Future-proofing ecosystem restoration through enhancing adaptive capacity

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


Social-ecological ecosystem restoration involves interacting challenges, including climate change, resource overexploitation and political instability. To prepare for these and other emerging threats, we synthesized key restoration and social-ecological systems literature and derived three guiding themes that can help to enhance the adaptive capacity of restoration sites: (i) work with the existing system, (ii) create self-sustaining, adaptive systems, and (iii) foster diversity and participation. We propose a two-step approach and provide an example from Rwanda detailing the application of these principles. While site-specific activities have to be designed and implemented by local practitioners, our synthesis can guide forward-thinking restoration practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 12.2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Tobias Plieninger and Tobias Kuemmerle for providing valuable feedback on drafts of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).