Gauging policy-driven large-scale vegetation restoration programmes under a changing environment: their effectiveness and socioeconomic relationships

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Li, T., Lu, Y., Fu, B., Comber, A. J., Harris, P. and Wu, L. 2017. Gauging policy-driven large-scale vegetation restoration programmes under a changing environment: their effectiveness and socioeconomic relationships. Science of the Total Environment. 607-8, pp. 911-919.

AuthorsLi, T., Lu, Y., Fu, B., Comber, A. J., Harris, P. and Wu, L.
Abstract

Large-scale ecological restoration has been widely accepted globally as an effective strategy for combating environmental crises and to facilitate sustainability. Assessing the effectiveness of ecological restoration is vital for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers. However, few practical tools are available to perform such tasks, particularly for large-scale restoration programmes in complex socio-ecological systems. By taking a “before and after” design, this paper formulates a composite index (Ej) based on comparing the trends of vegetation cover and vegetation productivity to assess ecological restoration effectiveness. The index reveals the dynamic and spatially heterogenic process of vegetation restoration across different time periods, which can be informative for ecological restoration management at regional scales. Effectiveness together with its relationship to socio-economic factors is explored via structural equation modeling for three time periods. The results indicate that the temporal scale is a crucial factor in representing restoration effectiveness, and that the effects of socioeconomic factors can also vary with time providing insight for improving restoration effectiveness. A dualtrack strategy, which promotes the development of tertiary industry in absorbing the rural labor force together with improvements in agricultural practices, is proposed as a promising strategy for enhancing restoration effectiveness. In this process, timely and long-term ecological restoration monitoring is advocated, so that the success and sustainability of such programmes is ensured, together with more informative decision making where socioecological interactions at differing temporal scales are key concerns

KeywordsEcological restoration; Effectiveness assessment; Temporal scale; Socio-ecological system; Rural economy; Structural equation modeling
Year of Publication2017
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation607-8, pp. 911-919
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.044
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderNatural Environment Research Council
BBSRC Newton funding
Funder project or codeNE/N007433/1
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Jul 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Jul 2017
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0048-9697

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