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Keywords:

  • herbivores;
  • host-specificity;
  • phytophagous insects;
  • rarity;
  • rehabilitation;
  • revegetation

Restoring disturbed lands is essential for conserving biodiversity. In floristically diverse regions, restoring all plant species following anthropogenic disturbance is financially costly and it is unknown if this can be achieved. However, re-creating faunal habitat may not require reinstating all plant species if there is a high degree of redundancy. Here, we assess whether there is redundancy among a subset of native plant species chosen to restore fauna habitat following a severe disturbance. Additionally, we determine if reestablished plants support similar faunal assemblages as the same plant species in less disturbed forest. We sampled plant-dwelling Hemiptera from 1,800 plants across 16 species. We found 190 species of Hemiptera, with most plant species in the forest having distinct hemipteran assemblages. Returning these plant species to areas undergoing restoration reinstated 145 hemipteran species, including the dominant species. Recalcitrant plant species (difficult to propagate and reestablish in restored areas) had different hemipteran assemblages from all other species. There was only one plant species that did not have a distinct assemblage and thus was considered redundant. We conclude that there is little redundancy in this study. For plant-dwelling Hemiptera (with good powers of dispersal) to recolonize restored areas, restoration efforts will need to reinstate at least 13 of the 16 species of host plant of appropriate age and structure. Consequently, to meet the goal of restoring fauna habitat when there is no knowledge of which plant species are redundant, restoration projects should aim to reinstate all plant species present in less disturbed reference areas.