Basic Principles of Restoration Ecology

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSHE2ED3052

To which offered: (I/ III/ V) III semester

Course Title: Basic Principles of Restoration Ecology

Credits: 2 Credits

Course Code (new): SHE2ED305

Type of Course: Elective Yes Cohort MAED

Course Coordinator and Team Dr Suresh Babu

Email of course coordinator: suresh[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None


The course will focus on ecological theory and how to extend the theory to restoration practice as well as debates concerning restoration practice. This course is aimed at providing a broad understanding of Restoration Ecology as a science and as a practice.

The course has been developed as a 4-credit package (being offered in two parts, 2- credits each in 3rd and 4th semester) that provides a strong foundation of ecological principles that can be employed to solve problems of degradation across a range of ecosystems.


Learning objectives:

As a science, restoration ecology is about objective interventions that attempt to return an ecosystem to its historic trajectory. As a practice, it is an intentional activity that accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability. The founding ecological principles constitute the initial components of the course. Subsequently, the course deals with problems, intensity and nature of perturbations in ecosystems and with a problem solving-applied ecology approach. The methodology involved in selecting referencing ecosystems and setting of target conditions is discussed. Case studies are taken up on terrestrial, wetland and marine ecosystems and discussed at length and with a view to finding system-based solutions. The learning objectives are:

  • Understand fundamental ecological principles that guide restoration
  • Determine how to set references, target conditions and follow-through on goals for ecological restoration

Course Content:

S. No.



Introduction to Restoration Ecology


Ecological Basis of Restoration

  • Disturbance and Recovery in Ecosystems
  • Reference Ecosystems
  • Assembly Rules in Ecosystems


Terrestrial Restoration


Wetland Restoration


Marine and Coastal Restoration


Restoration Planning


Implementation, Assessment and Monitoring of Restoration Programmes


Indicative Readings List:

  • Andel, J. v.& Aronson, J. (Eds). (2005). Restoration Ecology: The New Frontier. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Bradshaw, A. D. (1987). Restoration: An acid test for ecology. In W. R. Jordan, M. E. Gilpin, and J. D. Aber (Eds.), Restoration Ecology: A Synthetic Approach to Ecological Research (pp. 23–30). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Chapin III, F. S., P. A. Matson, & Mooney,H. A. (Eds.). (2002). Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology. New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Michener, W. K. (1997). Quantitatively evaluating restoration experiments: Research design, statistical analysis, and data management considerations. Restoration Ecology, 5, 324–337.
  • Roberts, L., Stone, R.& Sugden, A. (2009). The rise of restoration ecology. Science, 325, 355.
  • Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group (2004). The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.

Assessment: There would be three assessments: Short Quiz (30%), Test(30%), End Semester Exam (40%)