Can we Create Alvars or Fully Restore those Damaged?

Paul M. Catling


A brief survey of the literature indicates that there is no scientific basis for the assumption that a self-sustaining and fully diverse alvar ecosystem can be created or fully repaired following serious damage. Consequently it is much better to protect an existing alvar than to accept promised creation elsewhere, or full repair, as a justification for allowing damage due to human activities. Although conservation may be well served by establishing some alvar species ex situ in partially restored areas, at present the best way of protecting alvar diversity is by protecting alvars, through a well-planned system of protected natural sites of high quality.


alvar; protection; restoration; quarry; rehabilitation; ecological integrity; Great Lakes region; Ontario

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