• conceptual framework;
  • ecological restoration;
  • future development;
  • opinion papers;
  • restoration ecology;
  • science


Although the aim of and the need for ecological restoration, and restoration ecology as its scientific base, are obvious, the field is still struggling with defining its basics. This situation, reflected by the debate about alternative terms to replace “restoration,” the ambiguous self-image as a movement, art, application, or science, and the lack of a unifying conceptual framework, results in an uncertainty about the future development of the field. In a 10-year project, an interdisciplinary Research Training Group in Jena followed the regeneration of one degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem, respectively, and suggested a conceptual model for regeneration and restoration that was derived from the shared features of the two systems. As part of the scientific discussion of this new approach, an international workshop “Present State and Future Perspectives of Restoration Ecology” was organized in Jena in November 2004. The following collection of 12 opinion papers and 1 concluding chapter reflect the discussions at the workshop and contributes to the “self-finding” process of restoration ecology.