What evidence do we have that investing in ecological infrastructure produces benefits?
Conceptual framework of the impacts of ecological infrastructure interventions. The potential (not-exhaustive) relationships between ecosystem properties, processes and ecosystem services are shown for the South African case studies. The causal loop diagram shows linkages between native-invader dynamics (figure 5) and internal ecosystem properties (stocks in black boxes with green arrows), processes (black italics), ecosystem services (purple) and external anthropogenic factors (red). The climate system is shown in blue, and fire dynamics in orange (some elements adapted from Luvuno et al. [31]). Ecological infrastructure interventions (EII) are given in red, labelled EII1–10 (no boxes), demonstrating the impacts that investments in ecological infrastructure could have on various key ecosystem processes and services. Links (arrows) where empirical evidence exists to support the relationship between variables for these South African case studies are given in bold.

What evidence do we have that investing in ecological infrastructure produces benefits?

In a study of three South African river catchments (the Berg, Breede and uMngeni) that have received significant investment into ecological infrastructure (e.g. clearing invasive alien trees), the evidence base for the benefits of these investments was found to be empirically weak.

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