Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good news: most ecosystems can recover in one lifetime from human-induced disturbance

wetland restoration photo 

photo: Partners for Fish and Wildlife via flickr.

There's a reason the phrase "let nature take its course" exists: New research done at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Science reinforces the idea that ecosystems are quiet resilient and can rebound from pollution and environmental degradation. Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the study shows that most damaged ecosystems worldwide can recover within a single lifetime, if the source of pollution is removed and restoration work done:

Forests Take Longest of Ecosystems Studied
The analysis found that on average forest ecosystems can recover in 42 years, while in takes only about 10 years for the ocean bottom to recover. If an area has seen multiple, interactive disturbances, it can take on average 56 years for recovery. In general, most ecosystems take longer to recover from human-induced disturbances than from natural events, such as hurricanes. …

Good News: Most Ecosystems Can Recover in One Lifetime from Human-Induced or Natural Disturbance

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