|E&S best paper of 2016
Apr 20, 2017
|The paper "Ancient clam gardens, traditional management portfolios, and the resilience of coupled human-ocean systems" by Julia Jackley, Lindsay Gardner, Audrey Djunaedi and Anne Salomon has been awarded the Best Paper of 2016 in Ecology & Society.|
In the paper the authors describe how indigenous communities along the central coast of British Columbia built rock walls to change the slope of beaches and expand the optimal habitat for clams, thus contributing to their food security. The management of the clam gardens is part of a suite of resource stewardship practices that are evidenced by structural and cultural legacies still visible on the coast today. In their study the authors compare clam diversity, density, recruitment and biomass between walled beaches and unmodified beaches. They found higher clam density, recruits, and biomass in modified beach terraces created by the ancient rock walls compared to the clam density in nearby unmodified non-walled beaches. The authors also discuss how traditional governance systems involving proprietorship over territory and systems of reciprocity further enhanced system resilience.
The best paper award recognizes novel research that integrates science and policy for sustainable social-ecological systems. The winning paper is voted on by the board of editors from a short list compiled from all peer-reviewed papers published during the year. A prize of 500 Euro from the Foundation of Scientific Symbiosis, scientific-symbiosis.org is awarded to the authors.
|Arctic Basecamp Davos 2017
Feb 07, 2017
|A group of leading scientists set up an Arctic basecamp at this year's World Economic Forum to make sure the world's business leaders heard the message "What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic".|
In addition to camping out at -24C, RA member Gail Whiteman co-organized the Arctic Basecamp Davos event on 18 January to bring attention to the dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic and how these changes also impact non-Arctic countries and create global economic risks. Gail and her co-organizers describe the motivation for the Arctic Basecamp in a World Economic Forum blog post (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/we-set-up-an-arctic-basecamp-at-davos-2017-heres-why).
With keynote speeches from Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Al Gore, former US Vice President and Chair of the Climate Reality Project, along with more than 80 VIPs in attendance, the event is helping to put Arctic change on the global agenda. The VIP Arctic science briefing covered key facts about Arctic change, business response to the science, global risks and global solutions.
Nearly 5,000 people watched the event via live streaming over the Arctic Davos facebook page and the event was also mentioned by BBC News who hosted a live Facebook interview with more than 170,000 views.
Al Gore, Christiana Figueres, and Peter Bakker: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGrWSRzkyW96dzIdZMBLSAA
|Detecting spatial regimes
Jan 09, 2017
|New research published in Ecology Letters by Shana Sundstrom and colleagues uses data on terrestrial and aquatic animals to successfully detect spatial regimes and their transitions to alternate regimes.|
As ecological boundaries shift in response to climate change and other anthropogenic forces, detecting regime shifts using spatial data on animal communities, in place of vegetation communities used to define ecoregions, may provide more accuracy.
Using Fisher information, an information theory approach suitable for capturing patterns in system dynamics from multi-variate data, Sundstrom and colleagues used data from avian and zooplankton communities to identify spatial regimes and compare how well they line up with existing ecological boundaries determined using classification methods. The boundaries detected using animal data were considered to reflect ecological reality more than boundaries defined by the classification systems, suggesting that the approach could help with tracking shifting boundaries over time.
The authors also found the Fisher information approach consistently identified spatial regime shifts. They suggest that further research could help managers to select subgroups of species to monitor ecological stability within a community. Craig Allen, one of the paper's co-authors states "we believe the idea of spatial regimes is much more useful, potentially, in identifying impacts and responses to climate change than individually modelling species' responses".
Dec 21, 2016
|Carl Folke on the evolution of resilience research and thinking over 40 years, republished in Ecology & Society.|
Just in time for holiday reading - here is your chance to get up to date on 40 years of resilience research. Carl Folke, Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and a leading scholar of resilience and social-ecological systems, has written a comprehensive summary of resilience for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science that has now been re-published in Ecology and Society.
The paper follows a natural arc beginning with the foundational work on ecological resilience from Buzz Holling, next making the connection to integrated social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems, followed by the less chartered area of the Anthropocene, making a strong case for building resilience to the unknown and unexpected.
Folke concludes by emphasizing how resilience thinking is embedded in the capacity of the biosphere to sustain development and human well-being.
Republished in Ecology & Society:
|The Arctic is changing faster than ever - Arctic Resilience Report launched Nov. 25
Dec 01, 2016
|The first comprehensive synthesis and assessment of resilience in the Arctic, written by a team of international researchers.|
Change in the Arctic is rapid and accelerating. Understanding how to build resilience to help buffer, cope with and adapt to change has been boosted by the recently launched Arctic Resilience Report.
Written by an international team of researchers under the auspices of the Arctic Council, led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the report's international team of authors identified 19 tipping points in Arctic marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, including for example, the loss of Arctic sea ice, ocean hypoxia, collapse of fisheries, and transforming landscapes. Not surprisingly the biggest driver of change impacting Arctic communities and social-ecological systems is climate change.
Detailed case studies from across the circumpolar Arctic describe how 25 communities across the Arctic are responding to these unprecedented changes. The analysis reveals factors that help communities to be more resilient including: a capacity for self-organization, having a diversity of responses to change, learning and integrating different types of knowledge and being able to navigate and make decisions amidst uncertainty and surprise.
Achieving resilience in the Arctic will depend on individuals, communities, governments and institutions working across local to global scales to empower, support, and create integrated strategies.
Download the full report from the Arctic Council:
Digital snapshot of the Arctic Resilience Report:
In the media:
Rapidly Changing Arctic Braces for Destabilization (Scientific American)
|Loss of key households and cultural ties linked to sharing may impact communities more than resource depletion
Nov 28, 2016
|A recently published paper in PNAS by Jacopo Baggio and colleagues, uses multiplex social ecological network analysis to analyze complex community dynamics in small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska.|
Link to publication:
Jacopo A. Baggio, Shauna B. BurnSilver, Alex Arenas, James S. Magdanz, Gary P. Kofinas, and Manlio De Domenico
|RA Young Scholar makes the top 30 under 30 for sustainability leadership
Oct 18, 2016
|Marianne Falardeau-Côté, a PhD student at McGill University in Montreal Canada and a Resilience Alliance Young Scholar has been selected as one of Canada's Top 30 leaders under 30 in sustainability in the magazine Corporate Knights (Globe & Mail).|
Marianne Falardeau-Côté, a Ph. D. student in the lab of Dr. Elena Bennett studies ecosystem services, human well-being and resilience in the Arctic.
Read more about Marianne's research and leadership in sustainability and more on the recognition she has received at the Corporate Knights website.
Warm congratulations to Marianne Falardeau-Côté.
|Post Resilience 2014
Oct 14, 2016
|A perspective paper in E&S and Post Resilience 2014 website that collects conference outputs in one place continues the discussion on resilience and development.|
Close to 1000 delegates attended the 2014 Resilience conference in Montpellier France and more than 600 presentations were delivered. Making the most of this opportunity, conference organizers conducted a comprehensive analysis of the archived material post-conference and synthesized their findings in a perspective paper recently published in Ecology & Society.
"Resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation" seeks to extend the dialogue on the intersecting perspectives of resilience and development. As the authors state in its introduction "The objective of this analysis is not to propose an integrated framework but rather to highlight the main research questions put forward during the conference and how they are approached and formulated from the different perspectives." Readers are encouraged to submit a response to the paper, using the journal's response feature and also to continue the conversation on resilience and development at the upcoming resilience conference in Stockholm 2017.
A new website http://www.postresilience2014.com designed to collect and share outputs from Resilience 2014 also offers an opportunity to comment directly on the perspective paper in E&S as well as to collect and share outputs and outcomes from the conference sessions (links to papers, blog posts, videos, projects, etc.).
Bousquet, F., A. Botta, L. Alinovi, O. Barreteau, D. Bossio, K. Brown, P. Caron, M. D'Errico, F. DeClerck, H. Dessard, E. Enfors Kautsky, C. Fabricius, C. Folke, L. Fortmann, B. Hubert, D. Magda, R. Mathevet, R. B. Norgaard, A. Quinlan, and C. Staver. 2016. Resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation. Ecology and Society 21(3):40.
|Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene
Oct 13, 2016
|A new paper by Elena Bennett and colleagues challenges dystopian future scenarios with "bright spots"|
Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene, published earlier this month in Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment, explores how examples of positive change in future scenarios, borrowed from existing real-world initiatives, can help us to understand both what people want from a better future and the processes needed to get there.
The paper draws on examples of positive change from around the world that have been collected in an online "seed" database that began as part of the Future Earth project Good Anthropocenes http://goodanthropocenes.net.
The seeds represent a wide range of practices around the world that could help accelerate pathways of transformative change. Each seed offers an example of the types of bottom-up change needed to move towards more sustainable futures.
Elena Bennet spoke of the seeds project in a 5-minute talk she gave this past summer at the World Economic Forum meeting in Tianjin:
Citation: Bennett et al 2016 Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene. Front Ecol Environ 2016; 14(8): 441-448, doi:10.1002/fee.1309
|Body size distributions signal a regime shift in a lake ecosystem
Sep 14, 2016
|A recent paper by Spanbauer & colleagues demonstrates how discontinuities over time in the body size of diatoms signaled a regime shift in a mountain lake 150 years before it happened.|
One of the greatest challenges surrounding regime shifts is identifying them before they happen. In recent years there has been a variety of methods proposed for detecting early warning signals for regime shifts. Within this specialized field Craig Allen and colleagues have focused on patterns of discontinuity. In a recent paper Spanbauer et al, co-authored by Craig and several other RA members, they demonstrate how discontinuities over time in the body size of diatoms signaled a regime shift 150 years before it happened.
A regime shift implies crossing a threshold and changing how the system is structured and how it functions as well as how it maintains the new regime through system feedbacks. A well studied, climate-driven regime shift in Foy Lake in the northern Rocky Mountains made it possible for the authors to examine fossil diatoms spanning thousands of years to compare the size aggregations of diatoms with known stable periods in the history of the lake.
The authors found that size aggregations changed with the regime shift, suggesting that discontinuity analysis may provide a complementary method of detecting regime shifts that would potentially allow sufficient time to intervene and manage for resilience.
Paper link: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1833/20160249
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