Incorporating positive interactions in aquatic restoration and conservation

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Abstract

The role of positive interactions in structuring biological communities is recognized throughout the field of ecology, but has yet to be well integrated into the restoration and conservation of aquatic systems. Here, we use examples of success in terrestrial restoration to (1) describe how a broader perspective on the scale and nature of positive interactions is necessary if we are to take full advantage of their conservation potential and (2) explain why and when positive interactions should be considered in restoration and conservation of marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitats. Such goals can be accomplished without considering positive interactions, and situations certainly exist in which positive interactions should play a minor role in restoration plans. However, a more explicit recognition of these interactions will make restoration and conservation more successful. In some cases, restoration activities may fail if these interactions are not included.

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