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Hope and caution: Rewilding to mitigate the impacts of biological invasions


Derham, TT and Duncan, RP and Johnson, CN and Jones, ME, Hope and caution: Rewilding to mitigate the impacts of biological invasions, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373, (1761) Article 20180127. ISSN 0962-8436 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2018.0127


Rewilding is a novel approach to ecological restoration. Trophic rewilding in particular aims to reinstate ecological functions, especially trophic interactions, through the introduction of animals. We consider the potential for trophic rewilding to address biological invasions. In this broad review, we note some of the important conceptual and ethical foundations of rewilding, including a focus on ecosystem function rather than composition, reliance on animal agency, and an appeal to an ethic of coexistence. Second, we use theory from invasion biology to highlight pathways by which rewilding might prevent or mitigate the impacts of an invasion, including increasing biotic resistance. Third, we use a series of case studies to illustrate how reintroductions can mitigate the impacts of invasions. These include reintroductions and positive management of carnivores and herbivores including European pine martens (Martes martes), Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra), dingoes (Canis dingo), Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) and tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes). Fourth, we consider the risk that rewilding may enable a biological invasion or aggravate its impacts. Lastly, we highlight lessons that rewilding science might take from invasion biology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rewilding, invasive species
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Derham, TT (Mr Tristan Derham)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:130285
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP110103069)
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2019-01-18
Last Modified:2019-03-08

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