Given that few ecosystems on the Earth have been unaffected by humans, restoring them holds great promise for stemming the biodiversity crisis and ensuring ecosystem services are provided to humanity. Nonetheless, few studies have documented the recovery of ecosystems globally or the rates at which ecosystems recover. Even fewer have addressed the added benefit of actively restoring ecosystems versus allowing them to recover without human intervention following the cessation of a disturbance.
Woody encroachment is a widespread phenomenon resulting from the abandonment of mountain agricultural and pastoral practices during the last century. As a result, forests have expanded, increasing biomass and necromass carbon (C) pools. However, the impact on soil organic carbon (SOC) is less clear. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of woody encroachment on SOC stocks and ecosystem C pools in six chronosequences located along the Italian peninsula, three in the Alps and three in the Apennines.
Restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline whose limitations can compromise the recovery of ecosystem biodiversity and functions. Specifically for limitations on forest restoration, we first recommend considering measures prior to land use changes to deal with the common lack of efforts to anticipate and plan restoration. Second, we suggest using multiple references in restoration planning to avoid simplified reference characterization, and we advise assessing ecosystem recovery with indicators that better incorporate ecosystem complexity in recovery assessments.
Financiado por el Ministerio de Ciencia Innovación y Universidades y la Agencia Estatal de Investigación,
a través de la Convocatoria: Maria de Maeztu 2017 (BOE 21/10/2017) siendo la referencia de nuestro expediente: MDM-2017-0714
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