REVIEW OF METHODS FROM AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL PRACTICE USED IN PROJECTS RELATED TO THE RESTORATION OF NATURAL HABITATS
Review of methods from agricultural and horticultural practice used in projects related to the restoration of natural habitats. Ecological restoration supports the reconstruction of degraded, damaged or destroyed natural habitats. Restoration activities lead to an increased demand for seeds or seedlings of plant species characteristic of different habitats. This creates a demand that cannot be met by the supply of wild plant seeds. In order to ensure sufficient quantities of seeds for restoration activities, methods typical of agricultural production are increasingly applied. Often, seeds intended for ecological restoration are obtained under natural conditions from natural populations that reflect the genetic diversity of the given species. Obtaining seeds in this way is a labour-intensive and expensive process and does not meet the requirements for large-scale restoration activities required by practice. In this case, to improve seed production and to reduce costs, different wild seed production systems are integrated that are based on agricultural or horticultural production methods (Pedrini et al. 2020), providing a new intersection between habitat restoration and agriculture. Both the classic selection methods and the methods of modern selection science are applied in the restoration practice. Restoration ecology in its application combines selection, agricultural seed production and plant physiology. Some of the reviewed methods were applied in practice during the implementation of a project related to the restoration of natural habitat 62С0* Ponto-Sarmatian steppes in Bulgaria.