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Restoration: Bridging the Gaps A Graphic Translation of Ecological Restoration

The terms restoration ecology and ecological restoration are used interchangeably confusing the definition and work of ecological restoration and its many components. Restoration ecology is a type of scientific practice whose work will be a component of a restoration project while ecological restoration is the sum of practices, social, historical and ecological that constitute the field of restoration (Higgs, 2005). Within our rapidly urbanizing society the role of ecological restoration and restoring ecosystem services is increasingly important, especially within our coastal cities. The goals of restoration differ when the classification of restoration techniques is by ecosystem service, not ecological function, framing restoration around people’s use of the ecosystem, not the ecosystems needs. The problems faced in restoration work affect social, historical and ecological aspects that reach beyond the physical and political boundaries of the restoration site. Ecological restorationists need to understand the differences in framing that a non-universal definition for ecological restoration creates, while also understanding how to bridge these differences. One solution is graphic communication and representation of the different components that scientists and non-scientists alike can understand. This study uses restoration project plans to illustrate the goals within projects, and shows where the goals of scientists and designers conflict and harmonize. Shown through map overlays and graphics, this comparison provides professionals within the field, with resources and illustrations to better communicate. In addition, graphics and matrices will illustrate key terms, concepts and the intersection of restoration types with habitat types, ecosystem services and social components. In conclusion, this study addresses differences in ways of learning, and kinds of knowledge other than science needed in ecological restoration projects, and uses graphics to bridge these gaps.
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