Transcript Slide 1
Targets for ecological
Robert K. Peet
University of North Carolina
• Why me?
I’m not a restoration ecologist.
• Icon = “an object of uncritical devotion:
especially a traditional belief or ideal”
• My icon = a simple model for how to
conduct ecological restoration.
• My approach = A Carolina case study
• Goal: ecological function & biodiversity
2. A methodological icon
• Document reference conditions
• Derive restoration targets
• Design site-specific restoration plan
• Implement the plan
• Monitor change and assess success
• Employ adaptive management
3. Carolina Vegetation Survey
• Multi-institutional collaborative study to
document and understand the natural
vegetation of the Carolinas.
Over 5000 plots, containing over
2600 species, representing over
200 vegetation types.
collection is an
4. North Carolina Ecosystem
“The EEP mission is to restore, enhance,
preserve and protect the functions
associated with wetlands, streams, and
riparian areas, including … restoration,
maintenance and protection of water
quality and riparian habitats …”
Ecosystem Enhancement Program
Biennial Budget FY 2005/06 and 2006-07
Cost by Category:
*Includes Implementation and
Future Mitigation Projects
5. Traditional EEP method
• Consult brief habitat-based plant lists
• Design a site-specific restoration plan
• Implement the plan
• Monitor survival of planted stems 5 yrs
• Replant if needed
6. EEP-CVS Collaboration
• EEP wants to do a better job creating
• CVS provides improved reference
data, target design, monitoring, and
data management and analysis
7. Reference site initiative
• Goal: move from modest species lists to a
quantitative plot database and highresolution community classification with
quantitative descriptions and defined
8. Target generation
• Simple goal – Deliver composition goal
based on the vegetation type most
appropriate for the site and region.
• Sophisticated goal. – Automated
system that uses site data to
generate likely NVC types, from
which compositional goals are
Longleaf pine – feasibility study
• Few longleaf pine sites remain in “original”
• Restoration targets must be extrapolated
from a limited number of reference stands.
-188 plots across
of NC, SC, & GA
- All sites contained
near-natural, firemaintained groundlayer
- Soil attributes included for both the A
and B horizon: sand, silt, clay, Ca, Mg, K, P,
S, Mn, Na, Cu, Zn, Fe, BD, pH, organic
content, CEC, BS.
Step 1. Classification.
Developed a classification of the major
vegetation types of the ecoregion.
Used cluster analysis with a matrix of 188
plots x 619 species.
Vegetation types were seen to be
differentiated with respect to soil
texture, moisture, nutrient status, &
Step 2. Build model.
- Forward selection with linear discriminant
analysis identified predictor variables.
- Critical variables were Latitude,
Manganese, Phosphorus, Clay, Longitude.
- 75% of plots correctly identified to
series. Typically 75% of communities within
a series that were correctly classified.
Step 3. Select species.
1. Generate a list of all species in type (species
pool) with frequency, mean cover values, and
2. Randomly order the list
3. Compare species frequency to random number
between 0 & 1, and if the random number is
less than the proportion of plots the species is
selected. Continue until the number in list of
selected species equals the number predicted.
• Identify biogeographic region and obtain
• Select pool of candidate species for a specific
site based on range information.
• Divide restoration site into environmentally
homogenous areas, stratifying by topography
• Use models to select species number and
9. Monitoring – CVS methods
• Trade off between detail and time.
• EEP protocol seamlessly integrates
with CVS methods by allowing a series
of sampling levels.
• MS-Access data-entry tool to assure
standardize data, easy assimilation,
and automated quality control.
• Standard backend database for
reports and analysis
10. Reports & Analysis
• Datasheets for monitoring
• Survival & growth of planted stems
• Direction of compositional change
• Rate of change
• Problems needing attention, such as
CVS-EEP Training is essential
11. Reference stand issues
Reference stand conditions may be
difficult to achieve because of altered
• Soil nutrients
• Exotic species, and diseases
• Disturbance regimes
• Sea level
12. Concluding remarks
• The iconic model, although analytically
simple, provides a firm foundation.
• My case study lacks the sophisticated but
impractical approaches generally
advocated at an ESA symposium, yet it
improves on a highly respected program.
• Don’t forget Robert May’s observation
that ‘ecology is a science of contingent
generalization.’ The CVS method focuses
on contingencies of site and history.