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Restoration Tips

Tip #30: In China’s Kubuqi desert, officials hope to fight off desertification by planting Desert-willow and other trees that are known to survive in desert conditions.

Tip #29: In Yellowstone National Park, biologists are removing non-native fish using rotenone, a method that inhibits the ability of cells to turn nutrients into energy, essentially starving the cells and eventually killing the fish.

Tip #28: In areas of the Pacific Northwest, drones are being used to reseed areas impacted by invasive species threatening the sagebrush steppe.

Tip #27: If you’re looking to restore tropical forests, you better utilize the restorative powers of bats and birds. They play a central role in tropical forest dynamics and were responsible for more than 90 percent of regeneration in a test study carried out in southern Mexico.

Tip #26: New research has shown that ultrasonic irradiation can be used as a viable alternative for destroying harmful algae, which is a major problem for water bodies near areas of intense agriculture.

Tip #25: Forest restoration is a continuous process that recovers ecological function and improves human well-being in deforested or degraded forest landscapes, a practice that benefits humans and biodiversity. Learn more about it here.

Tip #24: Compost tea makes your soil more active, reintroducing soil microbes and promoting fungal growth that has been lost over time.

Tip #23: Could smartphones be the future of restoration projects? Check out this app that helps monitor location and size of invasive Spartina plants in BC coastal mudflats.

Tip: #22: Need to remove excess nutrients from lakes, rivers and animal effluent systems? Try algal turf scrubbing, which also has biofuel and fertilizer potential. Learn about it here.

Tip #21: By creating “living genetic libraries,” researchers hope to ensure the world’s largest trees survive into the future. Watch this short film to learn more.

Tip #20: Although the technology is still in its infancy, tiny nanoparticles could one day be used extensively to reduce harmful environmental contaminants under challenging site conditions.

Tip #19: Floating Treatment Wetlands are an ingenious way of keeping natural waters clean. The floating platforms help aquatic plants to grow in deeper waters, where their roots uptake harmful contaminants while creating a new habitat for microorganisms that degrading these contaminants even more.

Tip #18: Electrical resistant heating is an effective method for remediating contaminated soils, which uses electrical probes to heat the subsoil and capture and then treat contaminants.

Tip #17: Using nurse plants in your restoration plans will help ensure more diversity and promote the recovery of degraded ecosystems faster than using plants without these capabilities. Learn more about these plants here.

Tip #16: Hemp is not just a revenue generator for farmers, it’s also a great way to remove heavy metals from soils. Learn more about these amazing properties of hemp here.

Tip #15: Looking for a natural way to control invasive weeds and restore native landscapes? Employ the grazing efficiency of sheep and goats, who prefer pesky weeds such as thistle, yarrow and buckbrush. Here’s a primer on using goats for vegetation management.

Tip #14: Did you know you can use hair to clean up oil spills? Put your hairdo to use and ditch those synthetics! Read this to learn how.

Tip #13: More than just a tasty herb, cilantro can also be used as an inexpensive, sustainable alternative to purifying heavy metals out of drinking water.

Tip #12: Using dredged sediment material, wetlands can not only be enhanced and restored, they can also be created! Learn more about how river sediments can be used to strengthen wetland ecosystems.

Tip #11: Weed control as a rationale for restoration? Yep, controlling the weeds and invasive vegetation that thrive in disturbed landscapes is one of many good reasons to restore to a more diverse, late-successional plant community—just look at the example of Tallgrass Prairie.

Tip#10: Ectrokinetic soil remediation is an inexpensive method of using electricity to attract heavy metals and organic contaminants towards electrodes for easy removal—featured in this video.

Tip #9: Restoring native grasslands can be aided by reintroducing grazing and fire to these landscapes or by mechanically removing invading woody vegetation. See this guide for best management practices from the Manitoba Forage Council.

Tip #8: Many thousands of bacterial species can be found in just one gram of soil, and they collectively sculpt entire ecosystems. That reality is forcing scientists to rethink conventional restoration practices.

Tip #7: Almost 90 percent of plants rely on a symbiotic relationship with fungi, which improves nutrient availability and growth for both species. Inoculating soil and plants with mycorrhizal fungi during restoration can result in a faster return to ecological equilibrium.

Tip #6: Soil remediation using plants (see Phytoremediation Potential of Bioenergy Plants) can be an economical and sustainable way practice after every growing season, plus harvested biomass can be used for manufacturing textiles, plastics and bio-fuels.

Tip #5: Feeling the heat? Perhaps try reintroducing Indigenous burning methods along with contemporary techniques to restore certain landscapes and to ensure that destructive wildfires occur less often.

Tip #4: Have you ever heard of a trophic cascade? Learn how the reintroduction of wolves is within Yellowstone National Park has triggered a chain reaction of ecosystem regeneration.

Tip #3: When restoring vegetation, try not to create a monster plant! In attempts to restore coastal marshes near San Francisco decades ago, engineers unwittingly created vast invasive monocultures.

Tip #2: Using natural processes to restore disturbed sites decreases costs and utilizes pioneer species to pave the way to regeneration. Learn more in this report from SER-WC’s David Polster.

Tip #1: Want to get rid of Yellow Flag Iris? Add a benthic barrier after removing this invasive species, which will suppress regrowth. See our guest article from CSISS for more information.

Looking for more Restoration Tips?

You can view past weekly tips by clicking on the links for each year below:

2018 Restoration Tips

2017 Restoration Tips

2016 Restoration Tips

2015 Restoration Tips