Title: An Evaluation of the Short-Term Progress of Restoration Combining Ecological Assessment and Public Perception
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC62562
ISSN: 1061-2971
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2011.00855.x/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2011.00855.x
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Most of today¿s restoration programs have multiple objectives: aiming for socio-economic as well as environmental benefits. Their monitoring and evaluation should therefore be based on measuring multidisciplinary indicators. In this study we examined the short term impacts of different restoration methods using ecological as well as visual/social measures. The study included five year old sites re-vegetated with grasses (native/non-native) and Nootka lupine (an introduced species) compared with control sites. Parameters measured included plant cover, species composition and soil C, N and pH. Furthermore, color photos were used to evaluate people¿s perception on the different treatments where participants were asked five questions on the visual appearance of the sites. Vegetation cover was significantly higher for all restoration treatments (36-92%) than the cover on control plots (6%). Biological soil crust and mosses were mostly absent, and only minor differences were found in measured soil parameters. Visual appearance of fertilized sites was in all cases ranked higher than the control sites except the lupine sites. Photos that participants regarded as resembling natural vegetation forms ranked higher in all cases than the ones they perceived as artificial. We conclude that ecological indicators are essential in evaluating the success of ecological restoration because restoration of ecosystem functions and structure are fundamental for the achievement of other benefits. Social factors, such as perception of the restored sites are, however, also very important since restoration programs always need the support and acknowledgment of society and should generally be designed with societies¿ needs and preferences in mind.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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