Restoration of plant-animal interactions in terrestrial ecosystems
Plant-animal interactions are understudied within ecosystem restoration contexts. They are crucial to restoration success, with valuable processes like pollination, seed dispersal, and herbivory. The potential of animal reintroductions in restoration practices is understudied as well. Understanding these interactions is an important piece for future restoration efforts.
Goals and Methods
The authors conduct a systematic literature review focused on habitat restoration and trophic rewilding. The authors synthesize studies that have assessed the restoration of plant-animal interactions to determine if seed dispersal, pollination, herbivory, and seed predation are present in restored sites. In addition, the authors aim to find if interaction restoration is something that is being done in biodiversity hotspots like the tropics. This study is done to identify knowledge gaps and future goals for more comprehensive restoration ecology.
Conclusions and Takeaways
Seed dispersal is the most commonly studied plant-animal interaction, followed by herbivory, pollination, and seed predation, respectively. The authors find that seed dispersal and pollination is more frequent in restored sites compared to degraded sites. Many biodiversity hotspots including Southeast Asia are understudied and need to be incorporated into literature. Non-mammalian animal-plant interactions are also understudied. Overall, the authors determine that both habitat restoration and rewilding effectively restore seed dispersal and pollination.
Restoration of plant-animal interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. Biological Conservation. 2022;265:109393. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109393..