Incorporating Novel Ecosystems and Layered Landscapes for Ecological Restoration in Cities
Ecological restoration in cities is problematic. The natural environment is radically altered with large areas of impervious surfaces, invasive species and a parallel artificial infrastructure for transporting water, waste and energy. There are also competing goals to meet the needs of people as identified in Official Community Plans. Cities are novel ecosystems and the restoration targets often do not align well with the natural ecosystems that historically existed in the area. The objective of this study is to use the University of Victoria campus as an example of urban restoration that incorporates novel ecosystems and takes a layered landscapes approach to address the complex socio-ecological histories of a site. Hobbs Creek and its ravine, Mystic Vale, are a particular focus. Instead of trying to restore the original fish-bearing stream and forest, the University of Victoria has used a novel ecosystem approach to set a suitable restoration target for an ecosystem that is capable of maturing, has a stable trajectory and is resilient. The university has an ongoing program of invasive species removal, reducing stream bank erosion and managing human impacts that is consistent with applying the layered landscapes concept, addressing the diverse values and visions of people as well as ecological integrity. In cities, the novel ecosystem approach acknowledges that complex socio-ecological histories of a site have shaped them over time and play a major role in determining a site’s future. Combining the layered landscapes perspective with the novel ecosystems concept as was done in this project is an effective approach to ecological restoration in cities.
Incorporating Novel Ecosystems and Layered Landscapes for Ecological Restoration in Cities, American Journal of Life Sciences.
Vol. 5, No. 6,
2017, pp. 164-169.
Hobbs, R. J., A. Salvatore, J. Aronson, J. S. Baron, P. Bridgewater, V. A. Cramer, P. R. Epstein, J. J. Ewel, C. A. Klink, A. E. Lugo, D. Norton, D. Ojima, D. M. Richardson, E. W. Sanderson, F. Valladares, M. Vilà, R. Zamora, and M. Zobel. (2006). Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order. Global Ecology and Biogeography 15:1–7.
Hobbs, R. J., L. M. Hallett, P. R. Ehrlich, and H. A. Mooney. (2011). Intervention Ecology: Applying Ecological Science in the Twenty-first Century. BioScience 61:442-450.
Levin, S. A. (1998). Ecosystems and the biosphere as complex adaptive systems. Ecosystems 1:431–436.
World Health Organization. (2016). Urban green spaces and health. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Handa, K. L., Freeman, C., Seddona, P. J., A, van Heezika, Y. (2016) A novel method for fine-scale biodiversity assessment and prediction across diverse urban landscapes reveals social deprivation-related inequalities in private, not public spaces. Landscape and Urban Planning 15:33-44.
Gunderson, L. (2000). Ecological resilience – in theory and application. Annual Review of Ecological Systems, 31, 425-439.
Schaefer, V. H. (2009). Alien invasions, ecological restoration in cities and the loss of ecological memory. Restoration Ecology, 17, 171-176.
Sun, Z., Ren, H., Schaefer, V., Lu, H., Wang, J., Li, L. and N. Liu. (2014). Quantifying the ecological memory during forest succession: a case study from lower subtropical forest ecosystems in South China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Ecological Indicators DOI 10.1007/s10661-014-4000-6
Schaefer, V. H. (1999). The Green Links Project: A Holistic Approach to Habitat Restoration in Cities. Ecological Restoration. Ecological Restoration, 17, 250-251.
Hobbs, R. J., L. M. Hallett, P. R. Ehrlich, and H. A. Mooney. (2011). Intervention Ecology: Applying Ecological Science in the Twenty-first Century. BioScience, 61, 442-450.
Levin, S. A. (1998). Ecosystems and the biosphere as complex adaptive systems. Ecosystems, 1, 431–436.
Blair R B. (1996). Land use and avian species diversity along an urban gradient. Ecological Applications, 6, 506-519.
Rubin, E. S., W. M. Boyce, C. J. Stermer, and S. G. Torres. (2002). Bighorn sheep habitat use and selection near an urban environment. Biological Conservation, 104, 251-263.
Morneau, F., R. Decarie, R. Pelletier, D. Lambert, J. L. DesGranges, and J. P. Savard. (1999). Changes in breeding bird richness and abundance in Montreal parks over a period of 15 years. Landscape and Urban Planning, 44, 111-21.
Environment Canada. (2005). How Much Habitat is Enough? (2nd ed.) Canadian Wildlife Service. Downsview, Ontario.
Environmental Law Institute. (2003). Conservation Thresholds for Land Use Planners Washington D. C.
Forman R. T. T. and L. E. Alexander. (1998). Roads and their major ecological effects. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 29, 207-231.
Galli, A. E., C. Leck, and, R. Forman. (1976). Avian distribution patterns in forest islands of different sizes in central New Jersey. Auk, 93, 356-64.
Mann, C. C. (2005). 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus. New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
Seastedt, Timothy R., Richard J. Hobbs, and Katharine N. Suding. (2008). "Management of Novel Ecosystems: Are Novel Approaches Required?" Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, 547-53.
Schaefer, V. and A. Tillmanns. (2014). Listening to Ecosystems: Ecological restoration and the uniqueness of place. Ecological Restoration, 33, 3-9.
Hourdequin, M., and Havlick, D, G. eds. (2016). Restoring Layered landscapess, History, Ecology and Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Edgar, T. (2007). Restoration in mind: placing ecological restoration in a cultural context. Environments, 35, 25-43.
University of Victoria. (2015). University of Victoria Campus Plan. Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability.
Kathrens, L., Jennings, J. and V. Schaefer. (2016). University of Victoria Invasive Species Management Strategy. Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability. University of Victoria. 171 pp.
Gye J. (2003). Discussion Paper: Towards and Urban Forest Stewardship Strategy for Southern Vancouver Island. Victoria, BC: Habitat Acquisition Trust.
Sandborn, C. (1996). Green Space and Growth: Conserving Natural Areas in BC Communities. Commission on Resources and the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa.
Higgs, E. (2003). Nature by Design - People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Yaksic, V. and F. Nelson. (2016). "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" Master of City and Regional Planning Terminal Projects. 70. http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/mcrp/70