Seed Mix Design for Restoration

Restoration seed mixes are raw materials for restoration. They represent a source of potential biodiversity for restored plant communities. They are carefully designed by restoration practitioners, but after they are planted, species biology, site management, and many other factors influence which species germinate, establish, and persist to form the restored plant community. Our work integrates questions in social science and ecological science to understand how restoration managers make decisions and how these decisions influence restoration outcomes. We use social science methods to understand the decision processes and tools that restoration managers use to design seed mixes, and the methods they use to seed restorations. We use ecological methods to uncover what happens to seed mixes after they are planted, and answer questions about how seed mix diversity translates into plant community diversity. We hope that these results will allow both restoration researchers and practitioners to better understand seed mix design and establishment, and help in designing effective seed mixes for restoration. (Barak, Havens, and outside collaborators).