Through funding to the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, the foundation’s Marine Conservation Initiative has been supporting foundational science for determining “thresholds” for marine ecosystem survival.
This week’s issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution includes findings resulting from this research, with important implications for the restoration of degraded ecosystems. In “Rapid and direct recoveries of predators and prey through synchronized ecosystem management,” the researchers offer suggestions for ecosystem management and restoration, and policy solutions for “practical means to accelerate the speed of recoveries.” The key? Favoring simultaneous recovery of predators and prey, rather than species-by-species efforts.
"Our study highlights how and why the sequence of restoration operations matters when one target of restoration is eaten by another," the authors explain. “Synchronous recovery of predators and prey is almost always more efficient than sequential recovery… These findings add emphasis to recent calls for coordinating management and restoration actions at the ecosystem level, while underscoring the central role of transient dynamics in making inferences about social-ecological systems.”
Read the journal article here.