Restoration of damaged ecosystems

TitleRestoration of damaged ecosystems
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsJr. JCairns
EditorJr W.TMason, Iker S
Book TitleResearch on Fish and Wildlife Habitat
PublisherUS Environmental Protection Agency
CityWashington D.C.

The decade of the seventies produced compelling evidence that damaged ecosystems can be improved. A substantial body of literature for both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is available to help develop good management practices and avoid bad ones. Underlying ecological theory has not been neglected. Some of the problems in implementing water quality goals mentioned by Westman late in the decade have since been addressed as have those involving control of environmental impact discussed by Westman and Gifford earlier in the decade. However, most of the important problems identified by these authors remain unresolved. Fragmentation of authority for ecosystem management remaines as much of a problem at the end of the decade as it was at the outset. Guidelines for working environmental values into public decisions are available but not generally used. The decade just completed produced a solid scientific foundation for restoring damaged ecosystems although much research is still needed. However, the damage rate still far exceeds the restoration rate.