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Download Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems epub

by Stuart K. Allison

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.

The book 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.

Download Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems epub
ISBN: 1849712859
ISBN13: 978-1849712859
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: Stuart K. Allison
Language: English
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 20, 2012)
Pages: 264 pages
ePUB size: 1290 kb
FB2 size: 1886 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 243
Other Formats: mobi txt lrf mbr

I don't agree with a lot of the content of Ecological Restoration and Environmental change, but it was an invaluable reference for me to wade into the topic. Restoration ecology is rapidly becoming one of the most important and active fields in applied ecology in part because the world is becoming predominantly habitats that have been degraded as pristine nature (if it even exists anymore) in our domesticated biosphere disappears. In spite of its rising popularity, there are few texts on the topic. I am not a restoration ecologist, but I greatly admire the researchers and practitioners in the field. I have seen these folks trying to restore mountains whose tops have been blown off, marshes destroyed by toxic effluents, grasslands ravaged by unregulated grazing, and habitats choked with weeds. Most of us ecologists flee to natural habitats and protected areas lacking the stomach to tackle damaged ecosystems. However, as an ecologist who believes in the value of native species and restoration targets modeled on some idea of the pristine, I disagree with much of the current thinking on restoration and I find the increasing trend of restorationists to accept invasive species as community members and to build communities that have no analogs in nature, disturbing. Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change is well written and one of the most reflective reviews of the topic I know. It hasn't changed my mind about restoration, but it has expanded and deepened my appreciation of the complexity of the topic. It is too expensive, however, and this will prevent it from getting into the hands of those who need it most - restorationists in developing countries.
Allison challenges some well known myths about restoration work and asks great questions about why and how we restore the environment. He also sums up the work being done in Europe, Africa and America, pointing out differences and similarities. I work in the restoration field and found this book to be one of the best I have read. I highly recommend it.