Restoration through reassembly: plant traits and invasion resistance

Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Dec;23(12):695-703. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.07.013. Epub 2008 Oct 24.


One of the greatest challenges for ecological restoration is to create or reassemble plant communities that are resistant to invasion by exotic species. We examine how concepts pertaining to the assembly of plant communities can be used to strengthen resistance to invasion in restored communities. Community ecology theory predicts that an invasive species will be unlikely to establish if there is a species with similar traits present in the resident community or if available niches are filled. Therefore, successful restoration efforts should select native species with traits similar to likely invaders and include a diversity of functional traits. The success of trait-based approaches to restoration will depend largely on the diversity of invaders, on the strength of environmental factors and on dispersal dynamics of invasive and native species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem*
  • Plants*