Ecological restoration projects seek to recover the natural functioning of degraded ecosystems, most often areas disturbed by human large scale projects such as agriculture developments, road building, mining and urban sprawl. While scientists focus on the ecological basis of habitat repair, practitioners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and local people tend to worry about social, economic, cultural and political aspects. The value of ecological restoration is discussed here with examples including tropical forests in Vietnam and Australia; degraded environments in China as a paradigm of global issues; the restoration of wetlands and the coastal zone and how to proceed with urban developments. The author also uniquely assesses how ecological restoration can be used against the impacts of climate change. In addition to strategies for extending ecological restoration at global scale, it provides useful ideas and tools for the everyday work of professionals, researchers and students.
Part I. Global Perspectives for Ecological Restoration: 1. The challenges of humanity in the twenty-first century and the role of ecological restoration Francisco A. Comin; 2. The global carbon cycle: current research and uncertainties in the sources and sinks of carbon Dario Papale and Riccardo Valentini; 3. Using international carbon markets to finance forest restoration Johannes Ebeling, Malika Virah-Sawmy and Pedro Moura Costa; 4. The value of a restored earth and its contribution to a sustainable and desirable future Robert Costanza; 5. Focal restoration Eric Higgs; 6. Ethical dimensions of ecological restoration Rebecca L. Vidra and Theodore H. Shear; Part II. Towards the Practice of Ecological Restoration at Global Scale: 7. Undertaking forest restoration on a landscape scale in the humid tropics: matching theory and practice in developed and developing countries David Lamb; 8. Land degradation and ecological restoration in China Bojie Fu, Dong Niu, Yihe Lu, Guohua Liu and Wenwu Zhao; 9. Conservation, restoration and creation of wetlands: a global perspective William J. Mitsch; 10. Uses, abuses and restoration of the coastal zone Francisco A. Comin, Jordi Serra and Jorge A. Herrera; 11. Spatial ecological solutions to mesh nature and people: Boston suburb, Barcelona region, and other urban regions Richard T. T. Forman; 12. The role of ecological modelling in ecosystem restoration Sven Erik Jorgensen; 13. Restoration as a bridge for cooperation and peace Amos Brandeis.
Francisco A. Comin is an ecologist with background experience on ecosystem analysis and development of management tools. He has been Professor of Ecology at University of Barcelona (Spain) for 25 years and visiting professor of CINVESTAV-IPN (Merida, Yucatan, Mexico) for 15 years. Books published include Global Climate. Current research and uncertainties in the Climate System, with X. Rodo (Springer, 2003); Saline Lakes. Developments in Hydrobiology 59, with T. Northcote (Springer, 1990); and Limnology and Aquatic Birds. Monitoring, Modelling and Management, with J. A. Herrera and J. Ramirez (Univ. Autonoma del Yucatan Publ., 2000). He has been performing research on practical works on ecological restoration for twenty years. The integration of scientific-technical, economic and social aspects is a guide for his work on ecological restoration. Topics in the frontier between different sciences are a special subject of interest as is shown in this book. He is a member of SER International, Intecol and RIACRE.
The range of case studies is welcome and inspires confidence in restoration schemes while emphasizing the uniqueness of each situation. Chapters on ecosystem modeling and the value of restoration as a means of promoting inter-group co-operation are fitting ends to this book which provides a sound introduction to ecological restoration. The case studies give cause for optimism as they reflect the ability of society to redress environmental abuse and show that adverse human impact can be addressed positively. Antoinette Mannion, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society