A framework to apply trait-based ecological restoration at large scales.

Published online
08 Jan 2024
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Coutinho, A. G. & Carlucci, M. B. & Cianciaruso, M. V.
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enThis link goes to a English sectionptThis link goes to a English section Upscaling trait-based restoration to regional levels is necessary as we enter the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. For this, we need to select species that achieve functional targets considering the regional species pool. Here, we present a framework to achieve multiple restoration targets using a regional species pool containing the species available on the market, species unavailable, and species that occur in reference ecosystems. The framework enables optimising functional diversity (FD), recovering FD and composition using reference ecosystems, reducing cost and increasing species diversity in restoration. Additionally, our framework allows the detection of functionally relevant species in the regional pool that are unavailable for restoration on the market. We illustrate our framework with a data set of Brazilian savanna tree communities. It was not possible to optimise FD with the species available on the market. To achieve this target, it would be necessary to use unavailable species from the regional pool. However, with the species available on the market it was possible to obtain communities resistant to fire and to restore functional composition and diversity to levels similar to or greater than those observed in reference ecosystems. Synthesis and applications. Our framework selects species to achieve multiple targets in large-scale trait-based restoration initiatives. The framework shows a range of solutions that can be achieved with the regional species pool. That allows the restoration practitioner to verify if functional parameters are truly optimised and which species should be added to the market or collected from the wild to achieve restoration targets. It also shows how different selected communities are from reference ecosystems, avoiding the unintentional creation of novel ecosystems.

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