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Trends Ecol Evol. 2010 Nov;25(11):670-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

How understanding aboveground-belowground linkages can assist restoration ecology.

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Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden.


The topic of aboveground-belowground linkages has seen much recent activity, resulting in several conceptual advances regarding plant-soil feedbacks, multitrophic interactions, and how organisms drive ecosystem processes. Although restoration ecology has been rapidly evolving as a scientific discipline, the principles that have developed regarding aboveground-belowground linkages have yet to be thoroughly integrated into it. In this review, we conceptually integrate the role of aboveground-belowground linkages with the principles of restoration ecology through a framework that transcends multiple levels of ecological organization, and illustrate its application through three examples: restoration of abandoned land, reversal of biological invasions, and restoration of natural disturbances. We conclude that this integration can greatly assist restoration ecology, through aiding identification of effective invention practices and prediction of ecosystem recovery.

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