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Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 4 (2006) 5568 An integrated approach for measuring urban forest restoration success
 

Summary: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 4 (2006) 55­68
An integrated approach for measuring urban forest restoration success
MariŽa C. Ruiz-JaeŽ nĂ, T. Mitchell Aide
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, P.O. Box 23360, San Juan, PR 00931-3360, USA
Abstract
Rapid urban growth has increased the importance of restoring degraded vegetation patches within these areas. In
this study, we reforested a site that was previously dominated by exotic grasses within an urban area. The goal of this
study was to evaluate restoration success in a reforested site using four variables of vegetation structure, five groups of
organisms, and eight variables of ecosystem processes, and compare these values with a pre-reforested site and a
forested reference site using the Subjective Bray Curtis Ordination. The change in vegetation structure provided
arboreal habitats that increased species diversity and ecosystem processes in the reforested site. Specifically, the
development of a vertical vegetation structure was associated with: (1) a decrease in herbaceous cover, which allowed
the colonization of woody seedlings; (2) a change in microclimatic conditions, which enhanced the colonization of ants
and amphibians; (3) colonization of arboreal reptiles and birds; and (4) an increase in litter production, which
enhanced nutrient inputs. Moreover, the Subjective Bray Curtis Ordination demonstrated an overall recovery of
approximately 70%. Planting woody species was sufficient to stimulate rapid recovery of many ecosystem attributes.
Future restoration projects should include multiple variables that reflect important ecosystem attributes to determine
the success of a project and to direct future management efforts.
r 2005 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Ecological restoration; Ecosystem processes; Species diversity; Urban forest patches; Vegetation structure

  

Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology