Dark Diversity

Diagnosing and Treating Causes of Dark Diversity in Ecological Restoration

Project timeline and status: 2020 - 2021, manuscript submitted to Journal of Applied Ecology

  1. Dark Diversity

    The U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to accelerate actions to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems, and re-establish ecosystem functioning and species diversity. The practice of ecological restoration has made great progress in recent decades, and maintaining diverse restorations is critical to their long-term stability and functioning. Yet even in the most carefully planned and managed restoration, key species may fail to germinate, establish, or persist. These species that are missing, despite introduction and apparently suitable conditions, comprise the “dark diversity” of the restoration site.

  2. Identifying Bottlenecks

    Many species have proven difficult to re-establish in restoration sites and end up contributing to "dark diversity". This is often due to their intrinsic biology and a host of biotic and abiotic factors. The objective of this synthesis is to support restoration scientists and practitioners who encounter challenges in establishing target species by outlining possible factors that can affect success at key stages (seed germination, plant establishment, and population persistence) and to provide possible solutions to improve restoration outcomes.

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