Restoration ecology through the lens of coexistence theory




Hallett, Lauren M.
Aoyama, Lina
Barabás, György
Gilbert, Benjamin
Larois, Loralee
Shackelford, Nancy
Werner, Chhaya M.
Godoy, Oscar
Ladouceur, Emma R.
Lucero, Jacob E.

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Trends in Ecology & Evolution


Advances in restoration ecology are needed to guide ecological restoration in a variable and changing world. Coexistence theory provides a framework for how variability in environmental conditions and species interactions affects species success. Here, we conceptually link coexistence theory and restoration ecology. First, including low-density growth rates (LDGRs), a classic metric of coexistence, can improve abundance-based restoration goals, because abundances are sensitive to initial treatments and ongoing variability. Second, growth-rate partitioning, developed to identify coexistence mechanisms, can improve restoration practice by informing site selection and indicating necessary interventions (e.g., site amelioration or competitor removal). Finally, coexistence methods can improve restoration assessment, because initial growth rates indicate trajectories, average growth rates measure success, and growth partitioning highlights interventions needed in future.



adaptive management, ecological restoration, environmental variability, growth rate partitioning, invasion criterion, species interactions


Hallett, L. M., Aoyama, L., Barabás, G., Gilbert, B., Larois, L., Shackelford, N., ...Shoemaker, L. G. (2023). Restoration ecology through the lens of coexistence theory. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 38(11), 1085-1096.