Out of sight, Out of mind - but not Out of scope: the need to consider ozone (O-3) in restoration science, policy, and practice

Michael P. Perring, James M. Bullock, Jamie Alison, Amanda J. Holder, Felicity Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Restoration ecologists have local- to global-scale ambitions in a policy framework of sustainable development goals and reversing biodiversity loss. Emphasis is given to environmental alteration, typically considering land degradation and climate change. Other related environmental drivers, such as pollution, receive less attention. Here we emphasize that terrestrial restoration discourse needs to consider tropospheric ozone (O-3) pollution. O-3's pervasive influence on plants and other ecosystem components provides for the possibility of consequences at community and ecosystem levels. The precursor chemicals that lead to O-3 formation are increasing, precipitously so in rapidly industrializing regions of the world. Yet, a review of critical restoration guidance and journals suggests that because O-3 is out of sight, it remains out of mind. Based on a narrative cross-discipline literature review, we examine: (1) How O-3 could affect the achievement of restoration goals and (2) How restoration interventions could feedback on tropospheric O-3. Evidence, currently limited, suggests that O-3 could impair the achievement of restoration goals to as great an extent as other drivers, but, in general, we lack direct quantification. Restoration interventions (e.g. tree planting) that may be considered successful can actually exacerbate O-3 pollution with negative consequences for food security and human health. These wide-ranging effects, across multiple goals, mean that O-3 is not out of scope for restoration science, policy, and practice. In detailing a strategic ozone-aware restoration agenda, we suggest how restoration science and policy can quantify O-3's influence, while outlining steps practitioners can take to adapt to/mitigate the impacts of O-3 pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13622
Number of pages14
JournalRestoration Ecology
Issue number7
Early online date19 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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