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Restoration of degraded ecosystems within the environment


Date Posted: 2/21/2018 3:03:07 AM

Posted By: franco crick  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 2067

An ecosystem is a natural unit with regulating community of plants and animals interacting among each other and with their physical environment. An ecosystem consists of plants,animals,microorganisms and abiotic factors such as sunshine,air,soil,temperature, wind, and rain. An ecosystem has pools and fluxes.The pools are the quantities contained within the ecosystem such as herbivores, consumers and other predators while, fluxes are the processes occurring within the ecosystem including; decomposition, photosynthesis, carbon cycling, nitrogen cycling and nitrogen fixation.

A degraded ecosystem is that ecosystem that has lost its original structure and components due to either urbanization within the ecosystem, pollution, overpopulation, agricultural intensification and climate change thus losing the ecosystem functioning.An ecosystem structure is simply the various components that make up an ecosystem.For this degraded ecosystem to bounce back (undergo resilience- the ability of an ecosystem to attain its original structures and function.) to its original state, the ecosystem has to be restored.

Restoration involves the measures applied within an ecosystem so as to alter the site status with an aim of establishing or emulating the structure, diversity, function and dynamics of the specified ecosystem. The specified ecosystem may be aquatic, terrestrial or marine ecosystems.Restoration involves the following:
Restoration ecology which is the science of studying and researching the communities, population and ecosystems.
Reference sites which are areas that has comparable species with the degraded ecosystem.
Offsets encompasses of new site created or established as a substitute for another area that might be under development or destruction.

Restoration of a degraded ecosystem is an iterative process usually including: examining preexisting, historic and current reference conditions mainly before restoration plan, process of developing a restoration plan or design, obtaining the necessary permits as described by the necessary authority and regulations of a given country or region.

For the restoration of an ecosystem to be successful, mandatory steps has

to be followed as described: The first step is determination of the restoration goal where a person or government officer charged with the responsibility decides on what to restore within a given or specified ecosystem.

The second step is about identification of constraints or challenges in restoring the ecosystem which includes: biochemical feed backs, physical, landscape of the area within the ecosystem, environmental changes and trophic-level interactions.

Having known the constraints, the manager of the ecosystem should follow the next step and the third one where he or she should prioritize on the constraints as good as he can through seeking guidance and assistance from the locally available experts in the matters arising.

After all this the fourth step to be followed is on addressing the constraints where they should now get involved in dealing with the relevant issues so as to come up with a resolution with an aim of restoring the ecosystems in a maximum way possible. All this will lead to positive changes within the degraded ecosystem.

The fifth step on restoration of the ecosystem is characterizing the changed system through identifying the ability of ecosystem to initialize in gaining its original structure and function mainly to ensure the left bit in regaining all the components and structures is achieved to the best.This characterization may be associated with making observations with the ecosystem undergoing restoration, involving the relevant organizations such as biodiversity conservation management sectors mainly to provide guidelines on the issues to be addressed to the ecosystem.

The sixth and the last step that should be followed during restoration of a degraded ecosystem is maintaining the system through for example regular introduction of new varieties of organisms but of the same species as invasive species may lead to degradation again.This will help increase biodiversity population and increased processes within the system mainly to ensure its stability.

Having followed the above procedural steps the ecosystem probability of regaining its original status is made easy.Restoration will mainly help in providing insights into important basic biological questions within the ecosystem such as; fire cycles, secondary succession, assembly dynamics and the nature of invasive ability of species within the ecosystems.This will also offer an opportunity to conduct an experiment in research and studying of the different ecosystems of different population and species. In spite of the fact that there exists some challenges such as scale issues in restoration, failure in implementing the practice, lack of knowledge and negative approaches made towards restoration programs such as no action of restoration where people think that attempts are made but fails, system may be able to recover on its own and that the exercise of restoration might be expensive the steps described above can really help in restoring our ecosystems within the country.

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