Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts

Avigdor Abelson, Benjamin S. Halpern, Daniel C. Reed, Robert J. Orth, Gary A. Kendrick, Michael W. Beck, Jonathan Belmaker, Gesche Krause, Graham J. Edgar, Laura Airoldi, Eran Brokovich, Robert France, Nadav Shashar, Arianne De Blaeij, Noga Stambler, Pierre Salameh, Mordechai Shechter, Peter A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social-ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Ocean Health Index (OHI)
  • conservation
  • marine ecosystems
  • marine spatial planning (MSP)
  • social-ecological restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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