- Introduction of Ecosystem and concept of restoration ecology
It is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed or deteriorated (society for Ecological restoration definition). Also we can define Restoration ecology is a complex conservation activity that creates plant and animal communities/ecosystems modeled on historical systems and ecological theory, on sites that have been significantly altered by modern human disturbance. Concept of restoration ecology to other efforts to improve degraded lands or destroyed ecosystem. This figure illustrating that there are a number of efforts that may be employed to help improve injured ecosystems. Terms like restoration, rehabilitation, remediation, and reclamation are often used interchangeably in practice, but their definitions vary by authorizing laws and implementing agencies. Now The degraded ecosystem exhibits a lower level of structure and function, compared to the original ecosystem. The degraded ecosystem can be returned to its original state using removal, cleanup, remediation and other restoration activities. Along the black arrow pointing toward “Reclamation,” the shows reclamation activities improving the structure and function of the ecosystem. Restoration activities (shown as occurring along the dotted arrow) further improve the Ecosystem structure and return the ecosystem to its original state. Off-site mitigation can be used alone or in combination with other approaches to return ecosystems (perhaps in a different location) to their original state. Anyway ecological restoration is defined as an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of a degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem with respect to its health.
Restoring Ecological Function
The desire to restore species and communities stems both from their intrinsic ecological Value as well as the provision of critical ecosystem services. However, a focus on ecological processes in a restoration context provides a different view of the State and dynamics of ecosystems and the services they may provide. In pragmatic terms,
Measuring ecological functioning requires appraisal of key ecological processes, such as
- Nutrient processing,
- Productivity or decomposition.
The currency is typically a process rate, and it reflects system performance. Because ecosystem function may indicate important elements of system performance, environmental managers are also increasingly interested in the use of functional assessments.
Historically, many ecological restoration efforts have focused on single species, populations, or the Composition of ecological communities. However, it is recognized increasingly that restoration of ecological processes, such as nutrient turnover or hydrological flux, may be critical components of restoration outcomes. This understanding has been paralleled by an upsurge in ecological research on the linkage between ecological structure (e.g., species diversity, habitat complexity) and ecological function (e.g., biogeochemical processes, disturbance regimes). Linking theoretical models of ecosystem and community change with restoration ecology has the potential to advance both the practice of restoration and our understanding of the dynamics of degraded environment. Ideally, ecological restoration efforts create physical and ecological conditions that promote self-sustainable, resilient systems with the capacity for recovery from rapid change and stress (Holling 1973; Walker et al. 2002).
1.2. Restoring of soil degradtion
Soil; the most basic of all resources, the mother of every productivity, it is the essence of all terrestrial life and a cultural heritage. Yet, soil is finite in extent, prone to degradation by natural and anthropogenic factors. Any way in order to restore the soil it must be focused on the Physical restoration, Chemical restoration, Biological restoration and Ecological restoration.
1.Physical restoration: by
- Reducing desertification,
- improving aggregation,
- improving plant available water capacity, improving aeration.
- Chemical restoration: by
- By alleviating acidification,
- decreasing Salinization,
- creating elemental favorable balance,
- improving activity and capacity of nutrient pools,
3.Biological restoration . by
- Increasing microbial biomas carbon
- Enhancing soil Biodiversity
- Creating disease suppressive soils
- Increasing mycohorhizal and Rhizobial population.
4.Ecological restoration of soil by
- Increasing soil C pool
- Strengening elemental cyclin
- Creating favorable hydrological balance
- Enhancing ecoystem service
1.2.1. Soil Fertility Management to Restore Soil Quality
Sustainable intensification (SI), producing more from less by reducing losses and increasing the use efficiency, is attainable only through improvement of soil quality including chemical quality or soil fertility. Although not the only way to increase soil fertility, the use of INM is a very effective approach for achieving SI. Nutrient depletion and loss of soil fertility are major causes of low productivity  in many developing countries. Use of organic amendments, by recycling organic by-products including urban waste, is a useful strategy to enhance soil fertility and improve structural stability or aggregates . While, nitrogen (N) input is important to improving soil fertility, its improper and/or excessive use can also lead to environmental pollution. China consumes about 30% of the world’s N fertilizer , and is able to feed ~22% of the world population on just 6.8% of the global cropland area. However, the country has severe environmental problems because of low N use efficiency, leaching of reactive N into surface and groundwater resources, and emission of N (as N2O) into the atmosphere. Soil organic matter has been identified as an indicator of soil fertility based on the rationale that it contributes significantly to soil physical, chemical, and biological properties that affect vital ecosystem processes of rangelands, Soil aggregate stability is widely recognized as a key indicator of soil and rangeland health. It is related to a number of ecosystem properties, processes, and functions, including the quantity and composition of organic matter, soil biotic activity, infiltration capacity, and resistance to erosion. Soil aggregation has potential benefits on soil moisture status, nutrient dynamics, slope maintenance, and erosion reduction.
1.2.2 Improving Soil/Agro-Biodiversity
Soil biota are important to soil restoration and reduce risks of degradation and desertification. Indeed, soil biota comprise a major component of global terrestrial biodiversity and perform critical roles in key ecosystem functions (e.g., biomass decomposition, nutrient cycling, moderating CO2 in the atmosphere, creating disease suppressive soils, etc.). Improving activity and species diversity of soil fauna and flora (micro, meso and macro) is therefore essential to restoring and improving soil quality and reducing risks of soil degradation. Adverse effects of agricultural management on soil microbiological quality is another global concern.
- Rangeland restoration and management
Natural ecosystems have been severely destroyed because of anthropogenic disturbances, unreasonable utilization, and neglect of protection and restoration. These disturbed or degraded ecosystems are confronted with poor soil fertility, shortage of water and deteriorated microenvironment, which would severely restrict their productivity. How to comprehensively restore and harness the degraded ecosystem is a key issue in increasing productivity, improving environmental conditions and achieving sustainable development. When the disturbance is removed, the degraded ecosystems will initiate a succession to the primitive community, and restoration process is considered as the progressive succession. Management of rangeland degradation can be divided into preventative and restoration measures. Answers to preventative measures can often be found within the causes of land degradation. In view of the massive scale of land degradation. where restoration is of significant importance to land owners. The fast rate at which intact natural ecosystems are degraded and decline, has emphasized the importance of ecological restoration to maintain the earth’s natural capital .
In order to restore degraded ecosystems, it is crucial to identify which ecosystem functions should be restored first. It is therefore, important to define the functional status of the ecosystem beforehand. It is also important to establish the relationship between ecosystem structure and functioning, and to assess the potential for ecosystem restoration.
2.1. The role of vegetation in restoration of degraded rangelands
Vegetation plays an important role in erosion control; it efficiently mitigates erosion by active and passive protection. Active protection against erosive agents consists of raindrop interception (Woo et al., 1997), and increase in water infiltration in soil, thermal regulation and soil fixation by root systems. Vegetation also has a passive action by trapping and retaining sediments inside the catchment due to its aerial parts. A protective soil cover can be installed efficiently on eroded lands using bioengineering works based on common practices of ecological engineering. These structures favor artificial and natural vegetation dynamics so the vegetation predominates over erosive dynamics and controls it. The long-term goal of the degradation interventions is to restore ecosystems, in accordance with recent considerations about ecological engineering concepts and techniques Restoration is commonly considered as accelerated succession. Planting vegetation as a restoration measure for degraded rangelands is preferred over structural measures since concrete, stonework, wood or any other building materials are subject to decay and liable to be avoided Vegetation grows through different stages while it is improving the function of the ecosystem by providing physical soil protection against erosion by reducing the velocity of runoff and its decomposition contributes to nutrient cycling.
2.2. RANGELAND RESTORATION TECHNIQUES
In rangelands that have become degraded to the point that ecosystem functions cannot recover solely through-improved management strategies within practice-relevant time spans, active rehabilitation techniques are sought Most of these techniques aim at the improvement of soil water status by increasing infiltration or decreasing evaporative loss. These restoration techniques include introducing transplants, application of brush packs or organic mulch and developing micro catchments to capture runoff . Revegetation and improvement of degraded land should be practiced after development of better techniques of seedbed preparation and planting methods . Seed germination and establishment of natural and artificial revegetation is a result of the number of seeds favorable in microsites or „safe sites‟ in the seedbed rather than the total number of available seeds . Various techniques to improve microsites for sown seeds and to increase the seed germination rate and establishment have been introduced in the rangeland revegetation process .Some methods used for rangeland restoration consist of biological and mechanical approaches. The biological approach includes planting methods of seeds using manure, gravel, and grass. The mechanical approach includes use of farm implements to disturb the soil.
- Restoration Ecology and Evolutionary Process
Restoration activities have increased dramatically in recent years, creating evolutionary challenges and opportunities. Though restoration has favored a strong focus on the role of habitat, concerns surrounding the evolutionary ecology of populations are increasing.
previous researchers have considered the importance of preserving extant diversity and
maintaining future evolutionary potential, but they have usually ignored the prospect of ongoing evolution in real time. However, such contemporary evolution (changes occurring over one to a few hundred generations) appears to be relatively common in nature . Moreover, it is often associated with situations that may prevail in restoration projects, namely the presence of introduced populations and other anthropogenic disturbances Any restoration program may thus entail consideration of evolution in the past, present,and future. Restoration efforts often involve dramatic and rapid shifts in habitat that may even lead to different ecological states (such as altered fire regimes) Genetic variants that evolved within historically different evolutionary contexts (the past) may thus be pitted against novel and mismatched current conditions (the present). The degree of this mismatch should then determine the pattern and strength of selection acting on trait variation in such populations.
3.1. Restoration Ecology for climate change
Also I want to write the linkages between two fields that have been little acquainted yet
have much to say to one another: restoration ecology and climatology. The limited discourse
between these fields is surprising. In the last two decades there have been significant theoretical breakthroughs and a proliferation of research on historical climate and climate-related sciences that have led to an overhaul of our understanding of Earth’s climatesystemThese new insights are relevant to restoration and ecology—so much so that fuller understanding could trigger rethinking of fundamental principles.
Conceptual views of the natural world influence tactical approaches to conservation, restoration, and resource management. to understand and assimilate into restoration ecology theory—that is, the role of the natural climate system as a pervasive force of ecological change. Advances in environmental sciences The phrase climate change usually connotes global warming, greenhouse gas impacts, novel anthropogenic threats, and international politics. There is, however, a larger context that we must begin during the mid-to-late twentieth century on ecological succession, disturbance, and spatial and temporal variability motivated a shift from viewing nature as static and typological to dynamic and process driven. In turn, restoration ecology and practice matured from emphasis on museum-like nature preservation to maintaining variability and natural function.
- Reference and literature citations of the assignment
- Foundations of restoration ecology book of Edited b Donald A. Falk, Margaret A. Palmer, and Joy B. Zedler
Foreword by Richard J. Hobbs
- Article, Restoration Soil Quality to Mitigate Soil Degradation
- Rattan Lal The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Article, Evolutionary Restoration Ecology Craig A. Stockwell, Michael T. Kinnison, and Andrew P. Hendry
- Williamson, James M., Hale W. Thurston, and Matthew T. Heberling. 2008. Valuing Acid Mine Drainage Remediation in West Virginia: A Hedonic Modeling Approach. The Annals of Regional Science, 42(4): 987-999.
- THE 10th EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION
author; mowlid hassan
approved by mohamud abadir( lecturer in jigjiga university, and msc of range ecology and Biodiversity conservation.