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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.
How Mongolian herders perceive ecological change in a “stable” landscape
13. Mai 2021 Gantuya, B., Bir?, M., Moln?r, ?., Avar, ?., Sharifian Bahraman, A., Babai, D., Moln?r, Z. Research
Recently, climate change has had a considerable impact on rangelands, available forage, and shifting boundaries of ecological zones in Mongolia. Additionally, long-term studies in the forest-steppe zone show that increasing livestock pressure impacts vegetation composition and cover. Evidence shows that the traditional ecological knowledge of Mongolian herders can serve as a valuable body of information relevant to observations about these ongoing ecological processes. Among other things, a deeper understanding of how herders perceive ecological changes would be useful for improving...
Assessment of urban resilience based on the transformation of resource-based cities: a case study of Panzhihua, China
12. Mai 2021 Yang, Y., Fang, Y., Xu, Y., Zhang, Y. Research
Long-term development of resource utilization has caused a series of economic, social, and ecological problems in resource-based cities (RBCs). Thus, in pursuit of sustainable urban development, many RBCs have begun seriously pursuing urban transformation and have achieved good results. However, the RBCs' urban resilience also exhibits evident stage characteristics throughout the processes of urban transformation. Herein, we constructed an evaluation index system to measure the urban resilience of Panzhihua, China and analyzed the resilience time-varying characteristics and...
Integrating emotional affect into bear viewing management and bear safety education
12. Mai 2021 Nettles, J. M., Brownlee, M. T. J., Hallo, J. C., Jachowski, D. S., Sharp, R. L. Research
The popularity of viewing wildlife, specifically brown bears (Ursus arctos), is increasing rapidly throughout North America. In addition, population distributions of both humans and brown bears are expanding, creating larger areas of overlap and an increased possibility of human-bear interactions. In order to prevent negative encounters and injury to either species, park managers must continue to work to encourage appropriate behavior among local citizens as well as park visitors. Human behavior, however, is a result of many complex factors, including emotion and cognition. Despite this...
Enacting shared responsibility in biosecurity governance: insights from adaptive governance
12. Mai 2021 Rawluk, A., Beilin, R., Lavau, S. Insight
Amidst an increasingly complex global environment of trade and travel, with heightened concerns for the unintended or deliberate spread of species and diseases, biosecurity is a key policy goal in many parts of the world. In Australia, there is concern that invasive species (plants, animals, and diseases) enter, spread, and establish, threatening local industries such as agriculture, as well as human health and biodiversity. Shared responsibility for biosecurity is a recent policy direction that has gained great traction but requires improved conceptual and practical clarity in how local...
Quantifying the transient shock response of dynamic agroecosystem variables for improved socio-environmental resilience
12. Mai 2021 Carper, J. M., Alizadeh, M., Adamowski, J. F., Inam, A., Malard, J. J. Research
In classic resilience thinking, there is an implicit focus on controlling functional variation to maintain system stability. Modern approaches to resilience thinking deal with complex, adaptive system dynamics and true uncertainty; these contemporary frameworks involve the process of learning to live with change and make use of the consequences of transformation and development. In a socio-environmental context, the identification of metrics by which resilience can be effectively and reliably measured is fundamental to understanding the unique vulnerabilities that characterize coupled...
Investing in the commons: transient welfare creates incentives despite open access
11. Mai 2021 Ziegler, J. P., Jardine, S. L., Jones, S. E., Van Poorten, B. T., Janssen, M. A., Solomon, C. T. Research
Local users may invest in managing common pool resources, thereby promoting social and ecological resilience. Institutional or economic limits on access are regarded as essential preconditions for incentivizing local investments, but we show that investment incentives can exist even under open access. We modeled a recreational harvest fishery in which local or centralized managers invest in fish stocking to maximize social welfare. Although classic open access dissipation of rents occurs at equilibrium, the sluggish response of fishing effort to changing conditions allows welfare to accrue...
Mitigating the impacts of fragmented land tenure through community-based institutional innovations: two case study villages from Guinan County of Qinghai Province, China
11. Mai 2021 Gongbuzeren, ., Zhang, J., Zhuang, M., Zhang, J., Huntsinger, L. Research
The privatization of collectively used rangelands results in fragmentation of land use in pastoral areas. This affects pastoralists’ grazing strategies and results in new institutional arrangements for addressing changing social-ecological systems. Two main systems of grazing management have emerged in the pastoral regions of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau that offer new perspectives on addressing rangeland fragmentation. One allows the renting of parcels of allocated grazing land to or from others (RTS) and is based on having fenced contracted parcels for each household. The other is a...
Ecological and financial strategies provide complementary benefits for smallholder climate resilience: insights from a simulation model
11. Mai 2021 Williams, T. G., Dressler, G., Stratton, A., M?ller, B. Research
Researchers and development organizations regularly grapple with competing ecological and financial strategies for building climate resilience in smallholder agricultural systems, but rarely are such approaches considered in tandem. Using a social-ecological simulation model, we explored how different combinations of legume cover cropping, an ecological insurance, and index-based crop insurance, a financial insurance, affect the climate resilience of mixed crop-livestock smallholder farmers over time. The model simulates interactions between soil nutrient dynamics, crop yields, and...
Semi-natural habitats in boreal Europe: a rise of a social-ecological research agenda
05. Mai 2021 Herzon, I., Raatikainen, K. J., Wehn, S., Rūsiņa, S., Helm, A., Cousins, S. A. O., Rašomavičius, V. Research
The European continent contains substantial areas of semi-natural habitats, mostly grasslands, which are among the most endangered habitats in Europe. Their continued existence depends on some form of human activity, for either production or conservation purposes, or both. We examined the share of semi-natural grasslands within the general grassland areas in boreal Europe. We reviewed research literature across the region to compile evidence on semi-natural grasslands and other semi-natural habitats, such as wooded pastures, in respect to a range of topics such as ecology, land-use change...
Payments for ecosystem services: a review of definitions, the role of spatial scales, and critique
04. Mai 2021 Kaiser, J., Haase, D., Krueger, T. Synthesis
The economic conservation instrument of payments for ecosystem services (PES) enjoys an increasing popularity among scientists, politicians, and civil society organizations alike, while others raise concerns regarding the ecological effectiveness and social justice of this instrument. In this review article, we showcase the variety of existing PES definitions and systematically locate these definitions in the range between Coasean conceptualizations, which describe PES as conditional and voluntary private negotiations between ES providers and ES beneficiaries, and much broader Pigouvian...
Making adaptive governance work in biodiversity conservation: lessons in invasive alien aquatic plant management in Lake Biwa, Japan
04. Mai 2021 Miyanaga, K., Nakai, K. Research
Invasive alien species are a serious threat to freshwater ecosystems and overall biodiversity. Although invasive alien species management in the form of environmental governance has often been practiced under an adaptive governance scheme, prevailing theoretical and practical difficulties must be solved to enhance policy effectiveness and outcomes. Our objective was to clarify how it is possible to make adaptive governance work in biodiversity conservation, especially invasive alien species management in freshwater ecosystems. To fulfill this objective, we investigated two analytical...
How do structural and agent-based factors influence the effectiveness of incentive policies? A spatially explicit agent-based model to optimize woodland-for-water PES policy design at the local level
04. Mai 2021 Baulenas, E., Baiges, T., Cervera, T., Pahl-Wostl, C. Research
A key factor in the resilience of water and forest ecosystems in the face of climate variability is the management decisions taken by the individuals responsible for them, from public officials to private owners. The presence of economic and other non-material incentives can modify the decision-making processes of these individuals and thereby avoid current socioeconomic trends in Mediterranean forested areas such as land abandonment and its detrimental consequences for both social and ecological systems. In this article, we created a spatially explicit agent-based model to observe the...
Human securities, sustainability, and migration in the ancient U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest
27. April 2021 Ingram, S. E., Patrick, S. M. Synthesis
In the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest region, arid-lands agriculturalists practiced sedentary agriculture for at least four thousand years. People developed diverse lifeways and a repertoire of successful dryland strategies that resemble those of some small-scale agriculturalists today. A multi-millennial trajectory of variable population growth ended during the early 1300s CE and by the late 1400s population levels in the region declined by about one-half. Here we show, through a meta-analysis of sub-regional archaeological studies, the spatial distribution, intensity, and variation...
The role of incentive-based instruments and social equity in conservation conflict interventions
27. April 2021 Rakotonarivo, S. O., Bell, A. Reid, Abernethy, K., Minderman, J., Duthie, A. Bradley, Redpath, S., Keane, A., Travers, H., Bourgeois, S., Moukagni, L., Cusack, J. J., Jones, I. L., Pozo, R. A., Bunnefeld, N. Research
Conflicts between biodiversity conservation and other human activities are multifaceted. Understanding farmer preferences for various conflict mitigation strategies is therefore critical. We developed a novel interactive game around farmer land management decisions across 18 villages in Gabon to examine responses to three elephant conflict mitigation options: use of elephant deterrent methods, flat-rate subsidy, and agglomeration payments rewarding coordinated action for setting land aside for elephants. We found that all three policies significantly reduced participants’ inclinations...
Using dialogue to contextualize culture, ecosystem services, and cultural ecosystem services
26. April 2021 Allen, K. E., Castellano, C., Pessagno, S. Research
We propose an alternative methodology for engaging with multifaceted cultural ecosystem services (CES) in the Global South. We explore the use of dialogue as a tool for understanding CES in situ, while developing shared action steps toward CES conservation among stakeholders. We held six dialogue workshops in the rural Central Pacific region of Costa Rica that were designed to foster understanding of shared community values for ecosystem services and associated conservation challenges. In two of the workshops, we employed model-based reasoning through which we used maps as boundary...
Historical Indigenous Land-Use Explains Plant Functional Trait Diversity
22. April 2021 Armstrong, C., Miller, J. E. D., McAlvay, A. C., Ritchie, P., Lepofsky, D. Research
Human land-use legacies have long-term effects on plant community composition and ecosystem function. While ancient and historical land use is known to affect biodiversity patterns, it is unknown whether such legacies affect other plant community properties such as the diversity of functional traits. Functional traits are a critical tool for understanding ecological communities because they give insights into community assembly processes as well as potential species interactions and other ecosystem functions. Here, we present the first systematic study evaluating how plant functional trait...
Filmmaking as a source of enhanced knowledge and transformation in conflicts over small-scale fisheries: the case of Colombia
20. April 2021 Rodriguez-Labajos, B., Saavedra-D?az, L. M., Botto-Barrios, D. Research
Small-scale fisheries (SSF) harvesting on coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems sustain the livelihood of hundreds of millions around the world. In Colombia, as in many other developing countries, SSF suffer from multiple pressures and conflicts. Yet the research on SSF conflicts is scarce and the typology of these conflicts is poorly systematized and understood. Existing studies lack the necessary interdisciplinary integration to address social-ecological processes involved in SSF. Moreover, scientific research requires building trust with fishers in order to gain an accurate picture of...
Participatory assessment of sustainability and resilience of three specialized farming systems
14. April 2021 Paas, W., Coopmans, I., Severini, S., Van Ittersum, M. K., Meuwissen, M. P. M., Reidsma, P. Research
There is a need for participatory methods that simultaneously assess agricultural sustainability and resilience at farming system level, as resilience is needed to deal with shocks and stresses on the pathways to more sustainable systems. We present the Framework of Participatory Impact Assessment for Sustainable and Resilient FARMing systems (FoPIA-SURE-Farm). FoPIA-SURE-Farm investigates farming system functioning, dynamics of main indicators, and specifies resilience for different resilience capacities, i.e., robustness, adaptability, and transformability. Three case studies with...
Measures against the abandonment of common property summer pastures: experimental evidence from joint appropriation–provision games
14. April 2021 Baur, I., Nax, H. H. Research
Common property summer pastures constitute longstanding evidence that the tragedy of the commons can be prevented through self-organization. As a byproduct of their sustainable governance, high nature value farming systems with well-integrated patchy landscapes have existed for centuries. These common pool resources—which have historically needed protection from overexploitation—today suffer from underutilization, and their continued use is often contingent on government subsidies. The current study sought to identify which user, institutional, and resource attributes contribute...
Assessing impacts of social-ecological diversity on resilience in a wetland coupled human and natural system
14. April 2021 Van Schmidt, N. D., Oviedo, J. L., Hruska, T., Huntsinger, L., Kovach, T. J., Kilpatrick, A., Miller, N. L., Beissinger, S. R. Research
Theory posits that resilience of ecosystems increases when there is a diversity of agents (e.g., species) and linkages between them. If ecosystems are conceptualized as components of coupled human and natural systems, then a corollary would be that novel types of human-induced diversity may also foster resilience. We explored this hypothesis by studying how socially created diversity mediated the impact of a historically severe drought on a network of wetlands in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevada containing a metapopulation of the threatened California Black Rail (Laterallus...