The long-term restoration of ecosystem complexity

David Moreno-Mateos (Corresponding author), Antton Alberdi, Elly Morriën, Wim H. van der Putten, Asun Rodríguez-Uña, Daniel Montoya

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)
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Multiple large-scale restoration strategies are emerging globally to counteract ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. However, restoration often remains insufficient to offset that loss. To address this challenge, we propose to focus restoration science on the long-term (centuries to millennia) re-assembly of degraded ecosystem complexity integrating interaction network and evolutionary potential approaches. This approach provides insights into eco-evolutionary feedbacks determining the structure, functioning and stability of recovering ecosystems. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks may help to understand changes in the adaptive potential after disturbance of metacommunity hub species with core structural and functional roles for their use in restoration. Those changes can be studied combining a restoration genomics approach based on whole-genome sequencing with replicated space-for-time substitutions linking changes in genetic variation to functions or traits relevant to the establishment of evolutionarily resilient communities. This approach may set the knowledge basis for future tools to accelerate the restoration of ecosystems able to adapt to ongoing global changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-685
Number of pages10
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • International
  • Plan_S-Compliant_NO


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