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Selection: Hobbs:RJ [6 articles] 

Publications by author Hobbs:RJ.

Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, No. 38. (20 September 2011), pp. 15887-15891,


We describe the “landscape trap” concept, whereby entire landscapes are shifted into, and then maintained (trapped) in, a highly compromised structural and functional state as the result of multiple temporal and spatial feedbacks between human and natural disturbance regimes. The landscape trap concept builds on ideas like stable alternative states and other relevant concepts, but it substantively expands the conceptual thinking in a number of unique ways. In this paper, we (i) review the literature to develop the concept of landscape ...


Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes

BioScience, Vol. 54, No. 7. (2004), pp. 677-688,[0677:eoiapo];2


Plant invasions are widely recognized as significant threats to biodiversity conservation worldwide. One way invasions can affect native ecosystems is by changing fuel properties, which can in turn affect fire behavior and, ultimately, alter fire regime characteristics such as frequency, intensity, extent, type, and seasonality of fire. If the regime changes subsequently promote the dominance of the invaders, then an invasive plant–fire regime cycle can be established. As more ecosystem components and interactions are altered, restoration of preinvasion conditions becomes more ...


The precision problem in conservation and restoration

Trends in Ecology & Evolution (2016),


Within the varied contexts of environmental policy, conservation of imperilled species populations, and restoration of damaged habitats, an emphasis on idealized optimal conditions has led to increasingly specific targets for management. Overly-precise conservation targets can reduce habitat variability at multiple scales, with unintended consequences for future ecological resilience. We describe this dilemma in the context of endangered species management, stream restoration, and climate-change adaptation. Inappropriate application of conservation targets can be expensive, with marginal conservation benefit. Reduced habitat variability can limit ...


Ecological restoration in the light of ecological history.

Science, Vol. 325, No. 5940. (31 July 2009), pp. 567-569,


Ecological history plays many roles in ecological restoration, most notably as a tool to identify and characterize appropriate targets for restoration efforts. However, ecological history also reveals deep human imprints on many ecological systems and indicates that secular climate change has kept many targets moving at centennial to millennial time scales. Past and ongoing environmental changes ensure that many historical restoration targets will be unsustainable in the coming decades. Ecological restoration efforts should aim to conserve and restore historical ecosystems where ...


Under the radar: mitigating enigmatic ecological impacts

Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 29, No. 11. (November 2014), pp. 635-644,


[Highlights] [::] There are ecological impacts that are overlooked by standard impact evaluations. [::] These ‘enigmatic’ impacts can be cumulative, offsite, cryptic, or secondary. [::] Enigmatic impacts can act synergistically and are hard to detect and mitigate. [::] Potential solutions include strategic assessments and insurance schemes. [Abstract] Identifying the deleterious ecological effects of developments, such as roads, mining, and urban expansion, is essential for informing development decisions and identifying appropriate mitigation actions. However, there are many types of ecological impacts that slip ‘under the radar’ of conventional ...


A checklist for ecological management of landscapes for conservation

Ecology Letters, Vol. 11, No. 1. (1 January 2008), pp. 78-91,


The management of landscapes for biological conservation and ecologically sustainable natural resource use are crucial global issues. Research for over two decades has resulted in a large literature, yet there is little consensus on the applicability or even the existence of general principles or broad considerations that could guide landscape conservation. We assess six major themes in the ecology and conservation of landscapes. We identify 13 important issues that need to be considered in developing approaches to landscape conservation. They include ...

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