Submitted to: Society for Ecological Restoration Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2003
Publication Date: 11/19/2003
Citation: Sheley, R.L., Jacobsen, J. 2003. A stepwise process for implementing augmentative restoration. 15th Annual International Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration, November 19-23, 2003, Austin, Texas. WWW.SER.org/pdf/2003_abstracts_A-L.pdf. Interpretive Summary: Augmentative restoration is a method for restoring weed infested rangeland to native plant communities where the processes directing plant community changes are selectively repaired or replaced to direct plant community to a desired trajectory. In these preliminary results, we found that augmenting areas with high disturbance by modifying both colonization and species performance increased desirable grasses and forbs over that of either treatment applied alone or the non-treated control. This concept may be useful in directing the use of natural repair processes, limiting the implementation of unnecessary procedures, and developing land-scape scale restoration in high varying rangeland.
Technical Abstract: Augmentative restoration uses heterogeneity in intact vs. damaged ecological conditions (site availability, species availability, and species performance) to guide the implementation of procedures that selectively augment intact conditions by repairing damaged conditions as they vary across the landscape. The first step to implementing augmentative restoration is to conduct a preliminary survey identifying indicators of ecological conditions found within a landscape. Using information from this survey and ecological literature, ecological conditions driving community dynamics must be categorized based on the ecological process that influences them. Third, key ecological indicators and their measurement criteria must be identified. Designing a sampling strategy and conducting sampling to locate and measure the ecological conditions as they vary across the landscape is step four. Once this information is gathered, step five involves using this known ecological heterogeneity to design procedures that augment intact conditions by selectively repairing damaged conditions as they vary across the landscape. The goal is to ensure that the ecological processes associated with each ecological condition is fully functioning and directing community dynamics on a desired trajectory. This approach may preserve the existing environmental heterogeneity and biological diversity in a landscape, reduce restoration costs by avoiding unnecessary procedures, and support the establishment and sustainability of native, diverse, and weed resistant plant communities.