Developing a vision for improved monitoring and reporting of riparian restoration projects

MDBA Riparian Restoration Experiment Workshop, Melbourne, 16 November 2010

Authors

  • Laura Williams,

    1. Laura Williams, Rob Hale, Timothy Cavagnaro, Paul Reich and P. Sam Lake (School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia; Tel: +61 3 9905 5658; Email: laura.williams@monash.edu), Timothy Cavagnaro and P. Sam Lake (Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia), Paul Reich (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown St Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia).
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  • Rob Hale,

    1. Laura Williams, Rob Hale, Timothy Cavagnaro, Paul Reich and P. Sam Lake (School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia; Tel: +61 3 9905 5658; Email: laura.williams@monash.edu), Timothy Cavagnaro and P. Sam Lake (Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia), Paul Reich (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown St Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia).
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  • Timothy Cavagnaro,

    1. Laura Williams, Rob Hale, Timothy Cavagnaro, Paul Reich and P. Sam Lake (School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia; Tel: +61 3 9905 5658; Email: laura.williams@monash.edu), Timothy Cavagnaro and P. Sam Lake (Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia), Paul Reich (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown St Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia).
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  • Paul Reich,

    1. Laura Williams, Rob Hale, Timothy Cavagnaro, Paul Reich and P. Sam Lake (School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia; Tel: +61 3 9905 5658; Email: laura.williams@monash.edu), Timothy Cavagnaro and P. Sam Lake (Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia), Paul Reich (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown St Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia).
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  • P. Sam Lake

    1. Laura Williams, Rob Hale, Timothy Cavagnaro, Paul Reich and P. Sam Lake (School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia; Tel: +61 3 9905 5658; Email: laura.williams@monash.edu), Timothy Cavagnaro and P. Sam Lake (Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia), Paul Reich (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 123 Brown St Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia).
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Summary

Representatives from agencies involved in natural resource management in the Murray-Darling Basin gathered for a workshop in November 2010 to develop a vision for improved monitoring and reporting of riparian restoration projects. The resounding message from this workshop was that the effectiveness of riparian restoration depends on having sound, documented and agreed evidence on the ecological responses to restoration efforts. Improving our capacity to manage and restore riparian ecosystems is constrained by (i) a lack of ecological evidence on the effects of restoration efforts, and (ii) short-termism in commitment to restoration efforts, in funding of monitoring and in expected time spans for ecosystem recovery. Restoration at the effective spatial scope will invariably require a long-term commitment by researchers, funding agencies, management agencies and landholders. To address the knowledge gaps that constrain riparian restoration in the Basin, participants endorsed four major fields for future research: the importance of landscape context to restoration outcomes; spatio-temporal scaling of restoration outcomes; functional effects of restoration efforts; and developing informative and effective indicators of restoration. To improve the monitoring and restoration of riparian zones throughout the Basin, participants advocated an integrated approach: a hierarchical adaptive management framework that incorporates long-term ecological research.

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