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What is a natural habitat? Who can define what is natural when species and ecosystems constantly change over time, with or without human intervention? When a polluted river or degraded landscape is restored from its damaged state, what is the appropriate outcome? With climate change now threatening greater disruption to the stability of ecosystems, how should restoration ecologists respond?
Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change addresses and challenges some of these issues which question the core values of the science and practice of restoration ecology. It analyzes the paradox arising from the desire to produce ecological restorations that fit within an historical ecological context, produce positive environmental benefits and also result in landscapes with social meaning. Traditionally restorationists often felt that by producing restorations that matched historic ecosystems they were following nature's plans and human agency played only a small part in restoration. But the author shows that in reality the process of restoration has always been defined by human choices. He examines the development of restoration practice, especially in North America, Europe and Australia, in order to describe different models of restoration with respect to balancing ecological benefit and cultural value. He develops ways to balance more actively these differing areas of concern while planning restorations.
Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change debates in detail how coming global climate change and the development of novel ecosystems will force us to ask new questions about what we mean by good ecological restoration. When the environment is constantly shifting, restoration to maintain biodiversity, local species, and ecosystem functions becomes even more challenging. It is likely that in the future ecological restoration will become a never-ending, continuously evolving process.
1. You Can't Not Choose
2. How Did We Get Here? A Brief History of Ecological Restoration
3. Restoration is an Active Choice
4. Climate Change - Is Rapid Pace and Magnitude a Bridge Too Far for Ecological Restoration?
5. Novel Ecosystems - A New Wrinkle for Ecological Restoration
6. Geographic Variation in Attitudes to Ecological Restoration and Why it Matters
7. Renewed Restoration: Building a Middle Path Towards a Restored Earth
8. Building the Restored Future: Making the Renewal Happen
Stuart K. Allison is a Professor of Biology and Director of the Green Oaks Field Research Center at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, USA
"I would recommend this book to anyone who is already involved with ecological restoration, about to become involved or who has a relevant policy interest. It is a well considered and balanced perspective of the field"
– John Hopkins, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
"Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change is an engaging introduction to the science of restoration ecology, providing examples, pointing out problems, and proposing new ways to think about ecological restoration in an era of climate change and invasive species."
– Cheryll Glotfelty, University of Nevada, in PULSE
"Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems is filled with excellent easy-to-read case studies that provide good background information for both the academic and the student. Whether someone has a casual interest in the human decisionmaking ethics surrounding ecological restoration, someone needs to manage an ecosystem restoration budget, or someone is a natural resource scientist, Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems is a must-have addition to their professional library."
– Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Mongabay.com
"This clearly written book provides an excellent overview of the field of ecological restoration [...] This relatively new area of study is thoroughly covered in two chapters; the first addresses how the rapidity of climate change might (and already does) adversely affect ecosystems, and the second covers the subject of managing novel ecosystems through adaptive management. Together, these chapters are a valuable addition to restoration ecology literature. Though written for a well-informed general audience with some knowledge of restoration ecology, this book would be a strong addition to undergraduate or graduate-level courses in restoration theory and practice. Summing Up: Highly recommended"
– D. Goldblum, CHOICE
"Because of its richness in theoretical knowledge, Allison's book is strongly recommended to a broad circle of environmental scientists and practitioners, not necessarily those who are involved in restoration themselves. Students and other beginners should also appreciate it."
– Dmitry A. Ruban, Rostov am Don, Paläontologie Allgemein