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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.
Shifts in ecosystem services in deprived urban areas: understanding people’s responses and consequences for well-being
Derkzen, M. L., Nagendra, H., Van Teeffelen, A. J. A., Purushotham, A., Verburg, P. H. Research
Urban commons are under pressure. City development has led to the encroachment and ecological degradation of urban open space. Although there is growing insight that urban ecosystems need to be protected, there is hardly any attention for the consequences (of both pressures and protection efforts) for vulnerable human population groups. We aim to understand how urban development affects the well-being of the urban poor, through shifts in ecosystem services (ES) and people’s responses to these shifts. We performed household interviews and group mapping sessions in seven urban lake...
A microeconomic perspective on the role of efficiency and equity criteria in designing natural resource policy
Kaine, G., Greenhalgh, S., Boyce, W., Lourey, R., Young, J., Reed, E., Keenan, B., Mackay, S. Research
Deliberating on policy design to manage natural resources with clarity and precision is a difficult task, even for professional and highly experienced policy practitioners. These difficulties are exacerbated by confounding the crafting of policy instruments to change resource use (a behavioral matter related to resource management) with the consequential issue of who bears the cost of changing resource use (an equity matter). The confounding of behavioral and equity issues is not surprising because equity is commonly suggested as a criterion in the literature on policy instrument choice...
The contribution of sense of place to social-ecological systems research: a review and research agenda
Masterson, V. A., Stedman, R. C., Enqvist, J., Teng?, M., Giusti, M., Wahl, D., Svedin, U. Synthesis
To develop and apply goals for future sustainability, we must consider what people care about and what motivates them to engage in solving sustainability issues. Sense of place theory and methods provide a rich source of insights that, like the social-ecological systems perspective, assume an interconnected social and biophysical reality. However, these fields of research are only recently beginning to converge, and we see great potential for further engagement. Here, we present an approach and conceptual tools for how the sense of place perspective can contribute to social-ecological...
Household-level heterogeneity of water resources within common-pool resource systems
McCord, P., Dell'Angelo, J., Gower, D., Caylor, K. K., Evans, T. Research
Prior work has demonstrated the ability of common property systems to sustain institutional arrangements governing natural resources over long periods of time. Much of this work has focused on irrigation systems where upstream users agree to management arrangements that distribute water resources across both upstream and downstream users. A series of design principles have been identified that tend to lead to long-term sustained water management in these types of irrigation systems. However, this prior work has focused on the aggregate outcomes of the water system, and there has been...
Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society: Knowledge for sustainable stewardship of social-ecological systems
Norstr?m, A. V., Balvanera, P., Spierenburg, M., Bouamrane, M. Guest Editorial
A comparative appraisal of the resilience of marine social-ecological systems to mass mortalities of bivalves
Guillotreau, P., Allison, E. H., Bundy, A., Cooley, S. R., Defeo, O., Le Bihan, V., Pardo, S., Perry, R., Santopietro, G., Seki, T. Research
In many parts of the world, both wild and cultured populations of bivalves have been struck by mass mortality episodes because of climatic and anthropogenic stressors whose causes and consequences are not always clearly understood. Such outbreaks have resulted in a range of responses from the social (fishers or farmers) and governing systems. We analyzed six commercial bivalve industries affected by mass mortalities using I-ADApT, a decision support framework to assess the impacts and consequences of these perturbations on the natural, social, and governing systems, and the consequent...
The Capacity-Building Stewardship Model: assessment of an agricultural network as a mechanism for improving regional agroecosystem sustainability
Duff, A. J., Zedler, P. H., Barzen, J. A., Knuteson, D. L. Insight
Working lands have potential to meet agricultural production targets while serving as reservoirs of biological diversity and as sources of ecological services. Yet agricultural policy creates disincentives for this integration of conservation and production goals. While necessary, the development of a policy context that promotes agroecosystem sustainability will take time, and successful implementation will depend on a receptive agricultural audience. As the demands placed on working lands grow, there is a need for regional support networks that build agricultural producers’...
Private landowners and environmental conservation: a case study of social-psychological determinants of conservation program participation in Ontario
Drescher, M., Warriner, G. Keith, Farmer, J. R., Larson, B. M. H. Research
Preservation of biodiversity and continued provision of ecosystem services increasingly relies on environmental conservation on private lands. Despite a multitude of past studies, our knowledge of the motives, opportunities, and challenges of private land conservation, especially on nonworking lands, where financial incentives are less relevant, remains incomplete. A key reason is that a variety of theoretical approaches, resulting in diverging study results, have been used to investigate private land conservation. To help remedy this problem, the current study rigorously examined several...
The pleasure of pursuit: recreational hunters in rural Southwest China exhibit low exit rates in response to declining catch
Chang, C. H., Barnes, M. L., Frye, M., Zhang, M., Quan, R., Reisman, L. M.G., Levin, S. A., Wilcove, D. S. Research
Hunting is one of the greatest threats to tropical vertebrates. Examining why people hunt is crucial to identifying policy levers to prevent excessive hunting. Overhunting is particularly relevant in Southeast Asia, where a high proportion of mammals and birds are globally threatened. We interviewed hunters in Southwest China to examine their social behavior, motivations, and responses to changes in wildlife abundance. Respondents viewed hunting as a form of recreation, not as an economic livelihood, and reported that they would not stop hunting in response to marked declines in expected...
Social-ecological traps hinder rural development in southwestern Madagascar
H?nke, H., Barkmann, J., Coral, C., Enfors Kaustky, E., Marggraf, R. Research
The semiarid Mahafaly region in southwestern Madagascar is not only a unique biodiversity hotspot, but also one of the poorest regions in the world. Crop failures occur frequently, and despite a great number of rural development programs, no effective progress in terms of improved yields, agricultural income, or well-being among farming households has been observed. In addition to the severe development challenges in the region, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity are prevailing issues. This paper takes a...
Networking the environment: social network analysis in environmental management and local ecological knowledge studies
Salpeteur, M., Calvet-Mir, L., Diaz-Reviriego, I., Reyes-Garc?a, V. Guest Editorial
Collective action to save the ancient temperate rainforest: social networks and environmental activism in Clayoquot Sound
Tindall, D. B., Robinson, J. L. Research
In 1993 over 850 people were arrested for engaging in civil disobedience to prevent the clear-cut logging of pristine ancient temperate rainforests in Clayoquot Sound, Canada. This was the largest incident of this type in Canadian history, and has arguably been Canada’s most visible mobilization over a specific environmental issue. This study examines the factors that explain the ongoing participation of individuals in the environmental movement (more broadly, beyond participation in civil disobedience) to protect Clayoquot Sound during the period following the 1993 protest. We focus...
Application of a coupled human natural system framework to organize and frame challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation on private lands.
Quinn, J. E., Wood, J. M. Insight
Conservation science addresses the complementary goals of preventing future biodiversity loss while sustaining critical human foundations. In this paper we use two case studies focused on land management to discuss how private lands conservation can be more effective by considering how planning and decision making reflects a coupled human and natural system (CHANS). The first case study focuses on conservation easements in the temperate forests of eastern United States; the second focuses on conservation opportunities in Midwestern agroecosystems, in particular the value of agroforestry...
Opportunities and obstacles for rangeland conservation in San Diego County, California, USA
Farley, K. A., Walsh, K. C., Levine, A. S. Research
Working landscapes such as rangelands are increasingly recognized as having high conservation value, providing a variety of ecosystem services, including food, fiber, habitat, recreation, open space, carbon storage, and water, in addition to a broad range of social benefits. However, conversion of rangelands to other land uses has been prevalent throughout the western United States, leading to greater attention in the conservation community to the importance of collaborating with private landowners. The level of interest in collaborative conservation among private landowners and the types...
Tanzania’s community forests: their impact on human well-being and persistence in spite of the lack of benefit
Gross-Camp, N. Research
In this paper I describe the influence of community-based forest management (CBFM) on the well-being of local stakeholders in eight Tanzanian villages. The justification for this focus is based on the broad, international support for CBFM, support for its expansion within Tanzania specifically, and foundational belief that CBFM has the potential to provide significant social benefits to the communities in which it is practiced. Using a participatory video process, I developed a questionnaire to help quantify and qualify changes in aspects of well-being over a 10-year period...
Inequity in ecosystem service delivery: socioeconomic gaps in the public-private conservation network
Villamagna, A. M., Mogoll?n, B., Angermeier, P. L. Research
Conservation areas, both public and private, are critical tools to protect biodiversity and deliver important ecosystem services (ES) to society. Although societal benefits from such ES are increasingly used to promote public support of conservation, the number of beneficiaries, their identity, and the magnitude of benefits are largely unknown for the vast majority of conservation areas in the United States public-private conservation network. The location of conservation areas in relation to people strongly influences the direction and magnitude of ES flows as well as the identity of...
My cattle and your park: codesigning a role-playing game with rural communities to promote multistakeholder dialogue at the edge of protected areas
Perrotton, A., De Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Valls-Fox, H., Le Page, C. Research
Protected areas are often burdened with conflicts between environmental managers and neighboring rural communities. Unsuccessful top-down approaches for conservation may be replaced by alternative forms of systemic management involving local actors in the design and implementation of conservation management. Although theoretically sound and appealing, the involvement of local residents in the management of protected areas is often impaired in practice by scale mismatches, conflicting values and interests, power imbalance, and a lack of trust among actors. In this paper, we describe a...
Identifying potential consequences of natural perturbations and management decisions on a coastal fishery social-ecological system using qualitative loop analysis
Martone, R. G., Bodini, A., Micheli, F. Research
Managing for sustainable development and resource extraction requires an understanding of the feedbacks between ecosystems and humans. These feedbacks are part of complex social-ecological systems (SES), in which resources, actors, and governance systems interact to produce outcomes across these component parts. Qualitative modeling approaches offer ways to assess complex SES dynamics. Loop analysis in particular is useful for examining and identifying potential outcomes from external perturbations and management interventions in data poor systems when very little is known about functional...
Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance
DeCaro, D. A., Arnold, C. Anthony (Tony), Frimpong Boamah, E., Garmestani, A. S. Synthesis
Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance systems adapt. We focus primarily on the interplay between key decision makers in society and legal systems. We argue that adaptive governance must overcome three cooperative dilemmas to facilitate adaptation: (1) encouraging collaborative problem solving, (2) garnering social acceptance and commitment, and (3...
Legal and institutional foundations of adaptive environmental governance
DeCaro, D. A., Chaffin, B. C., Schlager, E., Garmestani, A. S., Ruhl, J. Synthesis
Legal and institutional structures fundamentally shape opportunities for adaptive governance of environmental resources at multiple ecological and societal scales. Properties of adaptive governance are widely studied. However, these studies have not resulted in consolidated frameworks for legal and institutional design, limiting our ability to promote adaptation and social-ecological resilience. We develop an overarching framework that describes the current and potential role of law in enabling adaptation. We apply this framework to different social-ecological settings, centers of activity...

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