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Ecological restoration in the face of greater climatic extremes


      Billions of dollars are spent annually on ecological restoration efforts around the world and yet successful attainment of restoration targets still falls short in many regions. Conditions in which to restore global ecosystems are becoming increasingly challenging with changes in climate. Years with extreme climatic events, such as severe drought, heatwaves and floods are projected to increase in frequency. A critical evaluation of current ecological restoration practices and changes to those practices are needed to attain global restoration targets. For plant restoration, many efforts globally focus on planting in a single year following disturbance. The odds of restoration efforts being conducted in a year that is inconducive to plant establishment may be calculated using climatic risk data. We propose a risk-mitigation approach to restoration wherein plantings are conducted across multiple years for projects in a bet hedging strategy and evaluated through an adaptive management approach.