The HSU Library is dedicated to supporting your research and learning needs as the campus transitions to online instruction. Learn more about how we can help.

Skip to main content

Ecological Restoration Research Guide

Literature Search Strategies

General strategies for preparing an efficient and effective literature search are found in the Searching the Scientific Literature research guide. In restoration ecology search topics typically incorporate one or more of the following concepts and their associated keywords:

  • Restoration concept--suggested keywords include restoration, reclamation, recovery, repair, mitigation, assessment, monitoring, degradation, damage, destruction, rehabilitation, transformation, or deterioration; or their wildcard variants, e.g. restor* that will retrieve restoration, restore, restored, restoring.
  • Habitat or organism concept--e.g., estuarine, wetland, grassland, riparian, plants, wildlife, etc.
  • Geographic concept--e.g., Channel Islands, Ca; Yosemite National Park
  • Publication Type concept--e.g., project, plan, assessment or case study

Examples of search topics include:

I am interested in finding out basic information on the restoration of wetlands

What research studies exist on the restoration of native vegetation on the Channel Islands, CA

I want to find any restoration project reports on revegetation on the Channel Islands, CA

In addition to keywords that have been suggested above the SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration includes an excellent introduction to keywords used in restoration ecology and ecological restoration.

Restoration Literature

The following section discusses how to find books; journal and magazine articles; and plans and project reports found in the HSU Library, other libraries and on the web. You can use the HSU Library's Interlibrary Loan Service to acquire copies of resources not available in full text format.

  • Books

    Books on restoration ecology range from general to specific. Books that are more general in nature contain information that is synthesized and condensed from specific research studies. They are often excellent works to consult to understand the theory, science and practice of restoration ecology. Books that are more specific in nature focus on a specific topic or restoration project. They may be theses, dissertations, conference proceedings, or project reports.

    Books available locally are indexed in the HSU Library Catalog and books available worldwide are indexed in other library catalogs. The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is good for indexing federal documents.

    In searching the above catalogs you should use a combination of "official" subjects and "free-text" keywords that have been suggested under Literature Search Strategies above. Following are some of the "official" subjects taken from Library of Congress Subject Headings that are used for indexing restoration ecology books in library catalogs:

    Abandoned Mined Lands Reclamation
    Animal Introduction
    Applied Ecology
    Biological Invasions
    Coral Reef Restoration
    Ecological Assessment
    Ecological Engineering
    Estuarine Restoration
    Environmental Monitoring
    Exotic Plants
    Environmental Monitoring
    Fish Habitat Improvement
    Forest Restoration
    Grassland Restoration
    Invasive Plants
    Lake Restoration
    Nature - effect of human beings on
    Nonindigenous Pests
    Plant Reintroduction
    Reclamation of Land
    Restoration Ecology
    Riparian Restoration
    Soil Restoration
    Stream Restoration
    Watershed Restoration
    Wetland Restoration
    Wildlife Habitat Improvement
    Wildlife Reintroduction

    Following is an example of a search on riparian restoration in the Great Basin using the WorldCat database:

    WorldCat Search
  • Journals

    Scholarly journals contain articles that focus mainly on specific research that advances the science and practice of restoration ecology. A few articles focus on case studies. Following are some of the key scholarly journals that include research in restoration ecology. In addition there are many other discipline focused journals that include similar research, e.g., Rangeland Ecology & Managment. Use the Journal and Newspaper Finder to find exact holdings, location and format of these journals.

    Aquatic Conservation
    Biological Conservation
    Ecological Applications
    Ecological Engineering
    Ecological Restoration
    Ecological Management and Restoration
    Ecology and Society
    Environmental Management
    Forest Ecology and Management
    Human Ecology
    Journal of Applied Ecology
    Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery
    Journal of Chemical Ecology
    Journal of Environmental Quality
    Land Degradation and Development
    Landscape Ecology
    Landscape and Urban Planning
    Native Plants Journal
    Natural Areas Journal
    New Forests
    Plant Ecology
    Population Ecology
    Restoration Ecology
    Science of the Total Environment
    Trends in Ecology and Evolution
    Water Resources Management
    Wetlands Ecology and Management

    To find research articles on a specific topic use the literature databases listed in Finding Articles: Environmental Science and Management and the bibliographies listed under Reference Sources.

    In searching use the suggested "free text" keywords listed under Literature Search Strategy and the "controlled" keywords listed under Books above. Following is an example of a search in the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management database on the restoration of native plants on the Channel Islands:

    Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management database search
  • Magazines & Newsletters
    Conservation Magazine (Society for Conservation Biology)
    Fremontia (California Native Plant Society)
    Park Science (US National Park Service)
  • Plans and Projects 

    Finding examples of restoration plans, project and case studies is more difficult. Use the Publication Type keywords suggested in Literature Search Strategy above in the following sources: