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Recent Scientific Papers


Ecology and Society 

A journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability
Ecology and Society Current Table of Contents
The twenty most current aticles published.
Participatory identification and selection of ecosystem services: building on field experiences
18. Mai 2018 Boeraeve, F., Dufrene, M., De Vreese, R., Jacobs, S., Pipart, N., Turkelboom, F., Verheyden, W., Dendoncker, N. Research
The concept of ecosystem services (ESs) has become a popular tool for science that aims to support decision making for sustainable management of natural resources. With the aim to integrate nature’s diverse values in decisions and to reach effective actions, it is recommended that valuations begin with a participatory identification of the most relevant ESs to be included in the assessment. Despite being a crucial step directly influencing decision making, experiences of researchers with real-life applications are seldom reported. Our aim is to advance the organization and...
Building blocks for social-ecological transformations: identifying and building on governance successes for small-scale fisheries
16. Mai 2018 Andrachuk, M., Armitage, D., Hoang, H. Dung, Le, N. Van Research
We introduce building blocks as an approach to assess deliberative transformation pathways in linked systems of people and nature (i.e., small-scale fishery systems). In doing so, we address a knowledge gap about the maintenance and replication of governance processes that support transformative change, with a particular focus on small-scale fisheries that are facing ecological decline. Recent introduction of comanaged territorial use rights for small-scale fishers in the Cau Hai Lagoon, Vietnam has shown promise for alleviating ecological impacts from overfishing and reduced conflicts...
Distribution of fishery benefits and community well-being: a review of increased access to the Eastern Nova Scotia snow crab fishery
14. Mai 2018 Squires, K., Wiber, M. G. Research
An expanding fish stock offers a rare opportunity to support fishing enterprises whose traditional fisheries have diminished or failed. The Eastern Nova Scotia snow crab fishery is one example, where in 2005, a growing stock allowed benefit-sharing among more than 700 harvesters. As a contributing case study of social and institutional aspects of sustainability, we review the background of that fishery and the outcomes of the redistribution of fishery benefits. Based on more than 50 semistructured interviews, the case study demonstrates how conflict has settled into cooperation, with the...
What's in a name? Unpacking “participatory” environmental monitoring
14. Mai 2018 Turreira-Garc?a, N., Lund, J. F., Dom?nguez, P., Carrillo-Angl?s, E., Brummer, M. C., Duenn, P., Reyes-Garc?a, V. Synthesis
While the number of projects that claim to conduct participatory environmental monitoring (PEM) is growing, “participation” continues to be translated into very different practices. We performed a systematic review of PEM projects reported in peer-reviewed journals (n = 146) to explore the main ways in which participation is operationalized and whose interests it serves. We found that local people were mainly involved in PEM projects through data collection, while professionals dominated during the ideation and design of the projects, as well as during the evaluation and use of...
The relationship between adaptive management of social-ecological systems and law: a systematic review
14. Mai 2018 Frohlich, M. F., Jacobson, C., Fidelman, P., Smith, T. F. Synthesis
Adaptive management has been considered a valuable approach for managing social-ecological systems involving high levels of complexity and uncertainty. However, many obstacles still hamper its implementation. Law is often seen as a barrier for moving adaptive management beyond theory, although there has been no synthesis on the challenges of legal constraints or how to overcome them. We contribute to filling this knowledge gap by providing a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature on the relationship between adaptive management and law in relation to social-ecological systems. We...
Sustainability transformations as shifts in worldviews: a dynamic view of complementarity issues
11. Mai 2018 Rigolot, C. Response
Rebuilding pastoral social-ecological resilience on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in response to changes in policy, economics, and climate
11. Mai 2018 Gongbuzeren, ., Huntsinger, L., Li, W. Research
Economic, policy, and climate changes have profoundly influenced pastoral social-ecological systems on the Tibetan Plateau. Climate change is believed to be leading to increasing extreme weather conditions such as snow disasters and droughts, putting a strain on the rangeland resources herders must have to increase income. Market-based economic reforms and interrelated development policies such as the Rangeland Household Contract Policy, the Ecological Construction Project, and herder settlement Initiatives have increased integration of pastoral regions into modern markets with promotion...
Sonifying social-ecological change: A wetland laments agricultural transformation
09. Mai 2018 Angeler, D. G., Alvarez-Cobelas, M., Sánchez-Carrillo, S. Insight
Art–science approaches are mounting to increase public literacy about sustainability challenges as planet Earth swiftly moves to an uncertain future. We use data sonification, an approach that allows converting scientific data into music, to document the large-scale transformation of the agricultural sector in central Spain during the 1970s. We converted 71-year time series of inundation area and rainfall data from the freshwater marsh Las Tablas de Daimiel into a soprano and bass voice, respectively. We composed “The Lament of Las Tablas de Daimiel,” which sings the...
On the relationship between attitudes and environmental behaviors of key Great Barrier Reef user groups
07. Mai 2018 Goldberg, J. A., Marshall, N. A., Birtles, A., Case, P., Curnock, M. I., Gurney, G. G. Research
Urgent action is required to address threats to ecosystems around the world. Coral reef ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), are particularly vulnerable to human impacts such as coastal development, resource extraction, and climate change. Resource managers and policymakers along the GBR have consequently initiated a variety of programs to engage local stakeholders and promote conservation activities to protect the environment. However, little is known about how and why stakeholders feel connected to the GBR nor how this connection affects the proenvironmental behaviors they...
Postharvest fish losses and unequal gender relations: drivers of the social-ecological trap in the Barotse Floodplain fishery, Zambia
07. Mai 2018 Cole, S. M., McDougall, C., Kaminski, A. M., Kefi, A. S., Chilala, A., Chisule, G. Research
The Barotse Floodplain fishery is an important source of livelihood for economically poor women and men in western Zambia. Current efforts by the Department of Fisheries and the traditional authority to manage the fishery can be characterized as weak. The use of unsustainable fishing practices and overfishing are pervasive. Drawing on resilience thinking, we examine the extent to which the existing fishery-dependent livelihood context represents a social-ecological trap, i.e., a process in which rigid and persistent behavioral responses are applied because of a lack of capacity to adapt...
Intersectorality in the governance of inland fisheries
27. April 2018 Song, A. M., Bower, S. D., Onyango, P., Cooke, S. J., Akintola, S. L., Baer, J., Gurung, T. B., Hettiarachchi, M., Islam, M., Mhlanga, W., Nunan, F., Salmi, P., Singh, V., Tezzo, X., Funge-Smith, S. J., Nayak, P. K., Chuenpagdee, R. Synthesis
One of the defining characteristics of inland fisheries is that they are closely impacted by other essential human activities that rely on the same fresh or brackish water ecosystems, such as hydroelectricity generation and irrigated agriculture. Starting with the premise that an understanding of fisheries' interactions with these external sectors is in itself critical for achieving sustainability of the fisheries, this paper explores the topic of intersectoral governance and outlines an approach to analyzing the intricate and often challenging sector relationships. By drawing on...
Imagining transformative futures: participatory foresight for food systems change
26. April 2018 Hebinck, A., Vervoort, J. M., Hebinck, P., Rutting, L., Galli, F. Research
Transformations inherently involve systems change and because of the political nature of change, are subject to contestation. A potentially effective strategy to further transformative change that builds on interdisciplinary, multiactor, and multiscale-practices and values is the use of foresight. Foresight covers a wide range of methods to systematically investigate the future. Foresight exercises offer collaborative spaces and have the potential to conceptualize and even initiate transformative change. But there is no clear understanding of the possibilities and limitations of foresight...
The ecology and economics of restoration: when, what, where, and how to restore ecosystems
25. April 2018 Rohr, J. R., Bernhardt, E. S., Cadotte, M. W., Clements, W. H. Synthesis
Restoration ecology has provided a suite of tools for accelerating the recovery of ecosystems damaged by drivers of global change. We review both the ecological and economic concepts developed in restoration ecology, and offer guidance on when, what, where, and how to restore ecosystems. For when to restore, we highlight the value of pursuing restoration early to prevent ecosystems from crossing tipping points and evaluating whether unassisted natural recovery is more cost-effective than active restoration. For what to restore, we encourage developing a restoration plan with stakeholders...
Local knowledge in ecological modeling
23. April 2018 B?lisle, A., Asselin, H., LeBlanc, P., Gauthier, S. Insight
Local people and scientists both hold ecological knowledge, respectively stemming from prolonged day-to-day contact with the environment and from systematic inquiry based on the scientific method. As the complementarity between scientific ecological knowledge (SEK) and local ecological knowledge (LEK) is increasingly acknowledged, LEK is starting to be involved in all branches of ecology, including ecological modeling. However, the integration of both knowledge types into ecological models raises methodological challenges, among which (1) consistency between the degree of LEK involvement...
Toward an integrative framework for local development path analysis
20. April 2018 Moore, A. W., King, L., Dale, A., Newell, R. Synthesis
Despite decades of debate and policy interventions, the wicked social-ecological problem of anthropogenic climate change continues to threaten the sustainability of local communities. Impacts resulting from a rapidly changing climate are now inevitable yet variable in their nature and timing, depending on the extent to which local communities can respond. Transforming to low-carbon communities requires the ability to interrupt the inertia in existing development paths and shift these to more sustainable trajectories. Intervening in local development paths to mitigate climate change...
A framework for conceptualizing and assessing the resilience of essential services produced by socio-technical systems
20. April 2018 Van der Merwe, S. E., Biggs, R., Preiser, R. Synthesis
Essential services such as electricity are critical to human well-being and the functioning of modern society. These services are produced by complex adaptive socio-technical systems and emerge from the interplay of technical infrastructure with people and governing institutions. Ongoing global changes such as urbanization and increasing prevalence of extreme weather events are generating much interest in strategies for building the resilience of essential services. However, much of the emphasis has been on reliable and resilient technical infrastructure. This focus is insufficient...
Adaptation in fire-prone landscapes: interactions of policies, management, wildfire, and social networks in Oregon, USA
19. April 2018 Spies, T. A., Scheller, R. M., Bolte, J. P. Guest Editorial
This editorial introduces the special feature on the social-ecological system of a fire-prone forest landscape in Oregon, USA. Research into social-ecological systems of fire-frequent landscapes is in its infancy and this special feature highlights one of the first attempts to understand a fire-dependent forest landscape from this perspective. An agent-based landscape modeling framework, Envision, was the primary tool for the research. The papers in this special feature examine three major questions: (1) What is the landscape structure of forest conditions, fire regimes, ownerships...
Escaping social-ecological traps through tribal stewardship on national forest lands in the Pacific Northwest, United States of America
17. April 2018 Long, J. W., Lake, F. K. Synthesis
Tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America (USA) have long-standing relationships to ancestral lands now managed by federal land management agencies. In recent decades, federal and state governments have increasingly recognized tribal rights to resources on public lands and to participate in their management. In support of a new planning initiative to promote sustainable land management, we reviewed scientific publications to examine relationships between tribal social-ecological systems and public lands in the region. We identified key ecocultural...
Combining participatory scenario planning and systems modeling to identify drivers of future sustainability on the Mongolian Plateau
17. April 2018 Allington, G. R. H., Fernandez-Gimenez, M. E., Chen, J., Brown, D. G. Insight
The study of social-ecological systems (SES) is an inherently interdisciplinary endeavor that necessitates collaboration among multiple researchers and stakeholders. These collaborations often result in novel insights into the dynamics and feedbacks that occur within these systems. Achieving these insights requires methods and tools that integrate diverse knowledge from multiple disciplines and sectors of society to inform actionable research on complex systems. Past research has demonstrated the contributions that stakeholders can make to defining scenarios that are subsequently applied...
Institutionalization of REDD+ MRV in Indonesia, Peru, and Tanzania: progress and implications
17. April 2018 Ochieng, R. M., Arts, B., Brockhaus, M., Visseren-Hamakers, I. J. Research
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) has opened up a new global discussion on forest monitoring and carbon accounting in developing countries. We analyze and compare the extent to which the concept of measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) for REDD+ has become institutionalized in terms of new policy discourses, actors, resources, and rules in Indonesia, Peru, and Tanzania. To do so, we draw on discursive institutionalism and the policy arrangement approach. A qualitative scale that distinguishes between “shallow”...