Foundations of Restoration Ecology (2006), edited by Falk et al, is an important milestone in the field, bringing together leading ecologists to bridge the gap between theory and practice by translating elements of ecological theory and current research themes into a scientific framework for the field of restoration ecology. Each chapter addresses a particular area of ecological theory, covering traditional levels of biological hierarchy (such as population genetics, demography, community ecology) as well as topics of central relevance to the challenges of restoration ecology (such as species interactions, fine-scale heterogeneity, successional trajectories, invasive species ecology, ecophysiology).

Restoration Ecology: The New Frontier (2005), edited by Andel and Aronson, is aimed at Masters, and PhD students, teachers, researchers and natural resource managers. This book explores the interface between restoration ecology and ecological restoration. It covers both the ecological concepts involved in restoration ecology and their practical applications, written by an excellent group of ecologists from centres across Europe with a strong reputation for restoration ecology. It is the only textbook around aimed specifically at advanced undergraduate courses and postgraduate study programmes.

Recognizing the Autonomy of Nature: Theory and Practice (2005), edited by Heyd, begins by exploring what is meant by “nature,” in what sense it can be seen as autonomous, and what respect for the autonomy of nature might entail. They examine the conflicts that arise between the satisfaction of human needs (food, shelter, etc.) and the natural world. The contributors also consider whether the activities of human beings contribute to nature’s autonomy. In their investigation of these issues, they not only draw on philosophy and ethics; they also discuss how the idea of nature’s autonomy affects policy decisions regarding the protection of agricultural, rural, and beach areas.

Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice (2004), edited by Temperton et al, addresses that shortcoming, offering an introduction, overview, and synthesis of the potential role of assembly rules theory in restoration ecology. It brings together information and ideas relating to ecosystem assembly in a restoration context, and includes material from a wide geographic range and a variety of perspectives. It also contributes new knowledge and ideas to the subjects of assembly rules and restoration ecology and represents an important summary of the current status of an emerging field. It combines theoretical and practical aspects of restoration, making it a vital compendium of information and ideas for restoration ecologists, professionals, and practitioners.

Environmental Restoration: Ethics, Theory, and Practice (2000), edited by Throop, organizes key essays that outline philosophical perspectives on the rapidly growing practice of environmental restoration. While some argue that environmental restoration is a new paradigm for environmentalism, others maintain that it is just more human domination of nature. The ongoing debate will help to shape environmentalism in the 21st century. Nontechnical discussions of restoration projects place the issues in the context of current policy-making. For each issue, pro and con articles are juxtaposed to highlight areas of controversy. This is the only anthology that focuses on the philosophical issues underlying restoration ecology.

Restoring Nature: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities (2000), by Gobster and Hull, suggests ways in which restoration conflicts might be resolved, and provides examples of stewardship that show how volunteers and local residents can help make and maintain restored environments. Throughout, contributors set forth a wealth of ideas, case studies, methodological approaches, and disciplinary perspectives that shed valuable light on the social underpinnings of ecological restoration and natural resource management. It is an intriguing exploration of human-nature interactions, of differing values and understanding of nature, and of how that information can be effectively used to guide science and policy.

Ecological Basis of Conservation: Heterogeneity, Ecosystems, and Biodiversity (1997), by Pickett et al, contains diverse practical examples and case studies of how the new thinking in ecology, and the new partnerships required for more successful conservation, actually work and can be improved. The examples range from freshwater to arid, and from subtropical to boreal. The strongest use of science in conservation requires effective linkage between science and policy, and between science and management. The land ethic motivates the external agenda for science and its application and the resulting activity of scientists in the public discourse.

Engineering within Ecological Constraints (1996), edited by Schulze, presents a rare dialogue between engineers and environmental scientists as they consider the many technical as well as social and legal challenges of ecologically sensitive engineering. The volume looks at the concepts of scale, resilience, and chaos as they apply to the points where the ecological life support system of nature interacts with the technological life support system created by humankind. Among the questions addressed are: What are the implications of differences between ecological and engineering concepts of efficiency and stability? How can engineering solutions to immediate problems be made compatible with long-term ecological concerns? How can we transfer ecological principles to economic systems?

Restoration Ecology: A Synthetic Approach to Ecological Research (1987), edited by Jordan et al, argues that restoration efforts have been highly empirical and only of marginal interest to theoretical ecologists. Although interest in ecological restoration has grown rapidly in recent years, restoration efforts have been highly empirical and have therefore been of only marginal interest to theoretical ecologists concerned with the structure and dynamics of communities. The ability to reassemble a community or ecosystem and to make it function properly actually represents a critical test of ecological understanding in the most fundamental sense. It is this idea of restoration as a technique – and even a paradigm – for ecological studies, leading in turn to improved restoration methods, that is the subject of this book.

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