Study suggests active restoration of damaged ecosystems not always better than nature

phys.org | 2/28/2018 | Staff
madalina09madalina09 (Posted by) Level 4
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An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests human efforts to restore damaged ecosystems are not always better than simply letting nature take its course. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes analyzing over 400 studies documenting ecosystem recovery efforts and reports their findings.

As humans have realized that natural areas on the planet are a limited resource, attempts have be made to repair the damage. Forests are replanted, for example, or dams are demolished—such efforts often include the reintroduction of plants and animals threatened by oil spills. But the researchers with this effort wanted to know, whether or not such efforts are better than simply allowing nature to take its course. To find out, they pored over papers and other documentation materials created by others who studied individual ecosystem recovery efforts.

Researchers - Recovery - Efforts - Bag—some - Areas

The researchers conclude that ecosystem recovery efforts are a mixed bag—some do appear to restore areas to their natural states in a relatively short amount of time. But others seemed to do no better than nature—and some did not seem to succeed at all. Planting trees in areas where they have been cut down is clearly faster, they note, than letting seedlings find their way across vast stretches of barren land. But simply removing a dam may not be enough to return a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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