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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.
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...
Development of scenarios for land cover, population density, impervious cover, and conservation in New Hampshire, 2010–2100
09. November 2017 Thorn, A. M., Wake, C. P., Grimm, C. D., Mitchell, C. R., Mineau, M. M., Ollinger, S. V. Research
Future changes in ecosystem services will depend heavily on changes in land cover and land use, which, in turn, are shaped by human activities. Given the challenges of predicting long-term changes in human behaviors and activities, scenarios provide a framework for simulating the long-term consequences of land-cover change on ecosystem function. As input for process-based models of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem function, we developed scenarios for land cover, population density, and impervious cover for the state of New Hampshire for 2020–2100. Key drivers of change were...
A coupled terrestrial and aquatic biogeophysical model of the Upper Merrimack River watershed, New Hampshire, to inform ecosystem services evaluation and management under climate and land-cover...
09. November 2017 Samal, N. R., Wollheim, W. M., Zuidema, S., Stewart, R. J., Zhou, Z., Mineau, M. M., Borsuk, M. E., Gardner, K. H., Glidden, S., Huang, T., Lutz, D. A., Mavrommati, G., Thorn, A. M., Wake, C. P., Huber, M. Research
Accurate quantification of ecosystem services (ES) at regional scales is increasingly important for making informed decisions in the face of environmental change. We linked terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem process models to simulate the spatial and temporal distribution of hydrological and water quality characteristics related to ecosystem services. The linked model integrates two existing models (a forest ecosystem model and a river network model) to establish consistent responses to changing drivers across climate, terrestrial, and aquatic domains. The linked model is spatially...
Comparing group deliberation to other forms of preference aggregation in valuing ecosystem services
09. November 2017 Murphy, M. B., Mavrommati, G., Mallampalli, V. Rao, Howarth, R. B., Borsuk, M. E. Research
Deliberative methods for valuing ecosystem services are hypothesized to yield group preferences that differ systematically from those that would be obtained through calculative aggregation of the preferences of participating individuals. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the group consensus results of structured deliberations against a variety of aggregation methods applied to individual participant preferences that were elicited both before and after the deliberations. Participants were also asked about their perceptions of the deliberative process, which we used to assess their...
The social structural foundations of adaptation and transformation in social–ecological systems
07. November 2017 Barnes, M. L., Bodin, ?., Guerrero, A. M., McAllister, R. R. J., Alexander, S. M., Robins, G. Research
Social networks are frequently cited as vital for facilitating successful adaptation and transformation in linked social–ecological systems to overcome pressing resource management challenges. Yet confusion remains over the precise nature of adaptation vs. transformation and the specific social network structures that facilitate these processes. Here, we adopt a network perspective to theorize a continuum of structural capacities in social–ecological systems that set the stage for effective adaptation and transformation. We begin by drawing on the resilience literature and the...
Evaluation of a new method for assessing resilience in urban aquatic social-ecological systems
07. November 2017 Moores, J. P., Yalden, S., Gadd, J. B., Semadeni-Davies, A. Research
Urban aquatic social-ecological systems (SESs) comprise socio-technical elements, the built environment and its management, and natural elements (water bodies) that provide ecosystem services. Changed hydrology, poor stormwater quality, and the modification of water bodies associated with urban development brings challenges for maintaining ecosystem services provision in an urban aquatic SES. Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) has emerged as a form of development that aims to better support the provision of ecosystem services. Resilience concepts provide a basis for discriminating between...
Cross-interdisciplinary insights into adaptive governance and resilience
07. November 2017 Arnold, C. Anthony (Tony), Gosnell, H., Benson, M. H., Craig, R. K. Synthesis
The Adaptive Water Governance project is an interdisciplinary collaborative synthesis project aimed at identifying the features of adaptive governance in complex social-ecological institutional systems to manage for water-basin resilience. We conducted a systematic qualitative meta-analysis of the project’s first set of published interdisciplinary studies, six North American basin resilience assessments. We sought to develop new knowledge that transcends each study, concerning two categories of variables: (1) the drivers of change in complex water-basin systems that affect systemic...
Soil cultures – the adaptive cycle of agrarian soil use in Central Europe: an interdisciplinary study using soil scientific and archaeological research
06. November 2017 Teuber, S., Ahlrichs, J. J., Henkner, J., Knopf, T., K?hn, P., Scholten, T. Synthesis
Today’s global challenges (e.g., food security) are not unprecedented in human history. Starting with the Neolithic transition, the agricultural sector and society underwent several cultural and technological changes and endured natural challenges. These challenges and changes are analyzed by using the adaptive cycle metaphor and the social-ecological system as tools to show the complexity of human–environment interactions and their development. The analysis relies on archaeological, pedological, and botanical research, and demonstrates the importance of interdisciplinary work...
Effects of accelerated wildfire on future fire regimes and implications for the United States federal fire policy
06. November 2017 Ager, A. A., Barros, A. M. G., Preisler, H. K., Day, M. A., Spies, T. A., Bailey, J. D., Bolte, J. P. Research
Wildland fire suppression practices in the western United States are being widely scrutinized by policymakers and scientists as costs escalate and large fires increasingly affect social and ecological values. One potential solution is to change current fire suppression tactics to intentionally increase the area burned under conditions when risks are acceptable to managers and fires can be used to achieve long-term restoration goals in fire adapted forests. We conducted experiments with the Envision landscape model to simulate increased levels of wildfire over a 50-year period on a 1.2...
Telecoupling Toolbox: spatially explicit tools for studying telecoupled human and natural systems
19. Oktober 2017 Tonini, F., Liu, J. Research
Telecoupling is a novel interdisciplinary umbrella concept that enables natural and social scientists to understand and generate information for managing how humans and nature can sustainably coexist worldwide. The telecoupling framework gains its distinction by enabling researchers to dive deeply into systemic complexities, even if systems are far away from each other. It is also ambitious in its aim to meet challenges unencumbered by disciplines. To understand the forces affecting sustainability across local to global scales, it is essential to build a comprehensive set of spatially...
Intergroup cooperation prevents resource exhaustion but undermines intra-group cooperation in the common-pool resource experiment
19. Oktober 2017 Safarzynska, K. Research
Can intergroup cooperation over resources help prevent resource exhaustion and mitigate effects of climate change? How does resource uncertainty affect inter- and intra- group cooperation over resources in the common-pool resource dilemmas? I present experimental evidence from a mixed design experiment with two-between-groups factors: (1) the availability of intergroup sharing in which subjects can decide whether to give up some of their harvests to augment the resource stock of another group; (2) the presence (or absence) of shocks that can destroy a part of resources; and with one...
Differences in resource management affects drought vulnerability across the borders between Iraq, Syria, and Turkey
12. Oktober 2017 Eklund, L., Thompson, D. Research
Much discussion has taken place exploring a potential connection between the 2007–2009 Fertile Crescent drought and Syria's uprising-turned civil war beginning in 2011. This study takes an integrated perspective on the 2007–2009 drought in the border region of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey by looking at the meteorological, agricultural, and socioeconomic aspects of drought vulnerability. Satellite-based precipitation and vegetation data help outline the drought’s spatial and temporal properties. In order to understand the context in which this drought happened, we also look...
Agriculture production as a major driver of the Earth system exceeding planetary boundaries
12. Oktober 2017 Campbell, B. M., Beare, D. J., Bennett, E. M., Hall-Spencer, J. M., Ingram, J. S. I., Jaramillo, F., Ortiz, R., Ramankutty, N., Sayer, J. A., Shindell, D. Research
We explore the role of agriculture in destabilizing the Earth system at the planetary scale, through examining nine planetary boundaries, or “safe limits”: land-system change, freshwater use, biogeochemical flows, biosphere integrity, climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, atmospheric aerosol loading, and introduction of novel entities. Two planetary boundaries have been fully transgressed, i.e., are at high risk, biosphere integrity and biogeochemical flows, and agriculture has been the major driver of the transgression. Three are in a zone of...
Restoring the environment, revitalizing the culture: cenote conservation in Yucatan, Mexico
11. Oktober 2017 Lopez-Maldonado, Y., Berkes, F. Research
Cenotes are sinkholes through which groundwater may be accessed from the Yucatan Peninsula Aquifer. Historically and culturally, cenotes are also important cultural and spiritual natural sites for the Maya, but they have been contaminated and degraded. We ask the following: What are the present-day meanings, understanding, and values of cenotes for the Maya? Is it possible to adopt a cultural approach for conservation of cenotes in Yucatan? Participant observation, interviews with stakeholders, and underwater exploration in cenotes were used to obtain data. Results indicate that cenotes...
A new approach to conservation: using community empowerment for sustainable well-being
11. Oktober 2017 Wali, A., Alvira, D., Tallman, P. S., Ravikumar, A., Macedo, M. O. Research
The global environmental conservation community recognizes that the participation of local communities is essential for the success of conservation initiatives; however, much work remains to be done on how to integrate conservation and human well-being. We propose that an assets-based approach to environmental conservation and human well-being, which is grounded in a biocultural framework, can support sustainable and adaptive management of natural resources by communities in regions adjacent to protected areas. We present evidence from conservation and quality of life initiatives led by...
How does network governance affect social-ecological fit across the land–sea interface? An empirical assessment from the Lesser Antilles
11. Oktober 2017 Pittman, J., Armitage, D. Research
Governance across the land–sea interface presents many challenges related to (1) the engagement of diverse actors and systems of knowledge, (2) the coordinated management of shared ecological resources, and (3) the development of mechanisms to address or account for biogeochemical (e.g., nutrient flows) and ecological (e.g., species movements) interdependencies between marine and terrestrial systems. If left unaddressed, these challenges can lead to multiple problems of social-ecological fit stemming from governance fragmentation or inattention to various components of land–sea...
Mainstreaming ecosystem services in state-level conservation planning: progress and future needs
11. Oktober 2017 Noe, R. R., Keeler, B. L., Kilgore, M. A., Taff, S. J., Polasky, S. Research
Ecosystem services (ES) have become an important focus of the conservation movement but have yet to be mainstreamed into environmental policy and management, especially at the state and federal levels. Adoption of an ES approach requires agency personnel to have knowledge or experience in implementing an ES approach and metrics that link potential actions to impacts on ES. We characterize the degree to which ES considerations are taken into account in setting priorities for conservation acquisitions in the U.S. state of Minnesota. We assess two core dimensions of an ES approach: (1...
Resilience to hazards: rice farmers in the Mahanadi Delta, India
11. Oktober 2017 Duncan, J. M., Tompkins, E. L., Dash, J., Tripathy, B. Research
Developing country deltas are important food producing areas and are home to large numbers of subsistence farmers. In particular, rice farmers dominate the populous deltas of South and Southeast Asia and face frequent climate hazards that have short- and long-term impacts on rice production and livelihoods. The aim of this study is to identify and explain proximal and ultimate factors (land access, cultural practices, and institutional support) that affect rice farmer resilience, that is, to explain why some farmers are more sensitive to climate shocks, why some farmers suffer long-term...

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