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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.
Socio-environmental drought response in a mixed urban-agricultural setting: synthesizing biophysical and governance responses in the Platte River Watershed, Nebraska, USA
07. Dezember 2017 Zipper, S. C., Helm Smith, K., Breyer, B., Qiu, J., Kung, A., Herrmann, D. Research
Ensuring global food and water security requires a detailed understanding of how coupled socio-environmental systems respond to drought. Using the Platte River Watershed in Nebraska (USA) as an exemplar mixed urban-agricultural watershed, we quantify biophysical response to drought in urban (Lincoln NE) and agricultural systems alongside a qualitative analysis of governance response and adaptive capacity of both sectors. Synthesis of results highlights parallels and discontinuities between urban and agricultural preparations for and response to drought. Whereas drought prompted an increase...
Forest ecosystem-service transitions: the ecological dimensions of the forest transition
07. Dezember 2017 Wilson, S. Jane, Schelhas, J., Grau, R., Nanni, A. Sof?a, Sloan, S. Synthesis
New forests are expanding around the world. In many regions, regrowth rates are surpassing deforestation rates, resulting in “forest transitions,” or net gains in forest cover. Typically measured only in terms of aggregate“'forest cover” change, these new forests are ecologically distinct from each other and from those originally cleared. We ask, what are the ecological attributes, goods, and services we might expect from different pathways of forest recovery? To address this question, we proposed a typology of forest transitions that reflects both their social...
Women's local knowledge of water resources and adaptation to landscape change in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico
06. Dezember 2017 Kernecker, M., Vogl, C., Aguilar Mel?ndez, A. Research
Rural development shaped by global pressures aims to improve livelihoods and market access in remote communities. However, rural development measures can alter landscapes, and change the embedded natural resources and access to them. In Mexico, rural women and their livelihoods are frequently most affected by changes in water resources. This study focused on women in Coatitil?n, a small community (population 255) in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico. A road construction project blocked the main pipe that distributes water throughout the community. Also, river water was unusable for women...
Wild mammals as economic goods and implications for their conservation
06. Dezember 2017 Boesch, L., Mundry, R., K?hl, H. S., Berger, R. Research
In social-ecological systems, human activities and animal distribution are interrelated. Any effort at studying wildlife abundance therefore requires the integration of detailed socioeconomic context into species distribution models. Wild mammals have always been an important resource for humankind, and concepts of economic goods provide an analytical framework to deduce relevant socioeconomic factors that shape wild mammal–human relationships and consequences for the spatial distribution patterns of wild mammals. We estimated the effects of the human population on wild mammals in a...
Trends in bushmeat trade in a postconflict forest town: implications for food security
05. Dezember 2017 Van Vliet, N., Schulte-Herbr?ggen, B., Muhindo, J., Nebesse, C., Gambalemoke, S., Nasi, R. Research
Food insecurity and malnutrition can be major, yet often overlooked, consequences of armed conflicts because of the disruption of rural-urban trade networks and human migration toward safe urban centers. Bushmeat has been shown to act as an important safety net for conflict-affected urban populations, contributing the provisioning of basic needs and postconflict peace building efforts. However, the widely documented unsustainability of bushmeat hunting questions whether reliance of an urban population on bushmeat can be sustained for prolonged periods. To assess the potential contribution...
Gendered forests: exploring gender dimensions in forest governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
05. Dezember 2017 Samndong, R., Kjosavik, D. Jose Research
In this study we analyze gender relations legitimatized by socio-political institutions of forest governance in REDD+ pilots in ?quateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using data from interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations, we show that men and women have different knowledge and use of forests, but these differences are not given due consideration in forest governance. Women’s voices are often muted in decision-making arenas and they occupy only a nominal position in both forestry and development initiatives as compared with men. This status quo is...
Sámi reindeer governance in Norway as competing knowledge systems: a participatory study
04. Dezember 2017 Johnsen, K. I., Mathiesen, S. D., Eira, I. Gaup Research
Using a participatory research approach, we assess the knowledge systems and political ontology of reindeer husbandry. The study was conducted by a mixed team of scientists and Sámi reindeer herders who practiced reindeer husbandry in West Finnmark, northern Norway, both prior to and during the state-led “rationalization” of Sámi reindeer husbandry since the late 1970s. The analysis is based on the participants’ reindeer herding knowledge and their assessment of the governance of Sámi pastoralism. Two future narratives (scenarios) were used to stimulate...
Transforming governance in telecoupled food systems
24. November 2017 Eakin, H., Rueda, X., Mahanti, A. Research
In this paper we analyze how new actors, interests, and resources become salient to food system governance and how the domain of food system governance transforms as a result. Specifically, we focus on how the boundaries of food systems are redefined and new institutions are developed through the explicit recognition of distal interactions and feedbacks—telecoupling—operating in the food system space. Telecoupling can stimulate new forms of governance, such as the development of codes of conduct and certification schemes, with positive impacts on food and livelihood security...
Even at the uttermost ends of the Earth: how seabirds telecouple the Beagle Channel with regional and global processes that affect environmental conservation and social-ecological sustainability
23. November 2017 Raya Rey, A. N., Pizarro, J. Cristobal, Anderson, C. B., Huettmann, F. Synthesis
Human-wildlife dynamics exhibit novel characteristics in the Anthropocene, given the unprecedented degree of globalization that has increased the linkages between habitats and people across space and time. This is largely caused by transnational mobility and migration, international labor, resource markets, and trade. Understanding the relationship between humans and wildlife, and their associated telecoupling processes, helps to promote better management practices and governance for reconciling socioeconomic and conservation interests. Even remote places on the globe exhibit these...
Land-use change in a telecoupled world: the relevance and applicability of the telecoupling framework in the case of banana plantation expansion in Laos
23. November 2017 Friis, C., Nielsen, J. ?stergaard Research
Land-use change is increasingly influenced by complex socioeconomic and environmental interactions that transcend spatial, institutional, and temporal scales. These interactions challenge classical place-based land system analysis and require new analytical approaches equipped for tackling processes, flows, and feedbacks over distance. The recently proposed telecoupling framework offers interesting perspectives for bringing place-based and process-oriented research together in the study of land-use change. However, few studies have explored the influence and implications of telecouplings...
Integration across a metacoupled world
23. November 2017 Liu, J. Synthesis
Human-nature interactions are complex and have important implications for achieving sustainable development goals and addressing other global challenges. Although numerous studies have explored human-nature (or human-environment) interactions and generated useful insights, they are largely disintegrated. Because conceptual frameworks are the foundation of quantitative and qualitative integration, many have been proposed but focus mainly on human-nature interactions within a specific system. To reflect human-nature interactions between distant coupled systems, the framework of telecoupling...
A framework for comparing collaborative management of Australian and New Zealand water resources
22. November 2017 Hughey, K. F. D., Jacobson, C., Smith, E. F. Research
Collaborative management of natural resources involves two or more parties working together to govern and/or manage a set of resources within a defined area. Although a number of collaborative management frameworks have been developed for protected area and fisheries management, few exist for freshwater resources that enable their comparative analysis. We present a framework of collaborative management for freshwater resources comprising three elements: scope, governance, and management. Application of the framework to 11 cases from Australia and New Zealand differentiates between...
Moving beyond the human–nature dichotomy through biocultural approaches: including ecological well-being in resilience indicators
22. November 2017 Caillon, S., Cullman, G., Verschuuren, B., Sterling, E. J. Insight
Diverse and productive ecosystems and human well-being are too often considered opposing targets. This stems mainly from nature being perceived as separate from culture, which results in resilience indicators that focus predominantly on either ecosystems or humans, and that overlook the interplay between the two. Meanwhile, global targets for biodiversity conservation and human well-being have yet to be satisfactorily achieved. We believe that in order to develop effective, culturally appropriate, and equitable conservation strategies that ensure social-ecological resilience, conservation...
Facilitating public participation in water resources management: reflections from Tanzania
22. November 2017 Kabogo, J. Eleuter, Anderson, E. P., Hyera, P., Kajanja, G. Research
Access to adequate quantity and quality of fresh water is critical to the well-being of Tanzania’s human population, currently approaching 50 million. In the early 2000s, Tanzania revamped its legal and institutional frameworks related to freshwater resources management with the passage of the National Water Policy (NAWAPO) and the Water Resources Management (WRM) Act. Three major components of these frameworks are: the use of natural hydrological boundaries as units for management; the designation of an order for decision making on water allocation that prioritizes basic human and...
Resilience as a framework for analyzing the adaptation of mountain summer pasture systems to climate change
22. November 2017 Nettier, B., Dobremez, L., Lavorel, S., Brunschwig, G. Research
Social-ecological resilience is defined by Brian Walker and colleagues as “the capacity of a social-ecological system (SES) to absorb disturbances and reorganize while undergoing change so as to continue to retain essentially the same function, structure, feedbacks, and therefore identity.” It is an increasingly widespread concept whose success depends, among other things, on the promise of its rapid transfer from science into practice and its operational character for the sustainable management of SESs. However, tangible examples of management methods based on resilience...
Linking well-being with cultural revitalization for greater cognitive justice in conservation: lessons from Venezuela in Canaima National Park
22. November 2017 Rodriguez, I. Insight
Across the globe, conservation policies have often suppressed nonscientific forms of knowledge and ways of knowing nature, along with the social practices of the groups that are informed by such knowledge. Reversing this process of epistemic supremacy is crucial both for achieving greater cognitive justice in conservation areas and ensuring that conservation aims are achieved. Doing so, however, is not an easy task. In situations of cultural violence, hidden environmental knowledge is not easily made visible unless adequate conditions for it to emerge are created. I show that one way...
Operationalizing the telecoupling framework for migratory species using the spatial subsidies approach to examine ecosystem services provided by Mexican free-tailed bats
22. November 2017 L?pez-Hoffman, L., Diffendorfer, J., Wiederholt, R., Bagstad, K. J., Thogmartin, W. E., McCracken, G., Medellin, R. L., Russell, A., Semmens, D. J. Research
Drivers of environmental change in one location can have profound effects on ecosystem services and human well-being in distant locations, often across international borders. The telecoupling provides a conceptual framework for describing these interactions—for example, locations can be defined as sending areas (sources of flows of ecosystem services, energy, or information) or receiving areas (recipients of flows). However, the ability to quantify feedbacks between ecosystem change in one area and societal benefits in other areas requires analytical approaches. We use spatial...
Adaptation to a landscape-scale mountain pine beetle epidemic in the era of networked governance: the enduring importance of bureaucratic institutions
14. November 2017 Abrams, J. B., Huber-Stearns, H. R., Bone, C., Grummon, C. A., Moseley, C. Research
Landscape-scale forest disturbance events have become increasingly common worldwide under the combined influences of climate change and ecosystem modification. The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic that swept through North American forests from the late 1990s through the early 2010s was one of the largest such disturbance events on record and triggered shocks to ecological and economic systems. We analyze the policy and governance responses to this event by focusing on three national forests in the state of Colorado and on the agency responsible for their management...
Ways forward for resilience thinking: lessons from the field for those exploring social-ecological systems in agriculture and natural resource management
13. November 2017 Sinclair, K., Rawluk, A., Kumar, S., Curtis, A. Insight
Resilience thinking appears to offer a holistic approach that can be used by social researchers to interpret past and contemporary conditions and identify possible futures for social-ecological systems (SES). Resilience thinking is shaping contemporary environmental policy and its implementation in Australia, Europe, and North America. At the same time, social researchers have raised concerns about the limitations of resilience thinking, particularly in its handling of human agency, power relationships, social thresholds, and the social construction of SES definitions. We argue for a...
A representation of a Tuawhenua worldview guides environmental conservation
10. November 2017 Timoti, P., Lyver, P. O'B, Matamua, R., Jones, C. J., Tahi, B. L. Research
Indigenous peoples and local communities interact with approximately two-thirds of the world’s land area through their worldviews and customary tenure regimes and offer significant knowledge contributions and lessons about sustainability. We worked with Tuawhenua Māori to document domains, concepts, and mechanisms within the worldview representation in a way that could guide environmental conservation in New Zealand. We then applied the framework to a cultural keystone species for Tuawhenua, the kererū ([New Zealand pigeon [(Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae]) to elucidate this...

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