This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Preserving species interactions should be a key desired outcome in restoration ecology. With progress in environmental DNA techniques and the dramatic reduction in the cost of high-throughput DNA sequencing, large amounts of information can be gathered on how species interact with little to no disturbance to ecosystems. Here, we argue that the use of molecular tools to study ecological interactions will become increasingly important in restoration projects. We describe specific examples where recent advances in genetics allow for a better understanding of predator-prey, animal-plant, plant-microbe and trophic cascade interactions, which can inform restoration practice and substantially improve our capacity to restore functioning ecosystems.
This manuscript is currently being edited for submission in a peer-reviewed journal.