Broadening restoration through integrating diverse perspectives and underused techniques


Plant functional trait-based approaches show great promise for improving restoration outcomes because they relate species function to establishment and performance in specific environmental conditions. Seedling emergence and establishment often shape the trajectory of restoration outcomes, yet early traits reflecting functional variation at these stages are understudied, less accessible (via databases), and have not been synthesized for many priority species.

Project Summary

Our two approaches make the rich sources of knowledge from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color) more visible and increase inclusion in the restoration field. We will also elucidate what contexts, and how, restoration sites can be restored to their reference targets.

We have created a collective, Black Earth Restoration Collective (BERC; is a collective that aims to uplift Black, Indigenous, Latine, and Other People of Color and welcomes and respects plant knowledge in the many forms it comes in, including personal, cultural, lived, and professional experience. BERC provides opportunities for connection and community and welcomes anyone who has experience living and working with plants (e.g., agriculture, plant-related research, sustainability). Our philosophies for this collective are here.

We will use machine learning methods, to identify key features in remnant and restored sites in global tallgrass ecosystems  that can serve as next steps for management targets to better reach restoration goals

Project Collaborators

Dr. Alicia Foxx, Dr. Rebecca Barak, Regina Mae Francia, Sarah Hollis, Dr. Holly Jones, Amelia Renner, Samantha Rosa, Dr. Evelyn Williams, Dr. Nia Johnson

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