Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377886

Research Project: Restoration and Conservation of Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Improving restoration success through a precision restoration framework

Author
item Copeland, Stella
item BAUGHMAN, OWEN - The Nature Conservancy
item Boyd, Chad
item Davies, Kirk
item KERBY, JAY - Non ARS Employee
item KILDISHEVA, OLGA - The Nature Conservancy
item SVEJCAR, TONY - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Restoration Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2020
Publication Date: 1/12/2021
Citation: Copeland, S.M., Baughman, O.W., Boyd, C.S., Davies, K.W., Kerby, J., Kildisheva, O., Svejcar, T. 2021. Improving restoration success through a precision restoration framework. Restoration Ecology. 29(2):e13348. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13348.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13348

Interpretive Summary: Restoring native vegetation in drylands is a global priority and major challenge due to their economic importance and potential for degradation. We introduce the concept of “precision restoration” and describe a framework for applying it, using an example from the sagebrush steppe biome. Our steps for applying precision restoration are 1) identifying site-specific critical barriers to restoration success, 2) understanding the spatial and temporal variability of each barrier, and 3) applying the best available restoration strategies given the specific barrier and its variability described in the first two steps. Using this framework is likely to enhance restoration success by shifting the initial focus of restoration planning away from singular landscape-wide approaches, and toward the assessment, spatiotemporal variability, and targeting of restoration barriers.

Technical Abstract: Dryland ecosystems represent a significant portion of global land area, support billions of people, and suffer high rates of land degradation. Successfully restoring native vegetation to degraded drylands is a global priority and major challenge—highlighting the need for more efficient and successful restoration strategies. We introduce the concept of “precision restoration,” which targets critical biotic and abiotic barriers to restoration success and applies specific tools or methods based on barrier distribution in space and time. With an example from the sagebrush steppe biome, a North American cold desert, we present a framework for precision restoration in drylands that involves: (1) identifying site-specific critical barriers to restoration success, (2) understanding the spatial and temporal variability of each barrier, and (3) applying the best available restoration strategies given the specific barrier and its variability, described in the first two steps. This framework aims to enhance restoration success by focusing restoration practices on ameliorating the influential barriers when and where they occur and away from applying singular landscape-wide approaches.