Herbivory limits success of vegetation restoration globally (Page 1)  
location map

Herbivory limits success of vegetation restoration globally

Restoring vegetation in degraded ecosystems is an increasingly common practice for promoting biodiversity and ecological function, but successful implementation is hampered by an incomplete understanding of the processes that limit restoration success. By synthesizing terrestrial and aquatic studies globally (2594 experimental tests from 610 articles), we reveal substantial herbivore control of vegetation under restoration. Herbivores at restoration sites reduced vegetation abundance more strongly (by 89%, on average) than those at relatively undegraded sites and suppressed, rather than fostered, plant diversity. These effects were particularly pronounced in regions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation. Excluding targeted herbivores temporarily or introducing their predators improved restoration by magnitudes similar to or greater than those achieved by managing plant competition or facilitation. Thus, managing herbivory is a promising strategy for enhancing vegetation restoration efforts.

Keywords: Herbivory, Literature Review, Restoration, Biodiversity, Botany

Author(s)Changlin Xu, Brian R. Silliman, Jianshe Chen, Xincheng Li, Mads S. Thomsen, Qun Zhang, Juhyung Lee, Jonathan S. Lefcheck, Pedro Daleo, Brent B. Hughes, Holly P. Jones, Rong Wang, Shaopeng Wang, Carter S. Smith, Xinqiang Xi, Andrew H. Altieri, Johan van de Koppel, Todd M. Palmer, Lingli Liu, Jihua Wu, Bo Li, and Qiang He
IAN Author(s)Jon Lefcheck
Journal / BookScience 382 (6670)
TypePaper | Journal Article
Number of Pages7