Study Finds “Portfolio Approach” Can Help Protect Restorations From Extreme Climate Events

From Smithsonian Magazine:

Knowing how to protect their communities from climate change has become a staple for local governments. Restoration projects—be they forests, wetlands or coral reefs—are no exception. However, many projects only account for gradual impacts, like sea level rise. They are often woefully unprepared for extreme events, like hurricanes or droughts.

A new study published Feb. 15 offers evidence for a promising solution: Treat restoration projects like stock investments. Creating a “portfolio effect” by diversifying certain aspects, like species or location, could give them a better shot at withstanding unpredictable extremes.

“You need to not put all your eggs in one basket,” said Chela Zabin, lead author and marine biologist at the San Francisco branch of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). “Because we just don’t know, really, how extreme an event’s going to be, what form it’s going to take, where it’s going to hit, how severe the impact might be.”

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