Jentsch, A: The challenge to restore processes in face of non-linear dynamics - on the crucial role of disturbance regimes, Restoration Ecology, 15(2), 334-339 (2007), doi:10.1111/j.1526-100X.2007.00220.x
Key words: assembly rule; equilibrium; patch dynamics; regime shift; vegetation
Increasingly, restoration ecologists and managers are challenged to restore ecological processes that lead to self-sustaining ecosystem dynamics. Due to changing environmental conditions, however, restoration goals need to include novel regimes beyond prior reference conditions or reference dynamics. In face of these fundamental challenges in process-based restoration ecology, disturbance ecology can offer useful insights. Here, I discuss the contribution of disturbance ecology to understanding assembly rules, ecosystem dynamics, regime shifts, and nonlinear dynamics. Using the patch and multipatch concept, all insights are organized according to two spatial and two temporal categories: “patch–event,”“patch–multievent,”“multipatch–event,” and “multipatch–multievent.” This concept implies the consideration of both spatial patterns and temporal rhythms inside and outside of a restoration site. Emerging issues, such as uncoupling of internal and external dynamics, are considered.
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