What is Ecological restoration?
The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed is called ecological restoration or eco-restoration.
Eco-restoration focuses on rectification of four basic component of ecosystem:
1. Mineral cycle, 2. Water cycle, 3. Energy flow and 4. Succession
Types of Eco-restoration
Rehabilitation-The action of restoring a thing to a previous condition or status is called rehabilitation.
Remediation– It is the act of remedying. To remedy is: ‘to rectify, to make good’ here the emphasis is on the process rather than on the endpoint reached.
Reclamation-Reclamation is a term used for making of land fit for use or to bring back to a proper state. Here there is no implication of returning to an original state but rather to a useful one.
Restoration-The act of restoring a land to a former original state or position is called restoration.
Why is Eco-restoration necessary?
Ecological restoration is usually carried out for one of the following reasons:
- To restore highly disturbed, but localized sites, such as abandoned mines. Restoration often requires improvement of the physical and chemical characteristics of the substrate and ensuring the return of vegetation cover.
- To improve productive capability in degraded productive lands. Degradation of productive land is increasing worldwide, leading to reduced agricultural, range, and forest production. Restoration in these cases aim to return the system to a sustainable level of productivity, e.g., by reversing or ameliorating soil erosion or salinization problems in agricultural or rangelands.
- To enhance nature conservation values in protected landscapes. Conserved lands are being reduced in value worldwide by various forms of human induced disturbance, including the effects of introduced stock, invasive species (plant, animal, and pathogen), pollution, and fragmentation. In these cases, restoration aims to reverse the impacts of these degrading forces, e.g., by removing an introduced herbivore from a protected landscape.
- To restore ecological processes over broad landscape-scale or regional areas. In addition to the need for restoration efforts within conservation lands, there is also a need to ensure that human activities in the broader landscape do not adversely affect ecosystem processes. There is an increasing recognition that protected areas alone will not conserve biodiversity in the long term, and that production and protection lands are interlinked by landscape-scale processes and flows (e.g., hydrology, movement of biota).
Some Case Studies of Ecological Restoration
Wills Creek Ecological Restoration
Ecological Restoration of Natural Lake Pochina
Bandipur, Karnataka, India
Shedu river port, China
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