Restoration ecology seeks to restore the health, integrity and sustainability of ecosystems that have been degraded by human activities. Research on methods, application of active interventions and evaluations are important tools used to restore ecosystems for their inherent value and the ecosystem services they provide humans.
Restoration ecology draws on concepts related to disturbance events, genetic adaptation, succession after a disturbance, population ecology, community assembly theory and landscape ecology. Restoration ecology applies a broad range of scientific disciplines to understand the outcomes of restoration practices that can include reforestation of cleared land, dam removal, oyster restoration, remediation of polluted habitats, wetland restoration, and many others.
While restoration outcomes are difficult to predict, experimental approaches to restoration and post-restoration monitoring can improve our understanding of outcomes, and identify best practices. Rigorous evaluation of restoration practices is critical to ensuring that the limited resources available for restoration are used wisely.