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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.
Institutional linkages and landscape governance systems: the case of Mt. Marsabit, Kenya
16. Februar 2018 Robinson, L. W., Kagombe, J. K. Research
The desire to overcome fragmented management of the natural ecosystems on which human beings depend has contributed to a growing interest in landscape approaches and to deeper questions about landscape governance systems. We assessed the emergent governance system that corresponds to the Mt. Marsabit landscape ecosystem in northern Kenya, applying a framework that includes 17 different indicators. We found that in this governance system, the most important spaces where coordination and joint planning took place were district level coordination committees, within which representation of...
Reimagining large-scale open-water fisheries governance through adaptive comanagement in hilsa shad sanctuaries
13. Februar 2018 Van Brakel, M. L., Nahiduzzaman, M., Haque, A. Mahfuzul, Mustafa, M. Golam, Rahman, M. Jalilur, Wahab, M. Abdul Research
Almost a half million fishers in Bangladesh are predominantly reliant on the hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery in the Meghna River and estuarine ecosystem. This paper adopts a broadened concept of social-ecological traps to frame the complex dynamics that emerge from social and ecological interactions in this highly natural resource-dependent social-ecological system (SES). We analyze how endogenous self-reinforcing processes in the system and poor initial conditions, particularly debt and lack of livelihood options outside fisheries, keep fishing households in poverty. We identify a...
From concepts to practice: combining different approaches to understand drivers of landscape change
13. Februar 2018 Kizos, T., Verburg, P. H., B?rgi, M., Gounaridis, D., Plieninger, T., Bieling, C., Balatsos, T. Insight
Landscape change and its drivers have been the focus of a growing body of literature in the past years. Our objective is to present different approaches to studying and understanding landscape change. We sketch the way in which different approaches and existing conceptual models are related to spatial scales and epistemological aims, and discuss complementarity and a range of applications with five specific research approaches from a Mediterranean landscape, including approaches at national and European levels. These include an analysis of historical landscape change, an investigation of...
Analyzing community resilience as an emergent property of dynamic social-ecological systems
13. Februar 2018 Faulkner, L., Brown, K., Quinn, T. Research
Community resilience is widely promoted so that communities can respond positively to a range of risks, including shocks, extreme events, and other changes. Although much research has identified characteristics or capacities that confer resilience, resilience is more than simply the sum of these. Resilience is an emergent property—the capacities are linked and act together. We present an empirical analysis of five different capacities and assess how interactions between them confer resilience in two coastal communities in Cornwall, UK. These capacities are place attachment...
Stories in social-ecological knowledge cocreation
12. Februar 2018 Galafassi, D., Daw, T. M., Thyresson, M., Rosendo, S., Chaigneau, T., Bandeira, S., Munyi, L., Gabrielsson, I., Brown, K. Research
Transformations in social-ecological systems to overturn poverty and ecosystem degradation require approaches to knowledge synthesis that are inclusive and open to creative innovation. We draw on interviews with participants and in-depth process observation of an iterative knowledge cocreation process in Kenya and Mozambique that brought together scientists, community representatives, government representatives, and practitioners who had expertise or experience in poverty and/or coastal natural resource use and management. We analyze the communicative spaces opened by techniques of system...
Using Inuit traditional ecological knowledge for detecting and monitoring avian cholera among Common Eiders in the eastern Canadian Arctic
12. Februar 2018 Henri, D. A., Jean-Gagnon, F., Gilchrist, H. Grant Research
In recent decades, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) has played an increasing role in wildlife management and biodiversity conservation in Canada and elsewhere. This study examined the potential contribution that Inuit TEK (which is one aspect of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit or Inuit traditional knowledge) could offer to detect and monitor avian cholera and other disease-related mortality among Northern Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima borealis) breeding in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Avian cholera is an infectious disease (Pasteurella multocida) that has been a major conservation...
The plurality of values in sustainable agriculture models: diverse lock-in and coevolution patterns
09. Februar 2018 Plumecocq, G., Debril, T., Duru, M., Magrini, M., Sarthou, J., Therond, O. Insight
In Western economies, several agriculture models coexist. For instance, intensive agriculture organization, which has increased yields while causing major pollution and resource depletion, competes with alternative models, which tackle these sustainability issues and lead to lower yields. An agronomical typology of current agriculture models in Western societies is proposed that describes multiple sustainability issues through an agroecological perspective. However, in order to choose between these agroecological pathways, we must understand their social structure and the principles...
Going beyond “it depends:” the role of context in shaping participation in natural resource management
08. Februar 2018 Baker, S., Chapin III, F. Insight
Public participation is increasingly advocated in natural resource management to meet a spectrum of instrumental to normative goals. However, the success of participation in achieving these goals is highly variable, depending on both societal and institutional contexts. Whether participation realises its benefits or succumbs to its pitfalls is shaped by dynamic interactions operating among three contextual dimensions: participatory rationales (instrumental to normative), institutional fit of different levels (types) of participation (information delivery to partnership to delegation), and...
Using futures methods to create transformative spaces: visions of a good Anthropocene in southern Africa
06. Februar 2018 Pereira, L. M., Hichert, T., Hamann, M., Preiser, R., Biggs, R. Research
The unique challenges posed by the Anthropocene require creative ways of engaging with the future and bringing about transformative change. Envisioning positive futures is a first step in creating a shared understanding and commitment that enables radical transformations toward sustainability in a world defined by complexity, diversity, and uncertainty. However, to create a transformative space in which truly unknowable futures can be explored, new experimental approaches are needed that go beyond merely extrapolating from the present into archetypal scenarios of the future. Here, we present...
Farmer perceptions of plant–soil interactions can affect adoption of sustainable management practices in cocoa agroforests: a case study from Southeast Sulawesi
06. Februar 2018 Wartenberg, A. C., Blaser, W. J., Janudianto, K. N., Roshetko, J. M., Van Noordwijk, M., Six, J. Research
Despite extensive research focused on increasing the sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems in the tropics, adoption rates of improved management solutions often remain low among smallholder farmers. To address this, we evaluated how local knowledge and perceptions influenced decision-making processes among smallholder cocoa farmers. We conducted individual semistructured interviews with 72 cocoa farmers in Southeast Sulawesi and documented local knowledge about soil fertility indicators, nutrient cycling processes, and the interactions among shade trees, cocoa trees, and...
Transforming communicative spaces: the rhythm of gender in meetings in rural Solomon Islands
06. Februar 2018 Dyer, M. Research
Women’s lack of participation in important decision making is noted as an obstacle to sustainable development in many parts of the world. An initial issue for gender equity in environmental decision making in many developing country contexts is not only women’s inclusion but also their substantive participation in decision-making forums. In this article I examine the power structures embedded in the public communicative spaces in a village in the Western Province of Solomon Islands using empirical data in conjunction with ethnographic understanding of gendered meeting styles...
Polycentric governance in telecoupled resource systems
30. Januar 2018 Oberlack, C., Boillat, S., Br?nnimann, S., Gerber, J., Heinimann, A., Ifejika Speranza, C., Messerli, P., Rist, S., Wiesmann, U. Synthesis
Recent advances in land system science and in institutional analysis provide complementary, but still largely disconnected perspectives on land use change, governance, and sustainability in social-ecological systems, which are interconnected across distance. In this paper we bring together the emerging concept of telecoupled land systems and the established concept of polycentric governance to support the analysis and the development of sustainable land governance in interconnected social-ecological systems. We operationalize the two concepts by analyzing networks of action situations in...
Ecosystem services, social interdependencies, and collective action: a conceptual framework
30. Januar 2018 Barnaud, C., Corbera, E., Muradian, R., Salliou, N., Sirami, C., Vialatte, A., Choisis, J., Dendoncker, N., Mathevet, R., Moreau, C., Reyes-Garc?a, V., Boada, M., Deconchat, M., Cibien, C., Garnier, S., Maneja, R., Antona, M. Insight
The governance of ecosystem services (ES) has been predominantly thought of in terms of market or state-based instruments. Comparatively, collective action mechanisms have rarely been considered. This paper addresses this gap by proposing a conceptual framework that brings together ES, social interdependencies, and collective action thinking. We use an ES conceptual lens to highlight social interdependencies among people so as to reflect on existing or potential collective actions among them. This framework can also contribute to increasing people’s awareness of their mutual...
The climate-smart village approach: framework of an integrative strategy for scaling up adaptation options in agriculture
29. Januar 2018 Aggarwal, P. K., Jarvis, A., Campbell, B. M., Zougmor?, R. B., Khatri-Chhetri, A., Vermeulen, S. J., Loboguerrero, A., Sebastian, L. S., Kinyangi, J., Bonilla-Findji, O., Radeny, M., Recha, J., Martinez-Baron, D., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Huyer, S., Thornton, P., Wollenberg, E., Hansen, J., Alvarez-Toro, P., Aguilar-Ariza, A., Arango-Londo?o, D., Pati?o-Bravo, V., Rivera, O., Ouedraogo, M., Yen, B. Tan Synthesis
Increasing weather risks threaten agricultural production systems and food security across the world. Maintaining agricultural growth while minimizing climate shocks is crucial to building a resilient food production system and meeting developmental goals in vulnerable countries. Experts have proposed several technological, institutional, and policy interventions to help farmers adapt to current and future weather variability and to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper presents the climate-smart village (CSV) approach as a means of performing agricultural research for...
Supplying the wildlife trade as a livelihood strategy in a biodiversity hotspot
29. Januar 2018 Robinson, J. E., Griffiths, R. A., Fraser, I. M., Raharimalala, J., Roberts, D. L., St. John, F. A. V. Research
Much of the global wildlife trade is sourced from biodiversity-rich developing countries. These often have high levels of poverty and habitat loss, particularly in rural areas where many depend on natural resources. However, wildlife collection may incentivize local people to conserve habitats that support their livelihoods. Here we examined the contribution of the commercial collection of live animals to rural livelihoods in Madagascar, one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. Using questionnaires, we investigated the prevalence, profitability relative to other...
How can integrated valuation of ecosystem services help understanding and steering agroecological transitions?
26. Januar 2018 Dendoncker, N., Boeraeve, F., Crouzat, E., Dufr?ne, M., K?nig, A., Barnaud, C. Research
Agroecology has been proposed as a promising concept to foster the resilience and sustainability of agroecosystems and rural territories. Agroecological practices are based on optimizing ecosystem services (ES) at the landscape, farm, and parcel scales. Recent progress in research on designing agroecological transitions highlights the necessity for coconstructed processes that draw on various sources of knowledge based on shared concepts. But despite the sense of urgency linked to agroecological transitions, feedbacks from real-world implementation remain patchy. The ability of integrated...
Trade in the telecoupling framework: evidence from the metals industry
23. Januar 2018 Xiong, H., Millington, J. D. A., Xu, W. Research
As a conceptual framework for understanding contemporary sustainability challenges, telecoupling emphasizes the importance of socioeconomic and environmental interactions over long distances. These long-distance interactions can occur through multiple human activities. We focus on international trade, a major channel of telecoupling flows, and in particular on the international trade of metals. We use the data of physical products and embedded greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trade in the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to quantitatively examine how countries contribute to both economic...
Climate change, cattle, and the challenge of sustainability in a telecoupled system in Africa
22. Januar 2018 Easter, T. S., Killion, A. K., Carter, N. H. Insight
Information, energy, and materials are flowing over greater distances than in the past, changing the structure and feedbacks within and across coupled human and natural systems worldwide. The telecoupling framework was recently developed to understand the feedbacks and multidirectional flows characterizing social and environmental interactions between distant systems. We extend the application of the telecoupling framework to illustrate how flows in beef affect and are affected by social-ecological processes occurring between distant systems in Africa, and how those dynamics will likely...
Subjective measures of household resilience to climate variability and change: insights from a nationally representative survey of Tanzania
22. Januar 2018 Jones, L., Samman, E., Vinck, P. Research
Promoting household resilience to climate extremes has emerged as a key development priority. Yet tracking and evaluating resilience at this level remains a critical challenge. Most quantitative approaches rely on objective indicators and assessment frameworks, but these are not fully satisfactory. Much of the difficulty arises from a combination of conceptual ambiguities, challenges in selecting appropriate indicators, and in measuring the many intangible aspects that contribute to household resilience. More recently, subjective measures of resilience have been advocated in helping to...
Protected areas and territorial exclusion of traditional communities: analyzing the social impacts of environmental compensation strategies in Brazil
22. Januar 2018 Anaya, F. C., Esp?rito-Santo, M. M. Research
The creation of the protected areas (PAs) of restricted use dominates conservation policies throughout the world and reflects the western idea of separation between pristine nature and human-modified habitats. However, this conservation strategy has caused the proliferation of environmental conflicts involving territorial rights of traditional peoples and local communities throughout the world. Our study aims to analyze the impacts of the creation of a system of PAs of restricted use on the livelihoods and well-being of traditional communities in the north of Minas Gerais State, in Brazil...

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