Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390006

Research Project: Restoration and Conservation of Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Ecological restoration in the age of apocalypse

item Svejcar, Lauren
item Davies, Kirk
item RITCHIE, ALISON - University Of Western Australia

Submitted to: Global Change Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2023
Publication Date: 6/13/2023
Citation: Svejcar, L.N., Davies, K.W., Ritchie, A.L. 2023. Ecological restoration in the age of apocalypse. Global Change Biology. 29(17):4706-4710.

Interpretive Summary: A multi-year approach to restoration is needed to account for years with apocalyptic barriers to seedling establishment.

Technical Abstract: Billions of dollars are spent annually on ecological restoration efforts around the world and yet successful attainment of restoration targets still falls short in many regions. Globally, ecosystem restoration is becoming increasingly challenged with changes in climate. Years with extreme climatic events that limit plant establishment, such as severe drought, heatwaves, and floods are projected to increase in frequency. A critical evaluation of current ecological restoration practices and changes to those practices are needed to attain global restoration targets. For plant restoration, many efforts globally focus on planting in a single year following disturbance. The odds of restoration efforts being conducted in a year that is inconducive to plant establishment may be calculated using climatic risk data. We propose a risk-mitigation approach to restoration wherein plantings are conducted across multiple years for projects in a bet-hedging strategy and evaluated through an adaptive management approach.