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The Recent Double Paradigm Shift in Restoration Ecology


  • Vicky M. Temperton

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, PO Box 10 01 64, D-07701 Jena, Germany
    2. Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere, ICG3, Research Centre Jülich, Leo-Brandt-Strasse, D-52428 Jülich, Germany
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Address correspondence to V. M. Temperton, email


The fields of ecology and ecological restoration possess an enormous potential for cross-fertilization of ideas and information. Ecology could play a major role in informing practical restoration, whereas restoration projects, often situated in quite extreme environments, provide an excellent opportunity to test ecological theories. Efforts to base restoration on more of a scientific foundation, however, have recently started gathering momentum, following the call for such a link by Tony Bradshaw in 1987. On another level, as we gather more experience and information from restoration projects, it is becoming equally clear that often neglected socioeconomic and political aspects of restoration should not be forgotten in the overall approach to restoration. The two paradigm shifts in ecological restoration, toward more scientific foundation and better inclusion of socioeconomic limits and opportunities, locate restoration firmly in the transdisciplinary arena, with all the concomitant challenges and opportunities. In this sense, ecological restoration could be compared to the medical profession, where both a sound knowledge of science and human nature are a prerequisite for success in healing.