Posted by: wahyukdephut | November 21, 2013

How good are we at restoring ecosystem services?

Ecology for a Crowded Planet

Two major global initiatives have set ambitious goals for ecological restoration over the next decade. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has the objectives of restoring ecosystems critical for vital ecosystem services, enhancing carbon storage through forest restoration and restoring 15% of the world’s degraded ecosystems all by 2020. Similarly Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) aims to enahance carbon forest storage and reduce biodiversity loss, partly through forest restoration.

These are worthy goals, but they will only be achievable if there is social and political will to achieve them. However, quite apart from this problem these goals also raise vital questions for applied ecologists. One of these  is, how good are we at actually restoring ecosystem services?

The honest answer is that it’s difficult to tell. Apart from carbon storage and pollination most services are extremely difficult to measure. However, by considering some ecosystem functions, such as nutrient cycling, to be intermediate ecosystem services (those that support…

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