Faunal standards for the restoration of terrestrial ecosystems: A framework and its application to a high-profile case study

Alan Andersen, Luke D. Einoder, Alaric Fisher, Brydie Hill, Stefanie K. Oberprieler

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Abstract

Assessments of ecosystem restoration have traditionally focused on soil and vegetation, often with little consideration of fauna. It is critical to include fauna in such assessments, not just because of their intrinsic biodiversity value but also because of the many ecological roles that animals play in restoration processes. However, a widely accepted framework for specifying faunal standards for restoration is lacking. Here we present such a framework, incorporating: (1) the identification of appropriate reference conditions; (2) the taxa to be targeted for assessment; (3) the attributes of these taxa to be measured; (4) acceptable similarity with reference conditions; and (5) robust sampling methodologies for reliable assessment. We illustrate this framework using the restoration program at Ranger Uranium Mine in the Australian seasonal tropics, which aims to establish an environment similar to the surrounding World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, corresponding to “full recovery” according to Society for Ecosystem Restoration's standards. Our case study has especially high restoration standards, but our framework has wide applicability to the specification of faunal standards for ecosystem restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13735
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program through the Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub.

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