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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.
EVOLvINC: EValuating knOwLedge INtegration Capacity in multistakeholder governance
28. Juni 2019 Hitziger, M., Aragrande, M., Berezowski, J. A., Canali, M., Del Rio Vilas, V., Hoffmann, S., Igrejas, G., Keune, H., Lux, A., Bruce, M., Palenberg, M. A., Pohl, C., Radeski, M., Richter, I., Robledo Abad, C., Salerno, R. H., Savic, S., Schirmer, J., Vogler, B. R., R?egg, S. R. Synthesis
Research and policy processes in many fields, such as sustainability and health, are increasingly relying on transdisciplinary cooperation among a multitude of governmental, nongovernmental, and private actors from local to global levels. In the absence of hierarchical chains of command, multistakeholder governance may accommodate conflicting or diverse interests and facilitate collective action, but its effectiveness depends on its capacity to integrate systems, transformation, and target knowledge. Approaches to foster such governance are nascent and quickly evolving, and methodological...
The Andean Condor as bird, authority, and devil: an empirical assessment of the biocultural keystone species concept in the high Andes of Chile
28. Juni 2019 Jacques-Coper, A., Cubillos, G., Ibarra, J. Research
Biocultural keystone species have been suggested for different societies, but there has been little empirical evaluation of their role in the face of rapid socio-environmental changes. The Aymara people of northern Chile have experienced historical and contemporary processes that have modified their culture and relationship with nature. The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) has previously been proposed as a biocultural keystone species for traditional Andean societies. We evaluate the validity of this assertion in the light of the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of today’s Aymara...
How to build a cross-disciplinary institute: the curious case of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies
24. Juni 2019 Scheffer, M., Mazzeo, N. Invited Manuscripts
There is no recipe for setting up a new institute, especially if it is meant to be different from anything that currently exists. Here, we give a look behind the scenes at how we dreamt up the transdisciplinary South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Science (SARAS), located in Uruguay, and how, with help from a network of renowned freethinkers and dedicated doers, we made it happen. Trying to shape the institute over the first decade, we learned 10 important lessons that may be helpful for others in similar situations. (1) Securing a stable budget is essential, but a...
Evolving interest and sense of self in an environmental citizen science program
24. Juni 2019 He, Y., Parrish, J. K., Rowe, S., Jones, T. Research
Citizen science is a growing phenomenon across many branches of environmental science facilitating both increased science literacy and the collection of highly rigorous, longitudinal data.? Understanding the motivations of adults to join and remain active in citizen science programs is important as the diversity and abundance of opportunities for public participation in science grow.? We conducted a mixed-methods study of newly recruited and “seasoned” (1 year plus) participants in the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, a hands-on, environmental citizen science...
Collective factors drive individual invasive species control behaviors: evidence from private lands in Montana, USA
24. Juni 2019 Lubeck, A. A., Metcalf, A. L., Beckman, C. L., Yung, L., Angle, J. W. Research
Invasive terrestrial plants globally threaten agricultural and natural systems. Prolific dispersal mechanisms enable “weeds” to colonize across ownership boundaries, constituting a collective action problem where effective control requires contributions from multiple actors. Researchers have long recognized the cross-boundary nature of weed control, yet most studies have focused on whether actor-specific characteristics, such as sociodemographics and cognition, influenced individual weed control behaviors. More recent work has begun to explore the drivers of communal control...
Improving problem definition and project planning in complex natural resource management problem situations using knowledge brokers and visual design principles
21. Juni 2019 Beratan, K. K. Insight
Collaborative adaptive management (CAM) has proved difficult to implement successfully. Insufficient attention to the problem definition process contributes to disappointing outcomes because that step sets the problem-solving approach and the attitudes of key partners. The exploratory problem assessment (EA) approach is a practical and cost-effective way for CAM project managers to learn enough about a problem situation quickly enough to identify critical partners and incorporate their input into problem definition and project planning. EA is a facilitated conceptual modeling approach...
Explaining path-dependent rigidity traps: increasing returns, power, discourses, and entrepreneurship intertwined in social-ecological systems
18. Juni 2019 M?ndez, P. F., Amezaga, J. M., Santamar?a, L. Research
The current, unprecedented rate of human development is causing major damages to Earth’s life-support systems. Therefore, the need for transitions toward sustainability in the use of natural resources and ecosystems has been extensively advocated. To be successful, such transitions must be guided by a sound understanding of the architecture of the policy and institutional designs of both the process of change and the target outcome. Here, we contribute to current research on the institutional conditions necessary for successful transitions toward sustainability in social-ecological...
Complexity fosters learning in collaborative adaptive management
18. Juni 2019 Fern?ndez-Gim?nez, M. E., Augustine, D. J., Porensky, L. M., Wilmer, H., Derner, J. D., Briske, D. D., Stewart, M. O. Research
Learning is recognized as central to collaborative adaptive management (CAM), yet few longitudinal studies examine how learning occurs in CAM or apply the science of learning to interpret this process. We present an analysis of decision-making processes within the collaborative adaptive rangeland management (CARM) experiment, in which 11 stakeholders use a structured CAM process to make decisions about livestock grazing and vegetation management for beef, vegetation, and wildlife objectives. We analyzed four years of meeting transcripts, stakeholder communications, and biophysical...
Adaptation finance archetypes: local governments’ persistent challenges of funding adaptation to climate change and ways to overcome them
18. Juni 2019 Moser, S. C., Ekstrom, J. A., Kim, J., Heitsch, S. Research
Faced with increasing climate extremes and climate change impacts, local governments in California are eager to advance their adaptation measures and build local resilience. However, as previous studies and day-to-day interactions with local leaders make clear, identifying ways to resource adaptation is one of the most significant barriers to progress. This paper draws on selected findings from a study that aimed to better describe the nature of the adaptation finance challenges local governments face so as to find ways to overcome them. Building on initial findings from an online survey...
Synthesizing plausible futures for biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe and Central Asia using scenario archetypes
18. Juni 2019 Harrison, P. A., Harm?čkov?, Z. V., Aloe Karabulut, A., Brotons, L., Cantele, M., Claudet, J., Dunford, R. W., Guisan, A., Holman, I. P., Jacobs, S., Kok, K., Lobanova, A., Mor?n-Ord??ez, A., Pedde, S., Rixen, C., Santos-Mart?n, F., Schlaepfer, M. A., Solidoro, C., Sonrel, A., Hauck, J. Synthesis
Scenarios are a useful tool to explore possible futures of social-ecological systems. The number of scenarios has increased dramatically over recent decades, with a large diversity in temporal and spatial scales, purposes, themes, development methods, and content. Scenario archetypes generically describe future developments and can be useful in meaningfully classifying scenarios, structuring and summarizing the overwhelming amount of information, and enabling scientific outputs to more effectively interface with decision-making frameworks. The Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity...
Archetype analysis in sustainability research: meanings, motivations, and evidence-based policy making
18. Juni 2019 Oberlack, C., Sietz, D., B?rgi Bonanomi, E., De Bremond, A., Dell'Angelo, J., Eisenack, K., Ellis, E. C., Epstein, G., Giger, M., Heinimann, A., Kimmich, C., Kok, M. TJ, Manuel-Navarrete, D., Messerli, P., Meyfroidt, P., V?clav?k, T., Villamayor-Tomas, S. Synthesis
Archetypes are increasingly used as a methodological approach to understand recurrent patterns in variables and processes that shape the sustainability of social-ecological systems. The rapid growth and diversification of archetype analyses has generated variations, inconsistencies, and confusion about the meanings, potential, and limitations of archetypes. Based on a systematic review, a survey, and a workshop series, we provide a consolidated perspective on the core features and diverse meanings of archetype analysis in sustainability research, the motivations behind it, and its policy...
Archetypical pathways of direct and indirect land-use change caused by Cambodia’s economic land concessions
18. Juni 2019 Magliocca, N. R., Khuc, Q. Van, Ellicott, E. A., De Bremond, A. Research
In the global South, a rush of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) is occurring by governments and transnational and domestic investors seeking to secure access to land in developing countries to produce food, biofuels, and other agricultural commodities. Complex interactions between regional and global market dynamics and local institutional, socioeconomic, and agro-ecological conditions can lead to widely varying causal processes, land-use change (LUC), and socioeconomic and environmental outcomes. Systematic understanding of how characteristics of LSLAs across multiple social and...
A wider view of assessments of ecosystem services in coastal areas: the perspective of social-ecological complexity
17. Juni 2019 Sol?, L., Ariza, E. Synthesis
Through complex interactions and feedback processes between coastal ecological and social components at different temporal and spatial scales, coastal environments coproduce a range of ecosystem services (ES) and benefit different social groups. In these highly populated areas, multiple actors, interests, and activities coexist, leading to intensified conflicts between stakeholders. The research presented here aims to understand how coastal social-ecological complexity is studied within coastal ES literature. A systematic review of the literature consisting of 199 manuscripts was performed...
Urban resilience building in modern development: a case of Phnom Penh City, Cambodia
17. Juni 2019 Nop, S., Thornton, A. Research
Although the process of building urban resilience is increasingly and globally promoted, we consider this concept, and the approaches to achieve it, as particularly challenging for cities in developing countries. We argue that current market-oriented processes of urban upgrading reflect a revival of modernization concepts that, as a consequence, is deepening inequality and limiting adaptive capacities of people to cope with livelihood disruptions resulting from natural disasters and climate change. Efforts in building urban resilience thus become more difficult for marginalized urban...
Applying three distinct metrics to measure people’s perceptions of resilience
11. Juni 2019 Uehara, T., Tsuge, T., Onuma, A. Research
Resilience management is gaining support as resilience studies proliferate. Quantification of resilience could help decision makers understand the complex dynamics of resilience and adopt resilience management. However, most quantifications have focused on resilience as an attribute of social-ecological systems, such as thresholds and safe operating spaces. Although informative for planning and implementing effective resilience management, they do not inform decision makers if people accept and support this management. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how people perceive resilience...
The constitution of hydrosocial power: agribusiness and water scarcity in Ica, Peru
06. Juni 2019 Damonte, G. H. Research
During the 2000s, the Ica region, located on the Peruvian coast, gained notoriety as the main stage of what the media and politicians called the “agricultural export miracle.” The exponential growth of nontraditional exports that ensued, along with the rising importance of the agroindustry in generating foreign currency, led to the emergence of an agribusiness elite as an important new social actor. Through a range of strategies aimed at consolidating and expanding its power over state and nonstate actors, the agribusiness elite has been able to overexploit scarce groundwater...
Water community networks and the appropriation of neoliberal practices: social technology, depoliticization, and resistance
06. Juni 2019 Dupuits, E. Research
In the 1990s, various attempts to privatize water services in Latin America came from international financial institutions. Several social movements emerged to protest against privatization, especially from community and indigenous organizations collectively managing their water resources. Recent contestations are arising against extractivist states that aim to strengthen their control on strategic water resources for development purposes. Somewhat paradoxically, many water community networks have recently adopted an increasingly technical framing to be included in national decision-making...
Forests expand as livestock pressure declines in subtropical South America
06. Juni 2019 Bernardi, R. E., Buddeberg, M., Arim, M., Holmgren, M. Research
Forests, savannas, and grasslands are prevalent across the landscapes of South America. Land uses associated with these ecosystems have influenced economies from household to country scales, shaping social-ecological organization across the region since pre-Hispanic societies. Recent studies suggest that tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and forests represent alternative ecosystem states. Transitions between these ecosystem states can be promoted by changes in disturbance regimes and by land uses determined by the organization of societies and their activities. We analyzed how...
Types of urban agricultural stakeholders and their understandings of governance
06. Juni 2019 Piso, Z., Goralnik, L., Libarkin, J. C., Lopez, M. Research
Urban agriculture is a significant driver of urban sustainability and resilience, yet the contribution of urban agriculture to resilience is complicated by governance systems that require further investigation. This study deploys a mixed-methods approach to investigate the agricultural values and understandings of urban agricultural governance among farmers, garden leaders, and other actors in urban agriculture in Lansing, Michigan. Drawing from semistructured interviews and Q-methodology, agricultural values are used to identify four types of urban agriculture stakeholders: urban...
Ecosystem size predicts social-ecological dynamics
16. Mai 2019 Kaemingk, M. A., Chizinski, C. J., Allen, C. R., Pope, K. L. Research
Recreational fisheries are complex adaptive systems that are inherently difficult to manage because of heterogeneous user groups (consumptive vs. nonconsumptive) that use patchily distributed resources on the landscape (lakes, rivers, coastlines). There is a need to identify which system components can effectively predict and be used to manage nonlinear and cross-scale dynamics within these systems. We examine how ecosystem size or water body size can be used to explain complicated and elusive angler-resource dynamics in recreational fisheries. Water body size determined angler behavior...