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Ecological restoration of rich fens in Europe and North America: from trial and error to an evidence-based approach

Lamers, Leon P.M.; Vile, Melanie A.; Grootjans, Ab P.; Acreman, Mike C.; van Diggelen , Rudy; Evans, Martin G.; Richardson, Curtis J.; Rochefort, Line; Kooijman, Annemieke M.; Roelofs, Jan G.M.; Smolders, Alfons J.P.. 2015 Ecological restoration of rich fens in Europe and North America: from trial and error to an evidence-based approach. Biological Reviews, 90 (1). 182-203. 10.1111/brv.12102

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Abstract/Summary

Fens represent a large array of ecosystem services, including the highest biodiversity found among wetlands, hydrological services, water purification and carbon sequestration. Land use change and strong drainage has severely damaged or annihilated these services in many parts of North America and Europe, which urges the need of restoration plans at the landscape level. We review the major constraints for the restoration of rich fens and fen water bodies in agricultural areas in Europe and disturbed landscapes in North America: 1) habitat quality problems: drought, eutrophication, acidification, and toxicity, 2) recolonization problems: species pools, ecosystem fragmentation and connectivity, genetic variability, invasive species, and provide possible solutions. We discuss both positive and negative consequences of restoration measures, and their causes. The restoration of wetland ecosystem functioning and services has, for a long time, been based on a trial and error approach. By presenting research and practice on the restoration of rich fen ecosystems within agricultural areas, we demonstrate the importance of biogeochemical and ecological knowledge at different spatial scales for the management and restoration of biodiversity, water quality, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services, especially in a changing climate. We define target processes that enable scientists, nature managers, water managers and policy makers to choose between different measures and to predict restoration prospects for different types of deteriorated fens and their starting conditions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/brv.12102
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 1464-7931
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: agriculture, carbon sequestration, climate change, eutrophication, ecosystem services, hydrology, nature management, peatland, wetland
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Date made live: 08 Oct 2014 14:35 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508567

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