Ecological restoration is the process of re-establishing a self-sustaining habitat or ecosystem similar to what is likely to have existed before human contact.
The restoration could involve the reintroduction of native fauna and flora, and the eradication or control of pests.
When reintroducing plant species, the aim should be:
- To restore to a site those genes and species which, if it were not for human intervention, might be expected to be naturally found there;
- To establish plants in the appropriate landscape, in a way that replicates natural dispersal patterns (this is especially important where species are planted in a natural setting and are intended, or have the potential, to naturally regenerate).
In the highly modified Waikato landscape where native plant populations are diminished and fragmented, it may not be possible to recreate exactly what was once there. Some species may not be readily available or difficult to propagate.
However, we should do everything possible to try and keep the natural character of the local vegetation. Therefore, ecosourcing is a crucial element of local restoration.
Here is a link to planting guides to plan a plant community and arrange the plants in space and time.