Resilience and the Behavior of Large Scale Systems

Author: Lance H. Gunderson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610913132
Format: PDF
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Scientists and researchers concerned with the behavior of large ecosystems have focused in recent years on the concept of "resilience." Traditional perspectives held that ecological systems exist close to a steady state and resilience is the ability of the system to return rapidly to that state following perturbation. However beginning with the work of C. S. Holling in the early 1970s, researchers began to look at conditions far from the steady state where instabilities can cause a system to shift into an entirely different regime of behavior, and where resilience is measured by the magnitude of disturbance that can be absorbed before the system is restructured.Resilience and the Behavior of Large-Scale Systems examines theories of resilience and change, offering readers a thorough understanding of how the properties of ecological resilience and human adaptability interact in complex, regional-scale systems. The book addresses the theoretical concepts of resilience and stability in large-scale ecosystems as well as the empirical application of those concepts in a diverse set of cases. In addition, it discusses the practical implications of the new theoretical approaches and their role in the sustainability of human-modified ecosystems.The book begins with a review of key properties of complex adaptive systems that contribute to overall resilience, including multiple equlibria, complexity, self-organization at multiple scales, and order; it also presents a set of mathematical metaphors to describe and deepen the reader's understanding of the ideas being discussed. Following the introduction are case studies that explore the biophysical dimensions of resilience in both terrestrial and aquatic systems and evaluate the propositions presented in the introductory chapters. The book concludes with a synthesis section that revisits propositions in light of the case studies, while an appendix presents a detailed account of the relationship between return times for a disturbed system and its resilienc.In addition to the editors, contributors include Stephen R. Carpenter, Carl Folke, C. S. Holling, Bengt-Owe Jansson, Donald Ludwig, Ariel Lugo, Tim R. McClanahan, Garry D. Peterson, and Brian H. Walker.

Communicating Global Change Science to Society

Author: Holm Tiessen
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610911512
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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National governments and research scientists may be equally concerned with issues of global environmental change, but their interests-and their timelines-are not the same. Governments are often focused on short-term effects and local impacts of global phenomena. Scientists, on the other hand, are loath to engage in speculation about the specific consequences of large-scale environmental trends.How then can we translate scientific understanding of these trends into public policy?Communicating Global Change Science to Society examines the growing number of instances in which governments and scientists have engaged in research projects in which the goal is to inform policy decisions. It assesses these experiences and suggests their implications for future collaborations.The book begins with a discussion of interactions between science and policy, particularly as they relate to the broad significance of environmental change. It then addresses concerns that emerge from this discussion, including how scientific research results are communicated in democratic societies, the uses (and misuses) of scientific findings, and what the natural and social sciences could learn from each other.

Sustainability Indicators

Author: Tomás Hák
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597266284
Format: PDF, Docs
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While the concept of sustainability has been widely embraced, it has been only vaguely defined and is exceedingly difficult to measure. Sustainability indicators are critical to making the broad concept of sustainability operational by providing specific measures by which decision makers and the public can judge progress. Sustainability Indicators defines the present state of the art in indicator development. It presents a comprehensive assessment of the science behind various indicators, while placing special emphasis on their use as communications tools. The contributors draw on their experience as academics and practitioners to describe the conceptual challenges to measuring something as complex as sustainability at local, regional, national, and global scales. The book also reviews existing indicators to assess how they could be better employed, considering which indicators are overused and which have been underutilized. Sustainability Indicators will help planners and policy makers find indicators that are ready for application and relevant to their needs, and will help researchers identify the unresolved issues where progress is most urgently needed. All readers will find advice as to the most effective ways to use indicators to support decision making.

Biodiversity Change and Human Health

Author: Osvaldo E. Sala
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781610911252
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Biodiversity Change and Human Health brings together leading experts from the natural science and social science realms as well as the medical community to explore the explicit linkages between human-driven alterations of biodiversity and documented impacts of those changes on human health. The book utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to explore and address the complex interplay between natural biodiversity and human health and well-being. The five parts examine health trade-offs between competing uses of biodiversity (highlighting synergistic situations in which conservation of natural biodiversity actually promotes human health and well-being); relationships between biodiversity and quality of life that have developed over ecological and evolutionary time; the effects of changing biodiversity on provisioning of ecosystem services, and how they have affected human health; the role of biodiversity in the spread of infectious disease; native biodiversity as a resource for traditional and modern medicine Biodiversity Change and Human Health synthesizes our current understanding and identifies major gaps in knowledge as it places all aspects of biodiversity and health interactions within a common framework. Contributors explore potential points of crossover among disciplines (both in ways of thinking and of specific methodologies) that could ultimately expand opportunities for humans to both live sustainably and enjoy a desirable quality of life.

Interactions of the major biogeochemical cycles

Author: Jerry M. Melillo
Publisher: Island Pr
ISBN: 9781559630658
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The circulation and interactions of major elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, oxygen, and hydrogen are critical for the maintenance of the earth's ecosystems. Human activities including agriculture, industry, and urbanization alter element interactions and contribute to major environmental problems ranging from climate change and depletion of the ozone layer to acidification of soils to the destruction of coral reefs. Interactions of the Major Biogeochemical Cycles is a new scientific assessment of element interactions in the biosphere. It provides an up-to-date review of biogeochemistry and its effects on earth's systems, with leading experts in biogeochemical cycling in atmospheric, land, freshwater, and marine environments offering chapters that summarize and synthesize information in each discipline. The book opens with chapters on cross-cutting issues that have significance in understanding global change effects and their potential management. These chapters address:* trends in element interactions in response to global change the effects of natural disturbances new approaches and methods for advancing our understanding of element interactions the potential for managing element interactions to address major environmental issues

The Silicon Cycle

Author: Venugopalan Ittekkot
Publisher: Scope Series
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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Silica, biogeosphere, vegetation, diatoms, marine food, webs.

Invasive alien species

Author: Harold A. Mooney
Publisher: Island Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Docs
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Invasive alien species are among today's most daunting environmental threats, costing billions of dollars in economic damages and wreaking havoc on ecosystems around the world. In 1997, a consortium of scientific organizations including SCOPE, IUCN, and CABI developed the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) with the explicit objective of providing new tools for understanding and coping with invasive alien species. Invasive Alien Species is the final report of GISP's first phase of operation, 1997-2000, in which authorities from more than thirty countries worked to examine invasions as a worldwide environmental hazard. The book brings together the world's leading scientists and researchers involved with invasive alien species to offer a comprehensive summary and synthesis of the current state of knowledge on the subject. Invasive alien species represent a critical threat to natural ecosystems and native biodiversity, as well as to human economic vitality and health. The knowledge gained to date in understanding and combating invasive alien species can form a useful basis on which to build strategies for controlling or minimizing the effects in the future. Invasive Alien Species is an essential reference for the international community of investigators concerned with biological invasions.

Watersheds Bays and Bounded Seas

Author: Edward R. Urban
Publisher: Scientific Committee on Proble
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This guide to the management of coastal waters provides state-of-the-art information about complex marine systems and identifies best management practices to preserve them.

The Global Carbon Cycle

Author: Christopher B Field
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Throughout, contributors emphasize that all parts of the carbon cycle are interrelated, and only by developing a framework that considers the full set of feedbacks will we be able to achieve a thorough understanding and develop effective management strategies.