Research Output
Assessing mangrove restoration practices using species‐interaction networks
  Mangroves are uniquely important ecosystems, for preserving biodiversity, sustaining livelihoods and mitigating against climate change. However they are degraded globally and are therefore a priority for ecosystem restoration. To date, the assessment of mangrove restoration outcomes is generally poor, and the limited studies that do exist are focussed largely on forest area. Thus, more holistic ways of assessing the outcomes of mangrove restoration projects on biodiversity and associated ecological processes are urgently needed. Ecological networks are a useful tool for simultaneously examining both. Here, we assessed the utility of using species-interaction networks for evaluating mangrove restoration outcomes for the first time. We compared the structure and complexity of mangrove ecological networks in replicated ‘Monoculture Reforestation’, ‘Mixed Species Regeneration’ and ‘Reference Forest’ plots in two study areas in Sulawesi, Indonesia, an estuarine and a coastal fringe mangrove system. We also combined and evaluated sampling methods, utilising traditional plant-animal sampling while also integrating video recording data in a novel way. We found significant differences in the structure and complexity of mangrove networks between restored and natural plots, with contrasting effects between the two sites. Our results show differences in the complex ways in which taxa interact in mangrove restoration projects, which would be overlooked if common biodiversity metrics such as species-richness were used alone, with consequences for the restoration of ecosystem functioning. We also highlight the utility of video recording data collection for constructing species interaction networks, overcoming the detrimental impacts of observer presence for some key species.

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    04 September 2021

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  • Funders:

    NERC Natural Environment Research Council; New Funder


O'Connell, D. P., Fusi, M., Djamaluddin, R., Rajagukguk, B. B., Bachmid, F., Kitson, J. J. N., …Evans, D. M. (2022). Assessing mangrove restoration practices using species‐interaction networks. Restoration Ecology, 30(4), Article e13546.



camera traps, ecological networks, forest, marine, plant–animal interactions, Wallacea

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