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Forest restoration paradigms

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Stanturf, John; Palik, Brian J.; Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, R. Kasten

Year Published



Journal of Sustainable Forestry 33: S161-S194


An estimated 2 billion ha of forests are degraded globally and global change suggests even greater need for forest restoration. Four forest restoration paradigms are identified and discussed: revegetation, ecological restoration, functional restoration, and forest landscape restoration. Restoration is examined in terms of a degraded starting point and an ending point of an idealized natural forest. Global change, climate variability, biotechnology, and synthetic biology pose significant challenges to current restoration paradigms, underscoring the importance of clearly defined goals focused on functional ecosystems. Public debate is needed on acceptable goals; one role for science is to inform and help frame the debate and describe feasibility and probable consequences.


reconstruction; rehabilitation; reclamation; novel ecosystems; intervention ecology


Stanturf, John A.; Palik, Brian J.; Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, R. Kasten; Madsen, Palle. 2014. Forest restoration paradigms. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 33: S161-S194.

Last updated on: January 15, 2015