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    The variability in the type of ecosystem degradation and
    the specificity of restoration goals can challenge restorationists’
    ability to generalize about approaches that lead
    to restoration success. The discipline of soil ecology, which
    emphasizes both soil organisms and ecosystem processes,
    has generated a body of knowledge that can be generally
    useful in improving the outcomes of restoration despite
    this variability. Here, we propose that the usefulness of
    this soil ecological knowledge (SEK) for restoration is
    best considered in the context of the severity of the original
    perturbation, the goals of the project, and the resilience
    of the ecosystem to disturbance. A straightforward
    manipulation of single physical, chemical, or biological
    components of the soil system can be useful in the restoration
    of a site, especially when the restoration goal is
    loosely defined in terms of the species and processes that
    management seeks to achieve. These single-factor manipulations
    may in fact produce cascading effects on several
    ecosystem attributes and can result in unintended recovery
    trajectories. When complex outcomes are desired,
    intentional and holistic integration of all aspects of the soil
    knowledge is necessary. We provide a short roster of examples
    to illustrate that SEK benefits management and
    restoration of ecosystems and suggest areas for future

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Heneghan, L., S.P. Miller, S. Baer, M.A. Callaham, Jr., J. Montgomery, M. Pavao-Zuckerman, C.C. Rhoades, S. Richardson. 2008. Integrating soil ecological knowledge into restoration management. Restoration Ecology 16:608-617.


    ecosystem processes, feedbacks, soil ecology.

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