Restoration and Resilience

Authored by: Elizabeth Trevenen , Rachel Standish , Charles Price , Richard Hobbs

Routledge Handbook of Ecological and Environmental Restoration

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138922129
eBook ISBN: 9781315685977
Adobe ISBN:


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Resilience is a term used in a variety of contexts, from human health and psychology through to ecology and conservation biology. Resilience was introduced to the ecological literature as a ‘measure of the persistence of systems and their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables’ (Holling 1973). By this definition, resilience has the potential to inform ecosystem management and restoration because it can potentially help to predict ecosystem recovery to a discrete disturbance event. The concept of resilience has been widely adopted by ecologists, environmental managers and policy-makers. Maintaining or restoring ecosystems that are resilient to human-induced global change has become one of the primary goals of modern-day intervention and stewardship. However, the concept has, over the years, become increasingly vague and has often been misused, rather than being a truly meaningful concept driving research or informing ecosystem management (Brand and Jax 2007; Myers-Smith et al. 2012).

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