IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v4y2012i9p2334-2347d20198.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Riparian Forest Restoration: Conflicting Goals, Trade-Offs, and Measures of Success

Author

Listed:
  • Heather L. Bateman

    () (Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus, 6073 S Backus Mall, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA)

  • David M. Merritt

    () (USFS Watershed, Fish, and Wildlife & CSU Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory NRRC, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA)

  • J. Bradley Johnson

    () (Colorado State University, Department of Biology, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA)

Abstract

Restoration projects can have varying goals, depending on the specific focus, rationale, and aims for restoration. When restoration projects use project-specific goals to define activities and gauge success without considering broader ecological context, determination of project implications and success can be confounding. We used case studies from the Middle Rio Grande (MRG), southwest USA, to demonstrate how restoration outcomes can rank inconsistently when narrowly-based goals are used. Resource managers have chosen MRG for restoration due to impacts to the natural flood regime, reduced native tree recruitment, and establishment of non-native plants. We show restoration “success” ranks differently based upon three goals: increasing biodiversity, increasing specific ecosystem functions, or restoring native communities. We monitored 12 restored and control sites for seven years. Treatments ranked higher in reducing exotic woody populations, and increasing proportions of native plants and groundwater salvage, but generally worse at removing fuels, and increasing species and habitat structural diversity. Managers cannot rely on the term “restoration” to sufficiently describe a project’s aim. Specific desired outcomes must be defined and monitored. Long-term planning should include flexibility to incorporate provisions for adaptive management to refine treatments to avoid unintended ecological consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather L. Bateman & David M. Merritt & J. Bradley Johnson, 2012. "Riparian Forest Restoration: Conflicting Goals, Trade-Offs, and Measures of Success," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(9), pages 1-14, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:9:p:2334-2347:d:20198
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/9/2334/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/4/9/2334/
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    riparian; restoration; ecological services; ecological standards; monitoring; invasive species;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:9:p:2334-2347:d:20198. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.