Restoration success: how is it being measured?

Restoration success: how is it being measured?


Global criteria of restoration success should be clearly established to evaluate restoration projects. Various governments, institutes, and authors use varying criteria, leading to potential misprioritization of goals. Recently, the Society of Ecological Restoration International (SER) produced a Primer that includes key ecosystem attributes that should be considered when evaluating restoration success.

Research goals & methods

This study reviews articles in recent volumes of Restoration Ecology to identify whether the SER Primer criteria were followed, or which alternative criteria were used. No study measured all the SER Primer attributes, but most studies did include at least one measure in each of three general categories of the ecosystem attributes: diversity, vegetation structure, and ecological processes.  Most of the reviewed studies are using multiple measures to evaluate restoration success.

Conclusions & takeaways

The authors encourage future projects to include at least two variables within each of the three ecosystem attributes that clearly related to ecosystem functioning and at least two reference sites to capture the variation that exist in ecosystems.


Ruiz-Jaen MC, T. Aide M. Restoration Success: How Is It Being Measured?. Restoration Ecology. 2005;13:569–577. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100x.2005.00072.x.


  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico–Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto RIco