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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.
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...
Clam hunger and the changing ocean: characterizing social and ecological risks to the Quinault razor clam fishery using participatory modeling
16. Mai 2019 Crosman, K. M., Petrou, E. L., Rudd, M. B., Tillotson, M. D. Research
On the outer coast of Washington state, traditional lifestyles are closely entwined with the marine resources affected by ocean change, e.g., ocean warming, ocean acidification, fishing, coastal development, etc. Our research explores how ongoing ocean change may challenge the social-ecological system surrounding the Quinault Indian Nation’s razor clam (Siliqua patula) harvest. We conducted semistructured interviews with Quinault tribal members, scientists, and resource managers to build a conceptual model of the social-ecological system, which we use to (1) understand the emergent...
Collaborative governance: a tool to manage scientific, administrative, and strategic uncertainties in environmental management?
14. Mai 2019 Ulibarri, N. Research
Although uncertainty is a fundamental feature and challenge of environmental governance, the literature on how policy makers and resource managers can act effectively under that uncertainty is scarce. The focus is on managing scientific uncertainty, a lack of knowledge about the causes or consequences of an environmental problem or decision, when many other types of uncertainty can have drastic effects on decision makers’ ability to make timely, rational, or even satisficing decisions. Moreover, although suggestions on how to manage these uncertainties often revolve around...
Linking equity, power, and stakeholders’ roles in relation to ecosystem services
13. Mai 2019 Vallet, A., Locatelli, B., Levrel, H., Dendoncker, N., Barnaud, C., Quispe Conde, Y. Research
The issues of power and equity are gaining attention in research on ecosystem services (ESs). Stakeholders benefiting from ESs are not necessarily able or authorized to participate in ES management. Thus, we have proposed an analytical framework to identify and qualify stakeholders’ roles in relation to ES flows. Building on existing frameworks in the ES literature, we aimed to unravel the different direct and indirect management contributions to ES flows and link them to ES benefits. Direct management targets the functioning of ecosystems, the flows of services, and the benefits...
Land-use elements and attributed ecosystem services: an archetype approach to land-use evaluation at the German North Sea coast
10. Mai 2019 Karrasch, L., Klenke, T., Kleyer, M. Research
The ecosystem services concept has been introduced as a decisive approach to include ecosystem functioning in land-use planning and stakeholder-driven sustainable development. Early integration of stakeholders in participatory processes in the nexus of ecosystem services, climate adaption, and land-use management is still a demanding challenge. This investigation followed a cognitive approach to archetype analysis. We defined cognitive archetypes as recurrent patterns in individual perceptions of social-ecological relations. Our aim was to identify cognitive archetypes based on...
Peatland and wetland ecosystems in Peruvian Amazonia: indigenous classifications and perspectives
30. April 2019 Schulz, C., Mart?n Bra?as, M., N??ez P?rez, C., Del Aguila Villacorta, M., Laurie, N., Lawson, I. T., Roucoux, K. H. Research
Many indigenous people hold detailed ecological knowledge about their environment and have developed complex classifications of ecosystem types in their own languages. These classification systems may be based on characteristics including the availability of key resources, salient plant species, and cultural factors, among others. Indigenous environmental knowledge has been of interest to (ethno-)ecologists, geographers, anthropologists, and other scientists looking to learn from indigenous people, especially in newly emerging research topics. We identified and interpreted an ecosystem...
Deliberative multiattribute valuation of ecosystem services across a range of regional land-use, socioeconomic, and climate scenarios for the upper Merrimack River watershed, New Hampshire, USA
25. April 2019 Borsuk, M. E., Mavrommati, G., Samal, N. R., Zuidema, S., Wollheim, W., Rogers, S. H., Thorn, A. M., Lutz, D., Mineau, M., Grimm, C., Wake, C. P., Howarth, R., Gardner, K. Research
We evaluate the relative desirability of alternative futures for the upper Merrimack River watershed in New Hampshire, USA based on the value of ecosystem services at the end of the 21st century as gauged by its present-day inhabitants. This evaluation is accomplished by integrating land-use and socioeconomic scenarios, downscaled climate projections, biogeophysical simulation models, and the results of a citizen-stakeholder deliberative multicriteria evaluation. We find that although there are some trade-offs between alternative plausible futures, for the most part, it can be expected...
Identifying past social-ecological thresholds to understand long-term temporal dynamics in Spain
25. April 2019 Santos-Mart?n, F., Gonz?lez Garc?a-Mon, B., Gonz?lez, J. A., Iniesta-Arandia, I., Garc?a-Llorente, M., Montes, C., Ravera, F., L?pez-Santiago, C. A., Carpintero, ?., Benayas, J., Mart?n-L?pez, B. Research
A thorough understanding of long-term temporal social-ecological dynamics at the national scale helps to explain the current condition of a country’s ecosystems and to support environmental policies to tackle future sustainability challenges. We aimed to develop a methodological approach to understand past long-term (1960-2010) social-ecological dynamics in Spain. First, we developed a methodical framework that allowed us to explore complex social-ecological dynamics among biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being, drivers of change, and institutional responses. Second, we...
A systems thinking approach for eliciting mental models from visual boundary objects in hydropolitical contexts: a case study from the Pilcomayo River Basin
25. April 2019 Walters, R. S., Kenzie, E. S., Metzger, A. E., Baltutis, W., Chakrabarti, K. B., Hirsch, S. Lee, Laursen , B. K. Insight
Transboundary collaborations related to international freshwater are critical for ensuring equitable, efficient, and sustainable shared access to our planet’s most fundamental resources. Visual artifacts, such as knowledge maps, functioning as boundary objects, are used in hydropolitical contexts to convey understandings and facilitate discussion across scales about challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives. Such focal points for discussion are valuable in creating shared, socially negotiated priorities and integrating diverse and often disparate cultural perspectives...
Resilience in social-ecological systems: identifying stable and unstable equilibria with agent-based models
25. April 2019 Van Strien, M. J., Huber, S. H., Anderies, J. M., Gr?t-Regamey, A. Research
To determine the resilience of complex social-ecological systems (SESs) it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the system behavior under changing political, economic, and environmental conditions (i.e., external system stressors). Such behavior can be predicted if one knows the stable and unstable equilibrium states in a system and how these equilibria react to changes in the system stressors. The state of the system rapidly or gradually changes either toward (i.e., stable equilibrium) or away from (i.e., unstable equilibrium) an equilibrium. However, the equilibrium states in...
Subjective evaluations of ecosystem services and disservices: an approach to creating and analyzing robust survey scales
25. April 2019 Larson, K. L., Corley, E. A., Andrade, R., Hall, S. J., York, A. M., Meerow, S., Coseo, P., Childers, D. L., Hondula, D. M. Insight
Research on ecosystem services (ES) has largely focused on the ecological functions that produce services or the economic valuation of the benefits provided by ecosystems. Far less research has examined public perceptions of ES, and more so ecosystem disservices (EDS), despite evidence that ecosystem properties and functions can produce beneficial or detrimental outcomes for human well-being. To address this gap, we present a robust approach to measuring beliefs about ecosystem services and disservices. With various means to confirm the validity and reliability of ES and EDS measures, we...
Degrees of change toward polycentric transboundary water governance: exploring the Columbia River and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project
24. April 2019 Baltutis, W., Moore, M. Research
Complex challenges emerging in transboundary river basins reveal a need to include a range of interests and actors in governance processes. Polycentric governance is one framework that can address this need and inform adaptive and resilient governance processes in transboundary basins as linked social and ecological systems. Here, we explore whether and how nonstate actors might be contributing to a shift in governance toward polycentric systems for the Columbia River (Canada/USA) and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (Lesotho/South Africa). Using data gathered from 60 in-depth...
Identifying and categorizing stakeholders for protected area expansion around a national park in Namibia
24. April 2019 Mannetti, L. M., G?ttert, T., Zeller, U., Esler, K. J. Research
Protected areas and adjacent landscapes are increasingly being viewed as integrated. A more general awareness is emerging of the relevance of collectively managed landscapes for conservation and human well-being. In Namibia, areas dedicated to conservation are increasing because of the proliferation of conservancies and game reserves. Management toward integrated conservation in these landscapes involves land use practices variably dedicated to wildlife management and the inclusion of land owners and resource users in the decision-making process. We use stakeholder analysis to identify...
The promises and pitfalls of ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change as a vehicle for social empowerment
22. April 2019 Woroniecki, S., Wamsler, C., Boyd, E. Synthesis
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to climate change is an approach claimed to deliver social benefits relevant to marginalized groups. Based on a structured literature review, we interrogate such claims, asking whether such approaches may (or may not) contribute to social change and, more specifically, empowerment. We present a review of the predominant meaning and interlinkages of the EbA and empowerment concepts, which shows that EbA pays insufficient attention to issues of empowerment and agency. On this basis, we discuss how an empowerment lens could be (better) integrated into the...
Adoption and diffusion of technical capacity-building innovations by small-scale artisanal fishers in Fiji
13. April 2019 MacKeracher, T., Foale, S. J., Gurney, G. G., Purcell, S. W. Research
Adoption of innovations by farmers and fishers can depend on factors specific to both individuals and their social contexts. Research on the adoption and diffusion of innovations promoted through capacity-building training can provide lessons to support the design and implementation of future development programs. We assess the adoption, diffusion, and outcomes of a livelihoods training program focused on improving postharvest handling and processing of sea cucumbers in 29 coastal villages in Fiji. One year after delivery of the training program, we conducted interviews with sea cucumber...
How ecosystem services and agroecology are greening French agriculture through its reterritorialization
12. April 2019 Arnauld de Sartre, X., Charbonneau, M., Charrier, O. Research
Even if agroecology and ecosystem services are multidimensional framework concepts, recognizing the technical, social, and ecological dimensions of agriculture, they have developed from different traditions (conservation biology for ecosystem services, agronomy for agroecology). We compare in a specific French region how these frameworks are interpreted through two different instruments of French agricultural policy inspired by ecosystem services (the agroenvironmental measures of the common agricultural policy) and by agroecology principles (the economic and environmental interest groups...
Integrating fisheries management into sustainable development planning
12. April 2019 Arkema, K. K., Rogers, L. A., Toft, J., Mesher, A., Wyatt, K. H., Albury-Smith, S., Moultrie, S., Ruckelshaus, M. H., Samhouri, J. Research
Scientific understanding of coupled social-ecological systems has grown considerably in recent years, especially for fisheries and ocean management. However, few studies test the utility of approaches that capture multiple interactions between people and ecosystems within a real-world planning process. We developed a set of quantitative models that estimate catch and revenue from the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery as a function of coastal habitat extent and quality. We applied the models iteratively, with input from stakeholders, to assess fisheries outcomes of...
The potential of models and modeling for social-ecological systems research: the reference frame ModSES
Schl?ter, M., M?ller, B., Frank, K. Research
Dynamic models have long been a common tool to support management of ecological and economic systems and played a prominent role in the early days of resilience research. Model applications have largely focused on policy assessment, the development of optimal management strategies, or analysis of system stability. However, modeling can serve many other purposes such as understanding system responses that emerge from complex interactions of system components, supporting participatory processes, and analyzing consequences of human behavioral complexity. The diversity of purposes, types, and...
Connecting policy change, experimentation, and entrepreneurs: advancing conceptual and empirical insights
McFadgen, B. K. Research
With global environmental problems worsening, policy makers and nonstate actors are looking for viable solutions through policy innovation, entrepreneurship, and experimentation. Research into the use of experiments to innovate is increasing, but the role of experimentation in policy change has yet to be specifically addressed in the context of climate governance. My aim is to improve understanding by examining how entrepreneurs, key agents of change, might use experiments to advance their climate innovations. Policy entrepreneurs can benefit in several ways from using experiments...
What makes collaborative water governance partnerships resilient to policy change? A comparative study of two cases in Ecuador
Cisneros, P. Research
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to water and sanitation mandate the implementation of collaborative approaches to water governance to secure water for all by 2030. The implementation of collaborative governance requires the adoption of supportive regulations, resources, and the development of capable public sector institutions. In recent years, several countries in Latin America have introduced reforms to their water codes to promote collaborative water governance. However, our knowledge of the outcomes of these reforms is still in its infancy, in particular on how they...