STEFAN ZERBE

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Glocal Design Spring 2015 | foreword | 27.3.2015 | 14:15

Abstract of talk @ DoD13

RESTORATION – DESIGNING NEW ECOSYSTEMS?

Worldwide, ecosystems and land-use systems, respectively, are degraded or even destroyed by non-sustainable land use. Against the background of the lost ecosystem services they provided (e.g. production, regulation, information) ecosystem restoration has become one of the major tasks and challenges of the 21st century. Basic aspects such as ecological key concepts (e.g. diversity, succession, disturbance) and their relationship to restoration as well as applied aspects are outlined. Examples are presented from Central Europe and the Alps as well as other parts of the world, e.g. forests, peatland, and grassland. In particular, after the complete destruction of ecosystems, e.g. after open cast mining or in urban-industrial areas, or after the establishment of invasive non-native species, new ecosystems (“emerging ecosystems”) have to be developed. This can be done on the one hand with the help of nature by integrating natural ecological processes. On the other hand, management might be necessary in order to restore particular ecosystem services. Thus, new ecosystems could be “designed”. Ecosystem restoration is a transdisciplinary task which needs the involvement not only of ecologists, but also experts from the socio-economic sciences and stakeholders, e.g. land users, decision makers, landscape planners.

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Interesting questions / statements

Nature perfectly designs itself.

After man has destroyed natural or cultural ecosystems, design might favor function and services of the new ecosystems.

Still functioning ecosystems have to be conserved and maintained.