Ecological stream restoration focuses on the recovery of ecosystem organisms and processes with the goal of a more native, predisturbance ecosystem. Restoration plans must incorporate goals and strategies that are guided by ecological benefits and incorporate pre- and postrestoration monitoring to determine progress toward the goals. The ecological engineering approach to restoration uses environmental engineering practices in combination with ecological principles to create a starting point for biotic succession that will lead to a self-organizing and self-sustaining stream ecosystem. In this sense, human-engineered mechanical tools and evolution-engineered biotic tools (i.e., individual species) are used in concert. The biotic component of this ecosystem reacts both directly and indirectly to the surrounding environment. Some of these interactions are predictable, and these known relationships are used to base ecological stream restoration plans. Ecological stream restoration must consider the physical, chemical, and biological components of the stream, and how interactions among these components change with alterations of the environment.
See also: Erosion; Lake Restoration Methods; Landscape Planning; Material and Metal Ecology; Nitrogen Cycle; River Models; Rivers and Streams: Physical Setting and Adapted Biota; Stream Management; Water Cycle.
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