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Moving restoration ecology forward with combinatorial approaches
  • +2
  • Matthias Rillig,
  • Anika Lehmann,
  • Rebecca Rongstock,
  • Huiying Li,
  • Jim Harris
Matthias Rillig
Free University of Berlin

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Anika Lehmann
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin
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Rebecca Rongstock
Free University of Berlin
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Huiying Li
Free University of Berlin
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Jim Harris
Cranfield University
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Abstract

Our current planetary crisis moves the need for effective ecosystem restoration centerstage and compels us to explore unusual options. We here propose exploring combinatorial approaches to restoration practices: management practices are drawn at random and combined from a locally relevant pool of possible management interventions, thus creating an experimental gradient in the number of interventions. This will move the current degree of interventions to higher dimensionality, opening new opportunities for unlocking unknown synergistic effects. In this concept, regional restoration hubs play an important role as guardians of locally relevant information and sites of experimental exploration. Data collected from such studies could feed into a global database, which could be used to learn about general principles of combined restoration practices, helping to refine future experiments. Such combinatorial approaches to exploring restoration intervention options may be our best hope yet to achieve decisive progress in ecological restoration at the timescale needed to mitigate and reverse the most severe losses.