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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.
The social dynamics of basins of attraction
Van der Leeuw, S., Folke, C. Insight
In this paper we conceptualize transformations as societal shifts from one basin of attraction to another. Such shifts occur when a society’s information processing system is no longer fit to deal with the dynamics with which the society is involved. To understand when this might be the case, we conceive of a dynamic interaction between two domains, the cognitive one (containing a society’s knowledge, values, language, customs, technology etc. that structure information processing) and the environmental one (consisting of the dynamics of the environment within which a society...
Janssen, M. A., Allen, C. R., Gunderson, L. Editorial
Demographic and psychographic drivers of public acceptance of novel invasive pest control technologies
Eppink, F., Walsh, P. J., MacDonald, E. Research
Invasive mammals are a primary threat to New Zealand’s endemic species. In remote areas, aerial delivery of poison is the preferred method of pest management, although it faces some public backlash. Novel pest control technologies are currently being investigated as alternatives but may face similar concerns. To investigate potential social and demographic determinants of public perceptions of new methods for pest control, we conducted a national choice experiment, focused on several novel technologies: gene drives, Trojan females, and species-specific poisons. We found that...
Spiritual values shape taxonomic diversity, vegetation composition, and conservation status in woodlands of the Northern Zagros, Iran
Shakeri, Z., Mohammadi-Samani, K., Bergmeier, E., Plieninger, T. Research
Sacred groves are under-researched in Muslim countries so that their overall contribution to biodiversity conservation remains unknown. We studied 22 sacred groves and 45 surrounding woodlands in Northern Zagros, Iran, to compare taxonomic diversity, vegetation composition, and the conservation status of plant species. Sacred groves had higher taxonomic diversity and a more valuable species pool by sheltering numerous endangered plant species. Multivariate analysis indicated a substantial difference in the vegetation composition of sacred groves and surrounding woodlands. Traditional...
What does success look like? An indicative rubric to assess and guide the performance of marine participatory processes
Le Heron, E., Allen, W., Le Heron, R., Logie, M., Glavovic, B., Greenaway, A., Hikuroa, D., Davies, K. K., Blackett, P. Research
Multistakeholder participatory processes are essential decision-making elements in contemporary contested marine spaces. Such processes have long time horizons, diverse interests, and complex objectives. Their complex and evolving nature make it difficult for participatory process proponents and participants to adequately plan their processes and to assess performance quality. We position the findings of this paper in the context of participation as place-based, long-term, emergent, and complex processes in Aotearoa New Zealand. We pose the question “what does success look...
What do people value in urban green? Linking characteristics of urban green spaces to users’ perceptions of nature benefits, disturbances, and disservices
Palliwoda, J., Priess, J. A. Research
Now, and in the future, the majority of the world’s population is and will be living in cities. Thus, efficient urban green spaces (UGS), such as urban parks providing ecosystem services, are essential for human well-being. Besides their location, the characteristics of UGS, for example, size, availability of facilities (such as sports infrastructure or benches), and green characteristics, can determine the benefits derived or disturbances and disservices perceived by visitors. Knowing which components of UGS contribute to which benefits can help to meet the various demands of urban...
Do fodder import and credit loans lead to climate resiliency in the pastoral social-ecological system of Inner Mongolia?
Li, Y., Li, W. Research
Mainstream policies encourage pastoralists to apply credit loans and input exogenous fodder to alleviate the stress caused by climatic variability and uncertainty. Such external inputs induce new driving forces to the coupled pastoral social-ecological system (SES), but their long-term impacts are not fully understood. Taking Sonid Left Banner of Inner Mongolia as a case study area, we applied an agent-based model and Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the impacts of fodder import and credit loans on the resilience of pastoral SES in terms of pastoralist household livelihood, livestock...
Uncovering multilayered vulnerability and resilience in rural villages in the Pacific: a case study of Ono Island, Fiji
Medina Hidalgo, D., Nunn, P. D., Beazley, H. Research
Peripheral communities across the Pacific are progressively being recognized as priority areas for the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. A key step in planning and implementing effective adaptation actions is to identify what elements are driving vulnerability and resilience. Building on existing vulnerability and resilience conceptual models, we developed and applied a conceptual framework to identify drivers of vulnerability and resilience in social-ecological systems. By unifying the two concepts of vulnerability and resilience into a single framework, it is...
What does comanagement offer? Exploring users’ knowledge through mental models in the fishery of La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
D'Armengol, L., Ruiz-Mall?n, I., Barnaud, C., Corbera, E. Research
In the context of collaborative resource management, mental models can provide insights on participants’ understanding of the resource management system and in so doing allow researchers and practitioners to derive lessons about the success or failure of comanagement approaches. We analyzed individual and group mental models in the comanaged small-scale fishery of La Encrucijada, Mexico, active since 2009. Mental models reveal a strong consensus around the idea that the comanagement initiative is a government-led partnership to subsidize fishers. This belief reflects a history of...
Accounting for Yolŋu ranger work in the Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area, Australia
Ayre, M. L., Yunupingu, D., Wearne, J., O'Dwyer, C., Vernes, T., Marika, M. Research
Over the past decade, there has been increased international interest in understanding and recognizing the contribution of Indigenous natural and cultural resource management, including Indigenous ranger work, to the sustainable management of social-ecological systems. In Australia, Indigenous rangers are responsible for managing land and seas that represent approximately 44% of the national protected area estate. Governments and other coinvestors seek to evaluate this ranger work and its contribution to biodiversity conservation and other public goods. However, current monitoring and...
Elk conflict with beef and dairy producers poses wildlife management challenges in northern California
Hanbury-Brown, A. R., Stackhouse, J. W., Macaulay, L. T. Research
Large terrestrial wildlife negatively impacts agricultural livelihoods on all continents except Antarctica. There is growing recognition of the need to reconcile these impacts to achieve socially and ecologically sustainable wildlife conservation agendas. Elk populations in northern California are estimated to have doubled in the past 35 years, marking a conservation success, but also increasing forage loss and damage to infrastructure on private land. Wildlife managers are pursuing the goal of increasing elk numbers on public lands, but elk are preferentially utilizing private pasture and...
Systematic learning in water governance: insights from five local adaptive management projects for water quality innovation
Kochsk?mper, E., Koontz, T. M., Newig, J. Research
Adaptive management has been proliferating since the 1970s as a policy approach for dealing with uncertainty in environmental governance through learning. Learning takes place through a cyclical approach of experimentation and (possible) adjustment. However, few empirical studies exist that cover full iterations of adaptive management cycles. We report on five adaptive management projects on water quality enhancement, of which four led to innovations in the small-scale management of waterways in northern Germany. We trace processes as well as outcomes, to identify factors affecting...
Global synthesis reveals that ecosystem degradation poses the primary threat to the world's medicinal animals
Short, M. L., Darimont, C. T. Research
Although overexploitation threatens some high-profile medicinal animals, little is known about global patterns in the use of—and threats to—medicinal animals. We examined data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List and a literature survey to identify a diverse catalog of medicinal animals (n = 1660). Most known species (~77%) are chordates in terrestrial habitats (~72%). Intensity of use generally maps to biodiverse regions with low human development. Most (~63%) species are decreasing, and primary threats relate to habitat loss...
Management of high nature value farmland in the Republic of Ireland: 25 years evolving toward locally adapted results-orientated solutions and payments
Moran, J., Byrne, D., Carlier, J., Dunford, B., Finn, J. A., ? hUallach?in, D., Sullivan, C. A. Synthesis
The effective conservation of high nature value farmland (HNV) will be crucial for the conservation of European and Irish biodiversity, and to meet the growing demand for a wide range of private and public goods and services from farmland. Here, we describe the evolution of policy and management of HNV farmland in the Republic of Ireland over the last 25 years and describe the emerging locally adapted, results-based payment approach that is valorizing a broad range of ecosystem services from these areas, which helps to underpin the future social, ecological, and financial viability of HNV...
Payments for ecosystem services within the hybrid governance model: evaluating policy alignment and complementarity on California rangelands
26. Februar 2021 Buckley Biggs, N., Hafner, J., Mashiri, F. E., Huntsinger, L., Lambin, E. F. Research
Governance of global natural resources is increasingly hybrid, with complementary public and private sector initiatives layered on landscapes to improve environmental outcomes. The challenge of polycentric land use governance is alignment of goals across diverse governance mechanisms when agricultural producers, public agencies, and corporations have distinct motivations. This case study of soil carbon governance on California rangelands explores a new payment for ecosystem services (PES) initiative led by the food and agriculture industry, called the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium...
Understanding the drivers of subsistence poaching in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area: What matters for community wildlife conservation?
18. Februar 2021 Ntuli, H., Sundstr?m, A., Sj?stedt, M., Muchapondwa, E., Jagers, S. C., Linell, A. Research
Although subsistence poaching is a large threat to wildlife conservation in Southern Africa, this behavior is seldom researched. Our understanding of individual and community level factors that drive such behavior is limited because of both lack of data and the literature’s predominant focus on commercial poaching. The main objective of this study is to contribute to this scanty literature by examining the factors that are correlated to subsistence poaching in the Great Limpopo, a transfrontier reserve spanning across Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. We use collected primary...
Lessons learned from synthetic research projects based on the Ostrom Workshop frameworks
18. Februar 2021 Cox, M., Gurney, G. G., Anderies, J. M., Coleman, E., Darling, E., Epstein, G., Frey, U. J., Nenadovic, M., Schlager, E., Villamayor-Tomas, S. Insight
A generalized knowledge of social-ecological relationships is needed to address current environmental challenges. Broadly comparative and synthetic research is a key method for establishing this type of knowledge. To date, however, most work on social-ecological systems has applied idiosyncratic methods to specific systems. Several projects, each based on the frameworks developed by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, stand out for their application of consistent methods across a broad range of cases. In this paper we compare seven of these projects and draw conclusions regarding their potential...
Indigenous peoples and salmon stewardship: a critical relationship
18. Februar 2021 Carothers, C., Black, J., Langdon, S. J., Donkersloot, R., Ringer, D., Coleman, J., Gavenus, E. R., Justin, W., Williams, M., Christiansen, F., Samuelson, J., Stevens, C., Woods, B., Clark, S., Clay, P. M., Mack, L., Raymond-Yakoubian, J., Sanders, A. Akall'eq, Stevens, B. L., Whiting, A. Research
Indigenous Peoples and salmon in the lands now called Alaska have been closely entwined for at least 12,000 years. Salmon continue to be central to the ways of life of Alaska Natives, contributing to physical, social, economic, cultural, spiritual, psychological, and emotional well-being. Salmon have also become important to Alaskan settlers. Our research and advisory team conducted a synthesis of what is known about these diverse human–salmon relationships, drawing on 865 published scientific studies; Indigenous knowledge; state, federal, and tribal data; archival materials; oral...
Grasping darkness: the dark ecological network as a social-ecological framework to limit the impacts of light pollution on biodiversity
17. Februar 2021 Chall?at, S., Barr?, K., Laforge, A., Lapostolle, D., Franchomme, M., Sirami, C., Le Viol, I., Milian, J., Kerbiriou, C. Synthesis
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is nowadays recognized as a major anthropogenic pressure on the environment on a global scale and as such is called light pollution. Through its attractive or deterrent effects, and its disruption of the biological clock for many animal and plant taxa, ALAN is increasingly recognized as a major threat to global biodiversity, which ultimately alters the amount, the quality, and the connectivity of available habitats for taxa. Biodiversity conservation tools should, therefore, include ALAN spatial and temporal effects. The ecological network, i.e., the...
Socioeconomic impacts of resource diversification from small-scale fishery development
12. Februar 2021 Purcell, S. W., Tagliafico, A., Cullis, B. R., Gogel, B. J. Research
The predicted future shortfall in seafood production from tropical small-scale fisheries demands support to help diversify income streams and food production for coastal communities. Livelihood diversification can comprise the enhancement or addition of components to existing fisheries, yet the likely socioeconomic impacts are unclear. With a long history of nondeleterious introductions, the marine snail “trochus” (Rochia nilotica) was introduced to Samoa from 2003 to 2006 to offer a new artisanal fishery resource. Some 15 years later, we surveyed 303 fishers using structured...