Restoration ecology is undergoing rapid growth as an academic discipline, similar to that experienced by conservation biology over the last 15 years. Restoration ecology and conservation biology share many underlying biodiversity goals, but differ in striking ways. Using data from published literature in these two fields, I document that conservation biology has been more zoological, more descriptive and theoretical, and more focused on population and genetic studies than restoration ecology, which has been more botanical, more experimental, and more focused on population, community and ecosystem studies. I also use documented trends in population, land use, and biodiversity awareness to suggest that in the future ecological restoration will play an increasing role in biodiversity conservation. The conservation mind set is one of loss on a relatively short time horizon, whereas the restoration mind set is one of long-term recovery. I suggest that a restoration mind set can provide useful insights into problems of conservation today, illustrated with examples examining edge effects and integrated conservation and development projects.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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