The Need to Restore Post-Industrial Ecosystems: Importance and Functions of Riparian Brownfields
Healthy riparian areas are of unique importance for delivering a variety of valuable ecological services. Here, we evaluate to which extend the restoration of urban riparian brownfields could increase the amount of ecosystem services provided by this type of habitat. The research was conducted on a post-industrial site located in Baia Mare city, Romania, historically polluted with heavy metals (HM). The ecosystem services provided by this disturbed ecosystem were assessed according to the list of ecosystem services proposed by the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES), and considering the local plant species diversity. Our results showed a limited number of ecosystem services delivered by the disturbed ecosystem analyzed and a species composition mostly formed by non-valuable species. While some groups of plant species identified are native for the riparian habitat, a high percent from species compositions is occupied by the invasive alien species Reynoutria japonica Houtt., impacting the importance and functions of this site. Based on these findings we proposed a list of plant species which could be used in the restoration of this post-industrial ecosystem. This research highlighted the importance of restoration actions on the range of ecosystem services delivered by riparian post-industrial sites.
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