Pre-existing vegetation can have large impacts on species establishment in degraded habitats. Inhibition predominates in herbaceous communities typical of early-successional stages, whereas facilitation prevailes in communities dominated by shrubs and trees. Even productive systems (e.g. mesic temperate habitats) appear suitable for the application of facilitation as a restoration tool of woody communities. Whereas restoring herbaceous communities seems largely reliable on removal techniques, augmenting populations of nurse shrubs and trees should be considered a promising strategy for restoring woody late-successional communities.
Journal of Ecology