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|Restoration Ecology, Editor’s Picks|
The January 2017 issue of Restoration Ecology (Vol. 25, Issue 1) is available online. Featured below are some Editor’s Picks courtesy of Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of Restoration Ecology, Stephen Murphy and Valter Amaral.
As scientists worry about restoring plant communities that will be able to adapt to climate change, some question the use of local or regional plant ecotypes. Assisted migration – or the use of foreign ecotypes adapted to predicted conditions – has been proposed as an alternative approach. In this article, Bucharova challenges the wisdom in adopting an assisted migration approach because there is not sufficient data to determine how foreign plant ecotypes will interact with other biotic players – they may negatively affect other organisms. In addition, there is little empirical evidence in support of foreign ecotypes performing better than local ones under studies simulating climate change.
Elizabeth A. LaRue, Sally M. Chambers, and Nancy C. Emery
It is well established that careful and informed choices of geographic and ecological origin and genetic diversity of propagules are key to the success of habitat restoration. Less attention, however, has been devoted to the potential for unexpected rapid evolution resulting from mismatches between translocated populations and the restored environment or novel interactions among groups that have not coevolved. These eco-evolutionary dynamics can operate at timescales as short as a single generation, and may influence population and community dynamics in significant ways. Associated long-term monitoring studies provide excellent opportunities to assess such dynamics and inform future restoration actions.
Peter G. Avis, Wyatt C. Gaswick, Gayle S. Tonkovich, and Patrick R. Leacock
Fungal communities play essential roles in ecosystem functioning and their monitoring may provide insightful information on restoration progress. Fungi are, however, a very heterogeneous group and can be difficult (and costly) to assess. Here, the authors surveyed several wooded, semiwooded, and grassland habitats, during different restoration phases, and report that macrofungi were more abundant in wooded habitats, and benefited from the removal of invasive species. Interestingly, different community similarity indices returned different results, highlighting the need to align monitoring approaches with restoration targets. The authors then went on to develop a clever, manageable, and conservative framework to monitor and classify restoration sites by major functional guilds of macrofungi (decomposers, mutualists, parasites).