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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.
Participatory futures thinking in the African context of sustainability challenges and socio-environmental change
19. Oktober 2021 Johansson, E. Li Research
Futures thinking is a key competency in sustainability studies, and the field is currently experiencing a strong surge in participatory scenario development and visioning approaches. Sub-Saharan Africa has a particularly long history of participatory approaches to development; however, the same participatory approaches have often faced critique for lacking the potential to stimulate empowerment and social change. To explore these contradictions, I systematically review the use of participatory scenario development and visioning in sustainability and socio-environmental change research in...
Archetypal games generate diverse models of power, conflict, and cooperation
15. Oktober 2021 Bruns, B., Kimmich, C. Synthesis
Interdependence takes many forms. We show how three patterns of power generate diverse models for understanding dynamics and transformations in social-ecological systems. Archetypal games trace pathways that go beyond a focus on a few social dilemmas to recognize and understand diversity and complexity in a landscape of social situations, including families of coordination and defection problems. We apply the extended topology of two-person two-choice (2 × 2) games to derive simple archetypes of interdependence that generate models with overlapping opportunities and challenges for...
Building adaptive capacity in a changing Arctic by use of technology
12. Oktober 2021 Schmidt, J. I., Hausner, V. H., Monz, C. Research
Rapid Arctic warming, manifested as thawing permafrost, loss of coastal sea ice, sea level rise, and climate-related extreme events, is particularly challenging for Indigenous people relying on wild food to sustain their livelihood and culture. The adoption of new technologies could provide specific capabilities to confront vulnerabilities associated with fishing and hunting activities, but it could also accentuate existing vulnerabilities of the communities and undermine the generic (i.e., non-specific) adaptive capacities to respond to rapid environmental and socioeconomic changes. We...
Social-ecological resilience in remote mountain communities: toward a novel framework for an interdisciplinary investigation
12. Oktober 2021 Stotten, R., Ambrosi, L., Tasser, E., Leitinger, G. Research
Globally, mountain areas are facing numerous social, economic, and ecological challenges. The interplay of natural and social factors makes them complex social-ecological systems. To investigate a mountain setting in the Austrian Alps, we developed the resilient livelihood framework (RLF), relying on the sustainable livelihood framework and integrating the community resilience and ecosystem services concepts. This novel RLF highlights the basic function of natural capital for economic, social, cultural, and political capital and displays the social valorization and demand of...
"People should also look after the people": relational values of wildlife and collectively titled land in Ilkisongo Maasai group ranches in Southern Kenya
12. Oktober 2021 Unks, R., Goldman, M. J., Mialhe, F., Roque de Pinho, J. Research
Categorically distinct instrumental values and non-instrumental “cultural” values of “nature” are central to ecosystem services assessments and many wildlife conservation interventions alike. However, this approach to understanding the value of nature is at odds with social scientific understandings that see value as produced through social-ecological relations and processes. With a case study of Ilkisongo Maasai land users living in group ranches surrounding Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya, we apply a relational values approach to highlight the processes...
How do Indigenous and local knowledge systems respond to climate change?
12. Oktober 2021 Popovici, R., Moraes, A. G. de L., Ma, Z., Zanotti, L., Cherkauer, K. A., Erwin, A. E., Mazer, K. E., Bocardo Delgado, E. F., Pinto C?ceres, J. P., Ranjan, P., Prokopy, L. S. Research
Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) systems are critical for achieving biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, and other environmental goals. However, ILK systems around the world are increasingly threatened by multiple stressors. Our study assesses the effect of climate change on ILK held by crop farmers in Peru’s Colca Valley. We collected qualitative data on farmers’ ILK through semi-structured interviews, which we supplemented with climatological trend analysis in four Colca Valley districts. We found that shifts in the rainy season together with warmer...
Participation of diverse actors and usage of traditional and local knowledge in local biodiversity strategies and action plans of Japanese municipalities
10. September 2021 Ogawa, M., Soga, M., Yoshida, T. Research
The participation of diverse actors and usage of traditional and local knowledge have been recognized as important for ecosystem management, including local biodiversity strategies and action plans (LBSAPs) implemented in municipalities. Assessing the effects and influences of the participation of diverse actors and usage of traditional and local knowledge requires analyses by a social-ecological system framework. This study aimed to clarify (1) how the participation of diverse actors and the recognition and usage of traditional knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation...
What’s biodiversity got to do with it? Perceptions of biodiversity and restorativeness in urban parks
09. September 2021 Gon?alves, P., Grilo, F., Mendes, R. C., Vierikko, K., Elands, B., Marques, T. A., Santos-Reis, M. Research
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the positive influence of urban biodiversity on dwellers’ well-being is critical to inform sustainable management of urban greenspaces, but studies published to date on the role of biodiversity in mental restoration have provided contradictory results. Both urban greenspace biophysical characteristics and the emotional connection with the place may play a role in mental restoration. Using urban greenspace landscape and biodiversity metrics, and on-site observations and questionnaires to assess site quality and visitors’ perceptions, we...
Ecological and social outcomes of urbanization on regional farming systems: a global synthesis
09. September 2021 Thapa, P., Torralba, M., Buerkert, A., Dittrich, C., Plieninger, T. Synthesis
Though urban land covers only around 0.5% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, urbanization often leads to significant changes in land use and land cover. However, knowledge on the ecological and social outcomes of urbanization is largely fragmented across a multitude of local-level studies. We synthesized the outcomes of urbanization on 15 ecological and social variables associated with regional farming systems, namely water quality, agro-biodiversity, carbon sequestration, control of invasive species, soil fertility, control of soil erosion, pollination, cultural identity, food...
Dehesas as high nature value farming systems: a social-ecological synthesis of drivers, pressures, state, impacts, and responses
09. September 2021 Plieninger, T., Flinzberger, L., Hetman, M., Horstmannshoff, I., Reinhard-Kolempas, M., Topp, E., Moreno, G., Huntsinger, L. Synthesis
Dehesas and montados are Mediterranean agroforestry systems characterized by scattered oak trees with an understory grazed extensively by livestock and, in some cases, periodically cropped. A long history of traditional management practices has created an open woodland widely recognized for rich biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services. Concerns about challenges to their long-term viability have motivated many disparate scientific studies in recent decades. We provide a synthesis of this growing body of international literature, focusing on the links between land use and management...
Comparing adaptive capacity of Arctic communities responding to environmental change
09. September 2021 Berman, M. D., Schmidt, J. I., Kofinas, G. P. Research
Adaptive capacity (AC) is a widely used concept denoting assets or resources that people or a system can draw upon to cope with environmental change. When applied to a community, careful definition and measurement of AC is essential for identifying patterns and generating findings that may be useful for policy and transferable to other places. We identified and compared measures of 22 indicators for eight communities on Alaska’s North Slope, based on consistency with theory, availability of data, and measurable community differences. Despite many cultural and institutional...
The role of socio-demographic characteristics in mediating relationships between people and nature
09. September 2021 Zoeller, K. C., Gurney, G. G., Marshall, N., Cumming, G. S. Research
Research on ecosystem services has focused primarily on questions of availability or supply and often assumes a single human community of identical beneficiaries. However, how people perceive and experience ecosystem services can differ by socio-demographic characteristics such as material wealth, gender, education, and age. Equitable environmental management depends on understanding and accommodating different perceptions of ecosystem services and benefits. We explored how socio-demographic characteristics influence people’s perceptions of birds. We identified morphological and...
Hydrosocial rupture: causes and consequences for transboundary governance
09. September 2021 Miller, M. A., Alfajri, ., Astuti, R., Grundy-Warr, C., Middleton, C., Tan, Z., Taylor, D. M. Synthesis
Unsustainable models of growth-based development are pushing aquatic ecologies outside known historical ranges and destabilizing human activities that have long depended on them. We develop the concept of hydrosocial rupture to explore how human-water resource connections change when they are exposed to cumulative development pressures. The research analyzes stakeholder perceptions of hydrosocial ruptures in two sites in Southeast Asia: (1) peatlands in Riau Province, Indonesia, and (2) Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. In both contexts, capital-driven processes have reconfigured human-water...
The role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in effective and equitable conservation
02. September 2021 Dawson, N. M., Coolsaet, B., Sterling, E. J., Loveridge, R., Gross-Camp, N. D,, Wongbusarakum, S., Sangha, K. K., Scherl, L. M., Phan, H. Phuong, Zafra-Calvo, N., Lavey, W. G., Byakagaba, P., Idrobo, C., Chenet, A., Bennett, N. J., Mansourian, S., Rosado-May, F. J. Synthesis
Debate about what proportion of the Earth to protect often overshadows the question of how nature should be conserved and by whom. We present a systematic review and narrative synthesis of 169 publications investigating how different forms of governance influence conservation outcomes, paying particular attention to the role played by Indigenous peoples and local communities. We find a stark contrast between the outcomes produced by externally controlled conservation, and those produced by locally controlled efforts. Crucially, most studies presenting positive outcomes for both well-being...
Wildfire volunteering and community disaster resilience in New Zealand: institutional change in a dynamic rural social-ecological setting
24. August 2021 Grant, A., Langer, E. (Lisa) Research
Wildfire is a major environmental hazard, yet the social and institutional aspects of wildfire risk management have received limited attention in the literature. Considering future climate change, changing demographics, and the increased demands on fire services more generally, there is an urgent need to better understand the significance of volunteers in emergency management. Volunteering brings together community actors and formal institutions in responding to natural hazards including wildfires. In this paper, we use systemic co-inquiry with volunteer leaders to better understand how to...
Limited knowledge flow among stakeholders of critically endangered renosterveld in South Africa
24. August 2021 Burghardt, S., Topp, E. N., Esler, K. J., Loos, J. Research
Despite its status as a biodiversity hotspot, the renosterveld ecosystem within the Greater Cape Floristic Region, South Africa, widely lacks the implementation of measures for biodiversity conservation in the Swartland, even though management plans exist. Though formally protected by law, most renosterveld remnants occur on privately owned agricultural land and therefore depend on private land management. Effective measures, and therefore, effective management of renosterveld for conservation, require various forms of knowledge, including scientific and technical knowledge. Knowledge...
Participatory planning for local sustainability guided by the Sustainable Development Goals
24. August 2021 Szetey, K., Moallemi, E. A., Ashton, E., Butcher, M., Sprunt, B., Bryan, B. A. Research
To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), actions are required at all global, national, and local scales. To ensure coordination between scales, local actions need to be carefully planned to be aligned with global and national priorities. Local planning for sustainability must be adaptive and heterogeneous but also consistent and driven by the community. We describe an approach to co-create a local sustainability plan using the SDGs for a rural community in southeastern Australia using participatory techniques for co-creation, data collection, and review. The...
Social and environmental change in the Arctic: emerging opportunities for well-being transformations through stewardship
12. August 2021 Chapin, III, F. Guest Editorial
Challenges to understanding nonmaterial dimensions of human-nature connections, and how to address them
06. August 2021 Gould, R. K., Schultz, P. Insight
Research on the nonmaterial aspects of human-nature connections has grown steadily in recent years, yet efforts to understand nonmaterial connections between individuals and nature confront myriad challenges. We describe a set of three assumptions inherent in research on human-nature connections: (1) that the conceptions researchers are measuring exist inside a person’s head; (2) that individuals can express these conceptions (in words or otherwise); and (3) that individuals express these conceptions honestly when asked by researchers. We frame each of these assumptions as challenges...
Driving factors behind subjective resilience on organic dairy sheep farms
06. August 2021 Perrin, A., Martin, G. Research
Organic sheep milk production under a protected designation of origin for Roquefort cheese in Aveyron, France, has developed over the past several years. This niche market provides farmers with a favorable economic context due to high and stable milk prices. However, a variety of risks threatens this favorable context. This raises questions about driving factors behind resilience of organic dairy sheep farms. Unlike previous studies, we assessed the subjective resilience of farms from the perspective of farmers. We assumed that the maintenance or improvement of farmers' satisfaction...