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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.
Do ecosystem services provide an added value compared to existing forest planning approaches in Central Europe?
21. Juli 2017 Meyer, M. A., Schulz, C. Research
In forestry research, the concept of ecosystem services (ESS) is less prominent than in agricultural studies. One reason might be that multifunctional forestry and the concept of forest functions, i.e., societal demand from forest, are established and legally required planning approaches in Central Europe, e.g., in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. To explore differences in concept and perspective, we conducted a participatory stakeholder workshop to identify, score, and map ESS in an urban forest in Germany. For comparison, we used existing forest function maps. Forest function mapping...
Robust-yet-fragile nature of partly engineered social-ecological systems: a case study of coastal Bangladesh
20. Juli 2017 Ishtiaque, A., Sangwan, N., Yu, D. Insight
Modern social-ecological systems are often partly engineered to enhance the robustness (or reduce the variance) of human welfare to environmental fluctuations over a foreseeable time horizon. Recent studies show, however, that subtle trade-offs are usually inherent in such efforts of enhancing short-term robustness. Managing variance on short time scales is likely to be associated with the buildup of hidden fragilities on longer time scales. Using a flood-prone social-ecological system (SES) of coastal Bangladesh as an example, this paper investigates some of the ways in which such...
Troublemaking carnivores: conflicts with humans in a diverse assemblage of large carnivores
19. Juli 2017 Morehouse, A. T., Boyce, M. S. Research
Human-wildlife conflicts are a global conservation and management challenge. Multipredator systems present added complexity to the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts because mitigation strategies often are species-specific. Documenting the type and distribution of such conflicts is an important first step toward ensuring that subsequent management and mitigation efforts are appropriately targeted. We reviewed 16 years of records of complaints about two species of strict carnivores, wolves (Canis lupus) and cougars (Puma concolor), and two species of omnivores, grizzly bears (Ursus...
Coproduced game-changing in transformative social innovation: reconnecting the “broken city” of Rio de Janeiro
19. Juli 2017 Cipolla, C., Afonso, R., Pel, B., Bartholo, R., Silva, ?., Proen?a J?nior, D. Research
Social innovation is gaining attention for its potential for system transformations. It is often initiated by grassroots collectives, which can become successful through support from other actors and through certain game-changing events or developments. We highlight how transformative social innovation is a highly dispersed, coproduced process of changing social relations. This coproduction is unfolded through a case of interacting interventions in the socio-spatial structure of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Frequently referred to as a “broken city,” the city suffers from various...
Balancing carrots and sticks in REDD+: implications for social safeguards
19. Juli 2017 Duchelle, A. E., De Sassi, C., Jagger, P., Cromberg, M., Larson, A. M., Sunderlin, W. D., Atmadja, S. S., Resosudarmo, I., Pratama, C. Research
Reducing carbon emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) is key to mitigating global climate change. The aim of REDD+ social safeguards is to ensure that REDD+ does not harm, and actually benefits, local people. To be eligible for results-based compensation through REDD+, countries should develop national-level safeguard information systems to monitor and report on the impacts of REDD+. Although safeguards represent a key step for promoting social responsibility in REDD+, they are challenging to operationalize and monitor. We...
Enacting resilience for adaptive water governance: a case study of irrigation modernization in an Australian catchment
19. Juli 2017 Ayre, M. L., Nettle, R. A. Research
Adaptive governance relies on the collaboration of a diverse set of stakeholders in multiple institutions and organizations at different times and places. In the context of unprecedented water policy and management reform in Australia over the past decade, we add to insights from resilience scholarship, which identifies adaptive governance as critical to improving complex social-ecological systems, such as water management. We present empirical research with agricultural industry stakeholders who are responding to a major change initiative to renew or modernize the largest irrigation system...
Culturally induced range infilling of eastern redcedar: a problem in ecology, an ecological problem, or both?
30. Juni 2017 Streit Krug, A., Uden, D. R., Allen, C. R., Twidwell, D. Synthesis
The philosopher John Passmore distinguished between (1) “problems in ecology,” or what we might call problems in scientific understanding of ecological change, and (2) “ecological problems,” or what we might call problems faced by societies due to ecological change. The spread of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and conversion of the central and southern Great Plains of North America to juniper woodland might be categorized as a problem in ecology, an ecological problem, or both. Here, we integrate and apply two interdisciplinary approaches to...
Resilience, political ecology, and well-being: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social-ecological change in coastal Bangladesh
30. Juni 2017 Hoque, S. F., Quinn, C. H., Sallu, S. M. Research
The commodification of peasant livelihoods through export-oriented aquaculture has brought about significant social-ecological changes in low-lying coastal areas in many parts of Asia. A better understanding of the underlying drivers and distributional effects of these changes requires integration of social and ecological approaches that often have different epistemological origins. Resilience thinking has gained increased traction in social-ecological systems research because it provides a dynamic analysis of the cross-scalar interactions between multiple conditions and processes. However...
Top 40 questions in coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) research
30. Juni 2017 Kramer, D. Boyd, Hartter, J., Boag, A. E., Jain, M., Stevens, K., Nicholas, K. A., McConnell, W. J., Liu, J. Research
Understanding and managing coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) is a central challenge of the 21st century, but more focus is needed to pursue the most important questions within this vast field given limited research capacity and funding. We present 40 important questions for CHANS research, identified through a two-part crowdsourcing exercise within the CHANS community. We solicited members of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net) to submit up to three questions that they considered transformative, receiving 540 questions from 207...
Learning, adaptation, and the complexity of human and natural interactions in the ocean
30. Juni 2017 Wilson, J. Synthesis
Here, I explore the system-level consequences of learning and adaptation among fish and fishers. The fundamental idea is that the cost of acquiring the knowledge needed to resolve uncertainty is the principal driver of social and spatial organization. This cost limits agents’ actions and leads them to prefer relatively persistent associations with familiar agents and places. When all agents act in this way, the regularity and self-reinforcing nature of familiarity leads to the emergence of a self-organized system. Systems like this are characterized by diverse, place-based, and...
The politics of river basin organizations: institutional design choices, coalitions, and consequences
30. Juni 2017 Huitema, D., Meijerink, S. Guest Editorial
The idea that ecosystem management should be approached at the bioregional scale is central to the thinking on adaptive governance. Taken to the domain of water management, a bioregional approach implies the foundation of river basin organizations (RBOs), a notion that has been warmly welcomed by scholars and practitioners alike. However, it appears that river basin organizations come in various shapes and sizes, their intended foundation often leads to resistance, and their actual performance is understudied. Through this special feature we seek to advance the state of our knowledge in...
The institutional design, politics, and effects of a bioregional approach: observations and lessons from 11 case studies of river basin organizations
29. Juni 2017 Meijerink, S., Huitema, D. Research
One of the prescriptions for adaptive comanagement of social-ecological systems is to follow a bioregional approach. In water resources management, experience has been gained with a bioregional approach by the foundation of river basin organizations (RBOs). Here, we summarize the results of a research project involving 27 colleagues who have undertaken an analysis of the global discussion on RBOs and the foundation of RBOs in Canada, USA, Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Thailand, and Australia. Drawing on Ostrom’s institutional analysis...
Economically important species dominate aboveground carbon storage in forests of southwestern Amazonia
29. Juni 2017 Selaya, N., Zuidema, P. A., Baraloto, C., Vos, V. A., Brienen, R. J. W., Pitman, N., Brown, F., Duchelle, A. E., Araujo-Murakami, A., Oliveira Carillo, L. A., Vasquez Colomo, G. H., Meo Chupinagua, S., Fuentes Nay, H., Perz, S. Synthesis
Tree species in tropical forests provide economically important goods and ecosystem services. In submontane forests of southwestern Amazonia, we investigated the degree to which tree species important for subsistence and trade contribute to aboveground carbon storage (AGC). We used 41 1-hectare plots to determine the species abundance, basal area, and AGC of stems > 10 cm diameter at breast height (dbh). Economically important taxa were classified using ethnobotanical studies and according to their stem density. These taxa (n = 263) accounted for 45% of total stems, 53% of total basal...
A novel deliberative multicriteria evaluation approach to ecosystem service valuation
22. Juni 2017 Mavrommati, G., Borsuk, M. E., Howarth, R. B. Research
Although efforts to address ecosystem services in decision making have advanced considerably in recent years, there remain challenges related to valuation. In particular, conventional economic approaches have been criticized for their inability to capture the collective nature of ecosystem services, for their emphasis on monetary metrics, and the difficulty of assessing the value of ecosystem services to future generations. We present a deliberative multicriteria evaluation (DMCE) method that combines the advantages of multicriteria decision analysis with a deliberation process that allows...
Transitions between risk management regimes in cities
19. Juni 2017 Solecki, W., Pelling, M., Garschagen, M. Research
Ongoing climate change is encouraging cities to reevaluate their risk management strategies. Urban communities increasingly are being forced to respond to climate shifts with actions that promote resistance, resilience, or even larger scale transformations. Our objective is to present a conceptual framework that facilitates examination of how the transition from one type of risk management strategy or regime to another takes place. The research framework is built around a set of assumptions regarding the process of transition between risk management regimes. The framework includes five...
The Azteca Chess experience: learning how to share concepts of ecological complexity with small coffee farmers
19. Juni 2017 Garc?a-Barrios, L., Cruz-Morales, J., Vandermeer, J., Perfecto, I. Research
Small-scale coffee farmers understand certain complex ecological processes, and successfully navigate some of the challenges emerging from the ecological complexity on their farms. It is generally thought that scientific knowledge is able to complement farmers’ knowledge. However, for this collaboration to be fruitful, the gap between the knowledge frameworks of both farmers and scientists will need to be closed. We report on the learning results of 14 workshops held in Chiapas, Mexico during 2015 in which 117 small-scale coffee farmers of all genders (30% women) and ages who had...
Reconnecting art and science for sustainability: learning from indigenous knowledge through participatory action-research in the Amazon
19. Juni 2017 Athayde, S., Silva-Lugo, J., Schmink, M., Kaiabi, A., Heckenberger, M. Research
Sustainability science focuses on generating and applying knowledge to environmentally sound human development around the world. It requires working toward greater integration of different types of knowledge, ways of knowing, and between academy and society. We contribute to the development of approaches for learning from indigenous knowledge, through enhanced understanding of the system of values, meanings, and relationships afforded by indigenous arts. We focus on a long-term, participatory action research project developed for the revitalization of weaving knowledge among three...
Shared visions, future challenges: a case study of three Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program locations
19. Juni 2017 Walpole, E. H., Toman, E., Wilson, R. S., Stidham, M. Research
The USDA Forest Service is encouraging the restoration of select forest ecosystems through its Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). Collaboration is often necessary to implement landscape-scale management projects such as these, and a substantial body of research has examined the benefits and limitations of using collaboration as a tool for improving relationships, trust, and other outcomes among stakeholder groups. However, limited research has investigated the use of collaboration to achieve large-scale ecological restoration goals. Restoration poses some unique...
Costs, cobenefits, and community responses to REDD+: a case study from Nepal
15. Juni 2017 Sharma, B. P., Shyamsundar, P., Nepal, M., Pattanayak, S. K., Karky, B. S. Research
We examine the role of subnational institutions in carbon sequestration and assess whether community forest user groups can meet both existing forest needs and international carbon demand. By conducting a qualitative evaluation of a pilot program in Nepal that made carbon payments to forest user groups, we examine if community forestry institutions can be effective, efficient, and equitable in implementing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)+. Our evaluation relies on focus group discussions, meetings, and community and program documents of forestry user...
An exploration of sustainability change agents as facilitators of nonformal learning: mapping a moving and intertwined landscape
15. Juni 2017 Van Poeck, K., L?ss?e, J., Block, T. Research
We explore the variety of ways in which change agents try to contribute to sustainable development and how, by doing so, they enable different forms of learning. Drawing on research literature as well as empirical studies, we distinguish a diversity of change agency roles. We then describe and develop an ideal typology of change agents according to how they relate to two fields of tension: that between instrumental vs. open-ended approaches to change and learning, and that between personal detachment vs. involvement. Finally, we compare the developed ideal types, i.e., Technician...

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