(a) In 1991, before restoration
(b) In 2000, near the completion of restoration
Bioremediation is the use of living organisms to detoxify ecosystems.
The organisms most often used are prokaryotes, fungi, or plants.
These organisms can take up, and sometimes metabolize, toxic molecules.
Biological augmentation uses organisms to add essential materials to a degraded ecosystem.
For example, nitrogen-fixing plants can increase the available nitrogen in soil.
The newness and complexity of restoration ecology require that ecologists consider alternative solutions and adjust approaches based on experience.
Restoration ecology worldwide
Truckee River, Nevada
Kissimmee River, Florida
Rhine River, Europe
The concept of sustainability helps ecologists establish long-term conservation priorities.
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of people today without limiting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The goal of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative is to define and acquire basic ecological information for responsible development, management, and conservation of Earth’s resources.
Sustainable development requires connections between life sciences, social sciences, economics, and humanities.
Case Study: Costa Rica’s conservation of tropical biodiversity involves partnerships between the government, other organizations, and private citizens.
Human living conditions (infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy rate) in Costa Rica have improved along with ecological conservation.
Our lives differ greatly from early humans who hunted and gathered and painted on cave walls.
Our behavior reflects remnants of our ancestral attachment to nature and the diversity of life—the concept of biophilia.