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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.
Measuring rural community resilience: case studies in New Zealand and Vermont, USA
12. Januar 2021 Payne, P. R., Kaye-Blake, W. H., Kelsey, A., Brown, M., Niles, M. T. Research
To date, methods for assessing community resilience have focused predominantly on disaster recovery. Those that do focus on broader social-ecological and psychological contexts tend to be qualitative and have not been validated at the community scale. This situation reveals a need for quantitative measurement tools for assessing community resilience to slow-moving change such as rural depopulation or climate change. Our research provides a proof of concept across two diverse contexts, New Zealand and Vermont, USA, that community resilience can be quantified and broken down into dimensions...
Linking landscape attributes to salmon and decision-making in the southern Kenai Lowlands, Alaska, USA
12. Januar 2021 Walker, C. M., Whigham, D. F., Bentz, I., Argueta, J. M., King, R. S., Rains, M. C., Simenstad, C. A., Guo, C., Baird, S., Field, C. J. Research
While Pacific salmon are economically and culturally important worldwide, Alaska, USA is one of the few remaining places on earth where sustainable management of salmon is possible, even in the face of wide-ranging threats, including overharvesting and the impacts of climate change. A continuing challenge that we face is to understand the ecological processes that result in sustainable salmon populations and report that science to stakeholders in a way that promotes decision-making to avoid the destruction of salmon populations that has occurred in most areas of the lower 48 states. To...
The Flow of Peasant Lives: a board game to simulate livelihood strategies and trajectories resulting from complex rural household decisions
29. Dezember 2020 Garc?a-Barrios, L., Rivera-N??ez, T., Cruz-Morales, J., Urdapilleta-Carrasco, J., Castro-Salcido, E., Pe?a-Azcona, I., Mart?nez-L?pez, O., L?pez-Cruz, A., Morales, M., Espinoza, J. Research
Since the 1990s, many of neoliberalism’s policies for growth and development have contributed to the deterioration of living conditions for rural peasants who are marginalized and unwilling or unable to abandon their lands. In every nation in which this phenomenon is prevalent, the resulting impoverishment of rural peasants has motivated numerous academic studies and poverty-alleviation programs. Concurrently, peasants have been developing and modifying their strategies for social reproduction, under conditions that are usually uncertain and restrictive. Here, we describe the design...
Telecoupling visualizations through a network lens: a systematic review
29. Dezember 2020 Sonderegger, G., Oberlack, C., Llopis, J. C., Verburg, P. H., Heinimann, A. Synthesis
Telecoupling is an integrative social-ecological framework that has made important contributions to understanding land change processes in a hyperconnected world. Visualizations are a powerful tool to communicate knowledge about telecoupling phenomena. However, little is known about current practices of telecoupling visualization and the challenges involved in visually displaying connections between multiple social-ecological systems. Our research takes stock of existing telecoupling visualizations and provides recommendations for improving current practices. We systematically review 118...
Toward the development of sustainable ecotourism in Italian national parks of the Apennines: insights from hiking guides
23. Dezember 2020 Poponi, S., Palli, J., Ferrari, S., Filibeck, G., Forte, T. G. W., Franceschini, C., Ruggieri, A., Piovesan, G. Research
National parks in mountain areas are biodiversity hotspots in which implementing the sustainability goals of Agenda 2030 is particularly urgent. Ecotourism provides an opportunity to convey bio-ecological and economic sustainability principles to the public, focusing on nature conservation and a reduction of the negative impacts of tourism. We investigated four national parks in the Apennines, Italy using the insights of hiking guides with park accreditation to assess sustainability issues. Multivariate analyses of questionnaires revealed that most of the interviewed hiking guides across...
Putting machine learning to use in natural resource management—improving model performance
23. Dezember 2020 Frey, U. J. Research
Machine learning models have proven to be very successful in many fields of research. Yet, in natural resource management, modeling with algorithms such as gradient boosting or artificial neural networks is virtually nonexistent. The current state of research on existing applications of machine learning in the field of social-ecological systems is outlined in a systematic literature review. For this purpose, a short introduction on fundamental concepts of neural network modeling is provided. The data set used, a prototypical case study collection of social-ecological systems—the...
Canada and transboundary fisheries management in changing oceans: taking stock, future scenarios
22. Dezember 2020 Sumaila, U., VanderZwaag, D. L. Guest Editorial
This article is the Introduction to the Special Feature entitled: Canada and Transboundary Fisheries Management in Changing Oceans: Taking Stock, Future Scenarios. We summarize the research context of the four papers in the Special Feature.
Transboundary fisheries, climate change, and the ecosystem approach: taking stock of the international law and policy seascape
22. Dezember 2020 Engler, C. Insight
The ecosystem approach to fisheries management is a conceptual and practical framework consistent with, and supportive of, climate change adaptation at the national and regional level. Implementing an ecosystem approach can contribute to climate change adaptation by improving ecosystem resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, by providing planning strategies and tools to monitor and assess the impacts of climate change on fisheries, and by relying on precautionary, flexible, and adaptive approaches that account for the uncertainties, surprises, unpredictability, and dynamism...
Are transboundary fisheries management arrangements in the Northwest Atlantic and North Pacific seaworthy in a changing ocean?
22. Dezember 2020 Koubrak, O., VanderZwaag, D. L. Research
Climate change is affecting physical and biological components and processes of marine ecosystems in many ways. Resulting changes in abundance and distribution of commercially valuable species are anticipated to create or exacerbate challenges for fisheries management across national boundaries by raising questions around catch allocation, membership in the management organizations, and forms of cooperation between the organizations. In this paper we assess eight transboundary fisheries arrangements in the Northwest Atlantic and North Pacific on their preparedness to respond to...
Challenges to transboundary fisheries management in North America under climate change
22. Dezember 2020 Palacios-Abrantes, J., Sumaila, U., Cheung, W. W. L. Research
Climate change is shifting the distribution of fish stocks that straddle between exclusive economic zones (EEZ), challenging transboundary fisheries management. Here, we examine the projected sharing of jointly managed transboundary fish stocks between Canada and the United States. We hypothesize that ocean warming will alter the sharing of fish stocks between the two countries, and that such changes will intensify under a high carbon emission scenario. We look at the specific cases of the International Pacific Halibut Commission that manages Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and a...
Climate change, shifting threat points, and the management of transboundary fish stocks
22. Dezember 2020 Sumaila, U., Palacios-Abrantes, J., Cheung, W. W. L. Research
We apply the concept of threat points in game theory to explore the stability of current joint management arrangements for shared transboundary fish stocks between Canada and the United States. We use three examples to explore the effects of projected impacts of climate change on the productivity and distribution of these stocks between the exclusive economic zones of the two countries. The three stocks that we study are: Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea) within the Gulf of Maine, and Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the Pacific Coast. We...
Institutions and inequality interplay shapes the impact of economic growth on biodiversity loss
21. Dezember 2020 Mirza, M., Richter, A., Van Nes, E. H., Scheffer, M. Research
The latest global assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warns that biodiversity loss can make ecosystems more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and other stressors. Economic growth has been identified as one of the key drivers of these losses, however, the impact pathway may depend on how society organizes economic activity and distributes its benefits. Here we use a global country-level dataset to show how the strength of national institutions and economic inequality in society can mediate the loss of...
Assessing livelihood vulnerability using a Bayesian network: a case study in northern Laos
17. Dezember 2020 Junquera, V., Gr?t-Regamey, A. Research
Agricultural transitions from subsistence to export-oriented production make households more reliant on volatile agricultural commodity markets and can increase households’ exposure to crop price and yield shocks. At the same time, subsistence farming is also highly vulnerable to crop failures. In this work, we define household livelihood vulnerability as the probability of falling under an income threshold. We propose the use of a Bayesian network (BN) to calculate the income distribution based on household and community-level variables. BNs reflect relationships of dependence...
The effects of urban development and current green infrastructure policy on future climate change resilience
16. Dezember 2020 Shade, C., Kremer, P., Rockwell, J. S., Henderson, K. G. Research
Governments around the world are beginning to plan for the effects of climate change. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the city is implementing a variety of green infrastructure practices through the program Green Cities, Clean Waters to meet state and federal stormwater regulations. Though not a current goal of the program, when implemented effectively, a cobenefit of green infrastructure is increased local resilience to potential ecosystem alterations, such as increasing summer temperatures and heavier precipitation, also defined as climate change adaptation. We analyzed the potential...
Trade-offs between benefits and costs of forest proximity: farmers' practices and strategies regarding tree–crop integration and ecosystem disservices management
16. Dezember 2020 Osie, M., Nemomissa, S., Shibru, S., Dalle, G. Research
The impact of ecosystem disservices is among the issues that farmers have to consider in management of livelihoods and local landscapes. We investigated distinct practices developed within local communities in tree–crop integration and strategies to offset disservices. Forty-eight transects (24 at ≤1 km and 24 at ≥3 km from forest edges) were laid in the study sites. Woody and crop species were recorded from a total of 150 homegardens and farm fields along the 48 transects. In addition, farmers (n = 384) were interviewed using a semistructured questionnaire to assess...
Evaluating water quality regulation as a driver of farmer behavior: a social-ecological systems approach
11. Dezember 2020 Hammond Wagner, C. R., Greenhalgh, S., Niles, M. T., Zia, A., Bowden, W. B. Research
Water quality policy for agricultural lands seeks to improve water quality by changing farmer behavior. We investigate farmer behavior in three water quality regimes that differ by rule structure to examine the fit and interplay of each policy within its social-ecological context, important aspects for improving water quality. Vermont, USA’s practice-based policy requires the adoption of specific practices, whereas New Zealand’s Lake Taupo and Lake Rotorua performance-based policies require farmers to meet a numeric limit for nutrient loss on their farm. Across the three regions...
The adaptive cycle and the ecosystem services: a social-ecological analysis of Chilo? Island, southern Chile
10. Dezember 2020 P?rez-Orellana, D. C., Delgado, L. E., Marin, V. H. Research
We used the adaptive cycle as a heuristic to conceptualize the changes in ecosystem services between its phases (growth, conservation, collapse, and reorganization) for Chilo? Island (southern Chile), analyzed as a social-ecological system. We generated hypothetical relationships between services and phases based on literature articles, testing them with secondary databases for 1826–2016 and interviews with local actors. Results show that the island is currently either in a late conservation phase or already in a collapse phase. Only provisioning ecosystem services corresponded with...
“Like the plains people losing the buffalo”: perceptions of climate change impacts, fisheries management, and adaptation actions by Indigenous peoples in coastal British Columbia, Canada
09. Dezember 2020 Whitney, C. K., Frid, A., Edgar, B. K., Walkus, J., Siwallace, P., Siwallace, I. L., Ban, N. C. Research
Rapidly developing and complex climate change impacts have profound implications for coastal communities, demanding adaptation actions for both social and ecological systems. Along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, Indigenous peoples developed a tightly coupled social-ecological system that was interrupted by the arrival of settler colonialism in the 1800s. Although both climate change adaptation and the impacts of colonization have been well studied, little research has examined how these themes interact, and the conditions that may support or prevent people’s ability to adapt...
Perceived availability and access limitations to ecosystem service well-being benefits increase in urban areas
09. Dezember 2020 Lapointe, M., Gurney, G. G., Cumming, G. S. Research
Access mechanisms can determine the benefits that people derive from a given ecosystem service supply. However, compared to ecosystem service availability, access has received little research attention. The relative importance of availability compared to access in limiting ecosystem service benefits is even less well understood. In cities, the observed disconnect between people and nature might result in part from changes in ecosystem service availability and access compared to rural areas. To address these research gaps, we compared perceived limitations to ecosystem service well-being...
The role of collaborative research in learning to incorporate values of the public in social–ecological system governance: case study of bushfire risk planning
03. Dezember 2020 Williams, K. J. H., Ford, R. M., Rawluk, A. Insight
Values of the public are a key and dynamic component of bushfire governance SES. Learning to work with these values is a significant challenge for government and environmental managers and an important aspect of policy transition in many contexts. During such transitions, collaborative research can play a key role in social learning, but this may be particularly challenging for agencies with dominant expertise in technical and ecological domains. We examined how collaborative research supported social learning to incorporate values of the public in bushfire governance in the State of...