Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (203 KB bytes)

Title: Achieving restoration success: myths in bottomland hardwood forests

Author: Stanturf, John A.; Schoenholtz, Stephen H.; Schweitzer, Callie Jo; Shepard, James P.;

Date: 2001

Source: Restoration Ecology. 9(2): 189-200.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Restoration of bottomland hardwood forests is the subject of considerable interest in the Southern United States, but restoration success is elusive. Techniques for establishing bottomland tree species are well developed, yet problems have occurred in operational programs. Current plans for restoration on public and private land suggest that as many as 200,000 ha could be restored in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley alone. The ideal of ecological restoration is to reestablish a completely functioning ecosystem. Although some argue that afforestation is incomplete restoration, it is a necessary and costly first step but not an easy task. The 1992 Wetlands Reserve Program in Mississippi, which failed on 90 percent of the area, illustrates the difficulty of broadly applying our knowledge of afforestation. In our view, the focus for ecological restoration should be to restore functions, rather than specifying some ambiguous natural state based on reference stands or pre-settlement forest conditions. We view restoration as one element in a continuum model of sustainable forest management, allowing us to prescribe restoration goals that incorporate landowner objectives. Enforcing the discipline of explicit objectives, with restoration expectations described in terms of predicted values of functions, causal mechanisms, and temporal response trajectories, will hasten the development of meaningful criteria for restoration success. We present our observations about current efforts to restore bottomland hardwoods as nine myths, or statements of dubious origin, and at best partial truth.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Stanturf, John A.; Schoenholtz, Stephen H.; Schweitzer, Callie Jo; Shepard, James P. 2001. Achieving restoration success: myths in bottomland hardwood forests. Restoration Ecology. 9(2): 189-200.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.