RESTORATION & REVITALIZATION

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1 RESTORATION & REVITALIZATION Legal preservation has not proved to be sufficient to preserve natural communities. Restoration activities are diverse and includes revitalization of natural communities which uses knowledge of relationships among species to keep populations in the assemblage balanced. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 1

2 Reading Assignment Chapter 55 has a preservation point of view, but introduces restoration in Ecological Restoration has become a business activity. Money for restoration is generated from wetland protection and mining laws (as well as governments and individuals). UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 2

3 Standard Conservation Ideas Land Preservation Stopping exploitation (with laws and fences) is sufficient to preserve the natural community. Single species management (a piece of ecological restoration) Providing resources and/or removing threats to particular species will enhance population.

4 Preservation has not preserved Assemblages of species are dynamic and respond to abiotic and biotic change Preservation has not proved to be sufficient (albeit necessary) to maintain assemblages of species within natural bounds. Preservation alters conditions and species respond to the new conditions. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 4

5 Ecological Restoration Ecological Restoration attempts to restore attributes of ecological function/services. Perhaps the earliest restoration of ecological services was wastewater treatment. Wastewater treatment concentrates the oxidation of waste to reduce the BOD of the water entering the river, lake or ocean. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 5

6 Other Early Ecological Restoration Promotion of services and knowledge to reduce soil erosion. Development of stocking programs for fish and game. Regulations concerning restoration of the condition of land after strip mining. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 6

7 Revegetation of Mines The development of vegetation on the overburden can be greatly accelerated in various ways. Revegetation of strip mines is now a requirement in all jurisdictions. Understanding how to do that effectively is part of ecological restoration. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 7

8 Pollution Regulation Industry may produce materials (chemicals) that reduce ecological function. When the negative impact of those products is understood, individuals may lobby for regulations (laws) to minimize future impacts. For many years people dumped waste as a way to get it away from where it was generated. Regulations protect the population from harmful chemicals by controlling disposal and making disposal safer. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 8

9 Wetlands Wetlands are very important to natural communities hotspot of diversity Currently policy of US government is no net loss of wetlands. Development of land with wetlands requires payment of $ to build wetlands off site (or a plan to retain wetland on site). $ have generated a mitigation industry. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 9

10 Endangered and Threatened Species Endangered Species Act passed in US Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibility for designating species as Endangered or Threatened. Endangered means in imminent danger of going extinct. Threatened means likely to become endangered. Applies to taxa lower than species. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 10

11 Basis for Listing How is a species determined to be endangered or threatened? Small population size. Found in only a few places. >30% decline in the last 10 years or 3 generations. The E&T list dominated by taxa which always had a limited distribution often associated with special habitat, such as caves. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 11

12 IUCN The World Conservation Union Maintains a Red list of the extinction status of many animal taxa (all vertebrates plus others) Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups within SSC, e.g., the shark group UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 12

13 Illinois Endangered and Threatened Species Protection Board Illinois maintains a list of E & T species The list is dynamic. Additions I was involved in the successful effort to add Franklin s Ground Squirrel. Removals River otter, slender wheat grass, and many others UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 13

14 Single Species Management Focus of attention and knowledge gathering on a species usually provides a means of enhancing its population. Raptors, both those on and not on the E&T list, have benefited from the ban on DDT, which thinned the egg shell.

15 RECONSTRUCTION One restoration activity attempts to build native prairies on land that was farmed. These efforts have focused on plant communities normally doing nothing with animals. Prairie reconstructions tend to have much more grass and taller plants than original prairie. Most prairie species are not present in most reconstructions. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 15

16 Human Knowledge & Species Existence Species exist independent of humans naming them and describing them. Your text and many biologists apparently believe that species can only be saved, if people have named the species. Species did not come into being because of people. How will attaching a name to a specimen contribute to a species persistence? UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 16

17 REVITALIZATION Preservation of land has not been sufficient to maintain natural communities. Actions by naturalists who understand the balance of diverse species is needed to counteract (or ameliorate) the destabilizing impacts generated by human economic activity. Only mostly intact natural areas can be revitalized. UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 17

18 How to Revitalize Water & fire process restoration. Focus on BALANCE of abundances, recognizing native species can be out of natural bounds. Removal of non-native species. Use of garden seed to enhance native species below the lower bound. Woodworth Prairie revitalization is at:

19 Processes altered by man The movement of water in natural areas has been altered by both Ditching every path has drainage along its edge Ponding People like open water and create ponds from wetlands FIRE, while people both increase and decrease the frequency of fire, now & here fire is much rare than what native species evolved under.

20 Restoring historic regimes Restoring natural patterns by filling drainage ditches and taking down dams enhances the natural community even if you don t have a list of the species enhanced. Restoring natural fire patterns enhances the natural community as well.

21 Abundance Bounds Species in balanced communities fluctuate in abundance, but within natural: Upper bounds Lower bounds Species above the natural upper bound destabilize the community. Species below the natural lower bound are in danger of local extinction.

22 Exotic Species Non-native species occupy space in a community that was space-filled by evolution. Non-native species removal always enhances the naturalness = balance of the community.

23 Exploitation Processes Hunting can serve to reduce the abundance of species that are more abundant than their natural upper bound. Timber harvesting can be used to get more light to the ground layer and to get the age structure of tree species more natural.

24 Producing Seed of rare Plants Populations of plants below the natural lower bound can be enhanced by seed produced in a garden. Because competition and moisture are controlled, gardens can produce seed on a per unit area basis over a thousand times more than the natural area.

25 VOCABULARY Fragmentation Revegetation Reconstruction Revitalization Community Balance Extirpated Restoration Endangered Threatened IUCN UIC BioS 101 Nyberg 25

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