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Keywords:

  • diversity;
  • ecological processes;
  • ecosystem attributes;
  • replication;
  • restoration success;
  • vegetation structure

Abstract

The criteria of restoration success should be clearly established to evaluate restoration projects. Recently, the Society of Ecological Restoration International (SER) has produced a Primer that includes ecosystem attributes that should be considered when evaluating restoration success. To determine how restoration success has been evaluated in restoration projects, we reviewed articles published in Restoration Ecology (Vols. 1[1]–11[4]). Specifically, we addressed the following questions: (1) what measures of ecosystem attributes are assessed and (2) how are these measures used to determine restoration success. No study has measured all the SER Primer attributes, but most studies did include at least one measure in each of three general categories of the ecosystem attributes: diversity, vegetation structure, and ecological processes. Most of the reviewed studies are using multiple measures to evaluate restoration success, but we would encourage future projects to include: (1) at least two variables within each of the three ecosystem attributes that clearly related to ecosystem functioning and (2) at least two reference sites to capture the variation that exist in ecosystems.