From chapter two, I find two themes interesting to discuss. First is the concept of "historical fidelity" within a restoration program. This is the idea that the restoration goals for a disturbed place should aim to return that area to a state as close as possible to the pre-disturbance conditions. This model is often used in restoration programs, but in the context of a shifting climate it may not always be appropriate. Species and communities of species that lived in an area under previous climatic conditions may not survive under current or future conditions. However, historical fidelity can still be a strong guiding principle. As ecosystems are very complex and understanding of their dynamics is often incomplete, knowledge of what existed in a particular place in the past can help inform future restoration. How else can we proceed with large-scale landscape manipulation than by using previously functional ecosystems as a model?
The second interesting theme from chapter two concerns different ways to view ourselves as restorationists. They are: as gardeners, as designers, or as healers. In brief, the author argues that the gardener and designer roles are too anthropocentric and would prioritize humancentric ecosystem services. Also, unlike healing, gardening and designing do not require an injury as their impetus. The author argues that the healing metaphor is best because it is more guiding than controlling.
"A conservative approach to restoration in cases of climate change will focus on removing that which harmed the system and letting it heal. Most historical ecosystems have withstood the test of time, responding effectively to shifting inputs. The healing metaphor suggests that we should work with that resilience. Climate change may send a system onto a new trajectory, and we may be able to accurately predict many local changes that will occur, such as migration of species. The aim of historical fidelity permits restorationists to take such predictable changes into account, but not to engage in wholesale reconstruction of a system."