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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.
Specificities of French community gardens as environmental stewardships
20. September 2017 Torres, A. Cristina, Nadot, S., Pr?vot, A. Research
Community-based efforts are essential to address urban social–ecological challenges. Here, we focus on French community gardens. Through participant observation and semistructured interviews, this study seeks to provide empirical evidence on: (1) what motivates volunteer gardeners in French community gardens to undertake this activity, (2) what practices take place in the gardens, and (3) which individual and collective processes are associated with gardeners' experiences in the gardens. Through these questions, we aim to understand how these initiatives relate to...
Explaining the persistence of low income and environmentally degrading land uses in the Brazilian Amazon
19. September 2017 Garrett, R. D., Gardner, T. A., Morello, T. Fonseca, Marchand, S., Barlow, J., Ezzine de Blas, D., Ferreira, J., Lees, A. C., Parry, L. Research
Tropical forests continue to be plagued by the dual sustainability challenges of deforestation and rural poverty. We seek to understand why many of the farmers living in the Brazilian Amazon, home to the world’s largest tropical agricultural-forest frontier, persist in agricultural activities associated with low incomes and high environmental damage. To answer this question, we assess the factors that shape the development and distribution of agricultural activities and farmer well-being in these frontiers. Our study utilizes a uniquely comprehensive social-ecological dataset from...
Integration of the ecosystem services concept in planning documents from six municipalities in southwestern Sweden
18. September 2017 Nordin, A. C., Hanson, H. I., Alkan Olsson, J. Research
The ecosystem services (ES) concept refers to benefits that humanity receives from nature. Investigating how this concept has been embraced within urban planning is important when assessing the awareness of human dependence on natural functions and the potential for the ES concept to increase this awareness. We analyzed planning documents from three small and three large municipalities in southern Sweden to see how explicitly the ES concept was addressed and which individual services were mentioned. We found that five of the municipalities mentioned the ES concept explicitly and the...
Integrating social science into empirical models of coupled human and natural systems
18. September 2017 Kline, J. D., White, E. M., Fischer, A. Paige, Steen-Adams, M. M., Charnley, S., Olsen, C. S., Spies, T. A., Bailey, J. D. Research
Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) research highlights reciprocal interactions (or feedbacks) between biophysical and socioeconomic variables to explain system dynamics and resilience. Empirical models often are used to test hypotheses and apply theory that represent human behavior. Parameterizing reciprocal interactions presents two challenges for social scientists: (1) how to represent human behavior as influenced by biophysical factors and integrate this into CHANS empirical models; (2) how to organize and function as a multidisciplinary social science team to accomplish that...
Biodiversity conservation in a telecoupled world
14. September 2017 Carrasco, L., Chan, J., McGrath, F. L., Nghiem, L. T. P. Synthesis
The environmental and socioeconomic interactions between distant regions of the world (“telecoupling”) are dramatically increasing. Telecoupling brings about new challenges and opportunities to biodiversity conservation that are of a larger magnitude and of a faster pace than ever observed before. Our understanding of the dynamics and leverage points of this telecoupled world is however limited. It is thus important to take stock of what we know and what we still need to know to formulate effective biodiversity conservation policies with telecoupling increasing. We identify...
Historical perspective on the influence of wildfire policy, law, and informal institutions on management and forest resilience in a multiownership, frequent-fire, coupled human and natural system in...
11. September 2017 Steen-Adams, M. M., Charnley, S., Adams, M. D. Research
We examine the influence of wildfire institutions on management and forest resilience over time, drawing on research from a multiownership, frequent-fire, coupled human and natural system (CHANS) in the eastern Cascades of Oregon, USA. We constructed social-ecological histories of the study area’s three main landowner groups (national forest, private corporate, and tribal) using a historical framework (1905–2010). Our findings highlight two infrequently recognized linkages of multiownership, frequent-fire CHANS: (1) informal institutions (e.g., cultural norms, knowledge system...
Maintaining experiences of nature as a city grows
07. September 2017 Sushinsky, J. R., Rhodes, J. R., Shanahan, D. F., Possingham, H. P., Fuller, R. A. Research
Experiences of nature contribute to human health and well-being, yet as the world’s population continues to concentrate in towns and cities there is mounting concern that these experiences are diminishing. Despite this, little is known about how we can maintain experiences of nature as cities grow. Here, we quantify how people’s opportunities to experience nature might change with future urban growth in the city of Brisbane, Australia. We simulated the addition of 84,642 houses under compact and sprawling growth scenarios and modeled changes in people’s opportunities to...
Spatial and temporal scale framing of a decision on the future of the Mactaquac Dam in New Brunswick, Canada
06. September 2017 Reilly, K. H., Adamowski, J. F. Research
Many large dams are coming to the end of their lifespans and decisions must be made about whether to rebuild/refurbish or remove them, which will have different implications across temporal and spatial scales. Such decisions are often controversial, but little is known about what drives differences in stakeholders’ perspectives of them. Cognitive scale frames describe how people use scales in interpreting such an issue, including which of its elements they prioritize and which they minimize. Using interviews with 30 stakeholders and analysis of documents, we explored how stakeholders...
Not just another variable: untangling the spatialities of power in social–ecological systems
31. August 2017 Ingalls, M. L. Research
Increased attention has been paid to how the spatial dimensions of social–ecological systems are formative in shaping their ability to negotiate change and remain resilient. This paper moves this research further by exploring how diverse forms of power play a crucial role in shaping these spatial dimensions and the production of social–ecological outcomes. Grounding these explorations in a National Protected Area in Lao PDR, this paper explores how power relationships operate through the spatial and temporal domains of complex systems. Findings suggest (at least) four important...
Diagnosing adaptive comanagement across multiple cases
31. August 2017 Plummer, R., Baird, J., Armitage, D., Bodin, ?., Schultz, L. Insight
Adaptive comanagement is at an important cross-road: different research paths forward are possible, and a diagnostic approach has been identified as a promising one. Accordingly, we operationalize a diagnostic approach, using a framework, to set a new direction for adaptive comanagement research. We set out three main first-tier variables: antecedents, process, and outcomes, and these main variables are situated within a fourth: the setting. Within each of these variables, significant depth of study may be achieved by investigating second- and third-tier variables. Causal relationships...
The oak or the reed: how resilience theories are translated into disaster management policies
31. August 2017 Wenger, C. Synthesis
Although many researchers explore disaster resilience as an ongoing process or as a measurable property with indicators, few study whether disaster resilience policies are likely to lead to outcomes that are adaptive over the longer term. Some measures intended to increase local resilience may actually decrease the ability to cope with large-scale disasters. In the context of flood management, this work looks at activities supported in the name of resilience and whether they will result in long-term adaptive outcomes. It is proposed that the interpretation of “resilience” in...
A quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience
30. August 2017 Baho, D. L., Allen, C. R., Garmestani, A., Fried-Petersen, H., Renes, S. E., Gunderson, L., Angeler, D. G. Synthesis
Quantitative approaches to measure and assess resilience are needed to bridge gaps between science, policy, and management. In this paper, we suggest a quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecological resilience as an emergent ecosystem phenomenon can be decomposed into complementary attributes (scales, adaptive capacity, thresholds, and alternative regimes) that embrace the complexity inherent to ecosystems. Quantifying these attributes simultaneously provides opportunities to move from the assessment of specific resilience within an ecosystem toward a broader...
Increasing the effectiveness of participatory scenario development through codesign
22. August 2017 McBride, M. F., Lambert, K. F., Huff, E. S., Theoharides, K. A., Field, P., Thompson, J. R. Research
Developing scenarios to explore possible environmental futures is a widely used tool in social-ecological research. Scenario planners working in environmental systems increasingly enlist stakeholders to help develop scenarios, but effectively integrating stakeholder participation with scenario analyses and modeling remains a challenge. Using the New England Landscape Futures project as a case study, we explore how a method for codesigning a scenario elicitation process can be used to help balance the needs of both stakeholders and scientists. To illustrate the design process, we document...
Rivers and streams in the media: a content analysis of ecosystem services
16. August 2017 Weber, M. A., Caplan, S., Ringold, P., Blocksom, K. Research
Although ecosystem services research has become common, few efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. The theoretical framework of final ecosystem services focuses attention on such measurable attributes, as a common currency for social-ecological systems research. Environmental communications as well as ecological monitoring and analysis efforts could be enhanced through increased documentation of final ecosystem services. For example, small changes in the way ecosystems are described could strongly influence relevance to the...
Coordination and health sector adaptation to climate change in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta
15. August 2017 Gilfillan, D., Nguyen, T. T., Pham, H. T. Research
This research examines the impact of three coordination dimensions on health sector adaptation to climate change in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta: cross-scale, cross-sectoral, and cross-boundary. While tasks are divided up between government ministries and departments in Vietnam, there is little collaboration on issues that span mandates. Similarly, while water flows in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta take resource management and health concerns across provincial boundaries, formal mechanisms for interprovincial collaboration are lacking. While decentralization efforts have sought to devolve...
Inter- and transdisciplinary scenario construction to explore future land-use options in southern Amazonia
15. August 2017 Sch?nenberg, R., Schaldach, R., Lakes, T., G?pel, J., Gollnow, F. Research
Our aim with this paper is to present a novel approach for developing story lines and scenarios by combining qualitative knowledge and quantitative data from different disciplines and discussing the results with relevant decision makers. This research strategy offers a solid foundation for perspectives into the future. The “laboratory” is the Brazilian Amazon, one of the hotspots of land-use change where local and global interests both collide and converge: local livelihoods are affected by regional and global climate change and by the loss of biodiversity caused by local and...
Environmental justice research shows the importance of social feedbacks in ecosystem service trade-offs
10. August 2017 Dawson, N. M., Grogan, K., Martin, A., Mertz, O., Pasgaard, M., Rasmussen, L. Research
In this article, we shine a spotlight on approaches to research ecosystem service trade-offs and critically assess their representation of relevant social dynamics. Although studies linking ecosystem services and human well-being have provided theoretical insights into social and ecological trade-offs, we argue that ecosystem services research has paid insufficient attention to “social feedbacks,” people’s cognitive and behavioral responses to change. We demonstrate that augmenting ecosystem services research with environmental justice approaches (exploring perceptions of...
The science and politics of human well-being: a case study in cocreating indicators for Puget Sound restoration
10. August 2017 Biedenweg, K., Harguth, H., Stiles, K. Research
Across scientific fields, there have been calls to improve the integration of scientific knowledge in policy making. Particularly since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, these calls increasingly refer to data on human well-being related to the natural environment. However, policy decisions involve selective uptake of information across communities with different preferences and decision-making processes. Additionally, researchers face the fact that there are important trade-offs in producing knowledge that is simultaneously credible, legitimate, socially relevant...
The role of agroforestry in building livelihood resilience to floods and drought in semiarid Kenya
09. August 2017 Quandt, A., Neufeldt, H., McCabe, J. Research
Climate change may create serious problems for farmers by increasing precipitation variability and drought and flood events. Understanding how to build livelihood resilience to these effects is a pressing need. Agroforestry is one potential solution. Although many people intuitively link agroforestry with livelihood resilience to floods and drought, little comprehensive empirical evidence exists. Here, we strive to answer the call for more empirical evidence by drawing on field work in Isiolo County, Kenya to ask the research question: How does agroforestry help smallholder farmers build...
How small communities respond to environmental change: patterns from tropical to polar ecosystems
09. August 2017 Huntington, H. P., Begossi, A., Fox Gearheard, S., Kersey, B., Loring, P. A., Mustonen, T., Paudel, P. K., Silvano, R. A. M., Vave, R. Synthesis
Local communities throughout the world are experiencing extensive social, cultural, economic, environmental, and climatic changes. Rather than passively accepting the effects of such changes, many communities are responding in various ways to take advantage of opportunities and to minimize negative impacts. We review examples from 13 cases around the world to identify patterns in how communities have been able to respond to change. Communities are able to respond by making changes in the time and location of activities, by using different species, by developing or using new technologies...

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