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Database outcomes systematic review on participatory restoration ecology scenarios

Cite this dataset

Quintero Uribe, Laura Catalina; Navarro, Laetitia M.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Fernández, Néstor (2022). Database outcomes systematic review on participatory restoration ecology scenarios [Dataset]. Dryad.


Large-scale ecological restoration is crucial for effective biodiversity conservation and combating climate change. However, perspectives on the goals and values of restoration are highly diverse, as are the different approaches to restoration e.g., ranging from the restoration of cultural ecosystems to rewilding. We assess how the future of nature is envisioned in participatory scenarios, focusing on which elements of rewilding and nature contributions to people have been considered in scenario narratives across Europe. We use the Nature Futures Framework to study how different perspectives on the the relationship of people with nature are captured in participatory scenarios. We found that a range of material, regulating and non-materical benefits were well represented in participatory scenarios. The different ecological aspects of rewilding were also present in many participatory scenarios, but not as well represented as nature contributions to people. Nature as culture was  the main perspective present in the scenarios, with expected highest positive impacts on non-material benefits and to a lessesr extent on regulating benefits. Nature for nature futures were  associated with positive impacts on regulating benefits and negative impacts on material benefits, being the only type of future associate with positive impacts on all three components of rewilding. Nature for society futures were associated with moderate positive impacts on all three types of nature contributions to people. Business as usual futures were associate with negative impacts on regulating and non-material benefits and on all three components of rewilding. Our results also highlight two major gaps that should be addressed in participatory restoration planning and models. Firstly, there is a paucity of spatially explicit approaches, with most studies failing to transform the results of participatory scenario planning into model projections. Secondly, we found scenarios that explored co-benefits between multiple nature perspectives were overall missing from the literature.


We carried out a systematic review of the scientific publications and grey literature (Case reports, project reports) focusing on participatory scenarios for land management, area-based conservation and/or ecosystem restoration in Europe. We used the ROSES (RepOrting standards for Systematic Evidence Syntheses),framework to guide the systematic review throughout the steps of searching, screening and critical appraisal (Haddaway et al. 2018). For this review, we consulted two different databases ‘Web of Science’ and ‘Scopus’ using a time frame between 2000 and 2020. We used two search strings  for the title, abstracts and keywords: (1) a combination of terms targeting publications on scenarios for landscape management (or the lackthereof, i.e. terms related to land abandonment which is particularly relevant in the case of rewilding in Europe (Navarro and Pereira 2012)), and (2) a combination targeted at scenarios for biodiversity conservation, restoration and rewilding. Our search returned a total of 3419 articles to which we applied the following inclusion criteria: the case study explicitly mentions the development of participatory scenarios, the participatory scenarios are located in Europe and are addressing biodiversity conservation, restoration, and/or rewilding or related components sensu Perino et al., 2019, that is trophic complexity, connectivity, disturbance. With these criteria, our initial pool of publications was narrowed down to 246 scenario storylines from 70 articles selected for the data synthesis and analysis. 

We synthesised information of the different studies focusing on 3 main blocks of information: (1) General scenario components;(2) Components of rewilding; and (3) of Nature Contributions to People. We then assessed to which extent each scenario matched the three NFF archetypes as well as the Business-as-Usual scenarios.

Usage notes

First, we identified the elements of rewilding and nature contributions to people being considered in participatory processes by using the set of indicators defined in Torres et al. 2018  and Harrison et al. 2019

For measuring rewilding progress,these components are divided into two categories: “ecological integrity” which includes the restoration of connectivity (e.g. landscape fragmentation), stochastic disturbance (e.g. restoration of flooding regimes), and trophic complexity (e.g. community composition) of ecosystems and the “reduction of human inputs and outputs” (e.g. reduction of cropland area and intensity). 

For nature contributions to people, we divided the assessment of the NCPS into the following sub-categories: regulatory, material and non-material NCPs according to. These categories were then further organized into individual NCPs such as the regulation of invasive species, food provision and pollination (for a full list of NCPs considered see Harrison et al., 2019)

We assessed when NCPs or rewilding componets were explicitly considered as a part of the scenario storyline. We gave a score of 1 if the scenario mentioned positive effects on the NCP (e.g. an increase of food provision) or -1 when negative effects were mentioned in the narratives reviewed (e.g. decrease of food provision) and N.A where there was no information. 

Second, we mapped the case studies scenarios to the Nature futures framework (NFF) and the Business-as-usual archetypes. To do this we systematically assigned each scenario storyline from the case studies to one or several Nature Future scenarios based on the descriptions of the scenario storylines and the NFF archetypes description. We then assessed how the different NCPs and rewilding components considered (or not) by each scenario are reflected in each of the NFF as well as the business-as-usual scenario. To that purpose, we assigned a weight to each scenario of each case study depending on how closely they matched the Nature Future narratives and the business-as-usual scenario. We gave for each NFF and each scenario a weight between 0 and 1, where a value of 1 means that the scenario fully matched with the NFF archetype description, and 0 when there were no elements in common.


project TERRANOVA: the European Landscape Learning Initiative, Award: 813904

German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research