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Reference condition approach to restoration planning

January 1, 2010

Ecosystem restoration planning requires quantitative rigor to evaluate alternatives, define end states, report progress and perform environmental benefits analysis (EBA). Unfortunately, existing planning frameworks are, at best, semi-quantitative. In this paper, we: (1) describe a quantitative restoration planning approach based on a comprehensive, but simple mathematical framework that can be used to effectively apply knowledge and evaluate alternatives, (2) use the approach to derive a simple but precisely defined lexicon based on the reference condition concept and allied terms and (3) illustrate the approach with an example from the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) using hydrologic indicators. The approach supports the development of a scaleable restoration strategy that, in theory, can be expanded to ecosystem characteristics such as hydraulics, geomorphology, habitat and biodiversity. We identify three reference condition types, best achievable condition (A BAC), measured magnitude (MMi which can be determined at one or many times and places) and desired future condition (ADFC) that, when used with the mathematical framework, provide a complete system of accounts useful for goal-oriented system-level management and restoration. Published in 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication Year 2010
Title Reference condition approach to restoration planning
DOI 10.1002/rra.1330
Authors J.M. Nestler, C.H. Theiling, S.J. Lubinski, D.L. Smith
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title River Research and Applications
Index ID 70037513
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse