Jump to Main Content
Does the novel ecosystem concept provide a framework for practical applications and a path forward? A reply to Miller and Bestelmeyer
- Kattan, Gustavo H., Aronson, James, Murcia, Carolina
- Restoration ecology 2016 v.24 no.6 pp. 714-716
- concrete, ecological restoration, ecosystems, environmental factors, guidelines, prediction
- The novel ecosystem (NE) concept has been presented as a new paradigm or framework for ecological restoration. However, NEs are imprecisely defined for any practical applications and are based on theory not evidence. Furthermore, the NE concept remains descriptive, rather than prescriptive, and offers no testable predictions for researchers or concrete management guidelines. Current restoration concepts and practice already admit various possibilities for dealing with ecosystems for which recovery to an historical trajectory or environmental variation range is not the best option. Nonanalog ecosystems are real, but we caution against overvaluation and the undesirable outcomes of a contagion phenomenon.