggs, David Bush , Martin F. Breed , Fiona Dickson , Peter A. Harrison, Sacha Jelline , A. Jasmyn J. Lynch, Paul D. Rymer

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Over the past three decades, investment in ecological restoration across Australia has developed a network of highly knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. The recent UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030) declaration to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide (, and Australia’s pressing to restore ecosystems and threatened species habitat to improve resilience to fire and climate change, will likely spark a further increase in restoration activities. This increase in activity represents a significant opportunity to add value to restoration by upskilling practitioners to embed experiments within their projects. These experiments are needed to help quantify the effectiveness of our restoration investments and how we can improve them. The embedded experiments could address a broad range of questions, including: where should we source seeds from, does microbial inoculation improve plant growth, and what are the optimal species combinations and spatial arrangements of plantings? To assist practitioners to incorporate embedded experiments into their projects, over 30 researchers, practitioners and government agency staff have collectively developed the ‘Guidelines for Embedded Experiments in Ecological Restoration and Management in Australia’ (aka Guidelines). The Guidelines cover topics including developing science partnerships, planning, experimental design, monitoring and data management. While written for an Australian audience, the Guidelines will be globally relevant and aim to facilitate collaborative networks that improve partnerships between practitioners and scientists. Ultimately, we hope that they will generate standardized and scalable data to addresses core national research questions.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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