Evolution in the Anthropocene: Informing Governance and Policy

The Anthropocene biosphere constitutes an unprecedented phase in the evolution of life on Earth with one species, humans, exerting extensive control. The increasing intensity of anthropogenic forces in the twenty-first century has widespread implications for attempts to govern both human-dominated ecosystems and the last remaining wild ecosystems. Here, we review how evolutionary biology can inform governance and policies in the Anthropocene, focusing on five governance…

The Role of University Campuses in Reconnecting Humans to the Biosphere

In this paper, we explore the potential for integrating university campuses in a global sustainability agenda for a closer reconnection of urban residents to the biosphere. This calls for a socio-cultural transition that allows universities and colleges to reconnect to the biosphere and become active stewards of the Earth System. Recognizing their pivotal role of fostering coming generations of humans, university campuses represent a unique…

A holistic view of marine regime shifts

Understanding marine regime shifts is important not only for ecology but also for developing marine management that assures the provision of ecosystem services to humanity. While regime shift theory is well developed, there is still no common understanding on drivers, mechanisms and characteristic of abrupt changes in real marine ecosystems. Based on contributions to the present theme issue, we highlight some general issues that need…

Regime shifts and management

Regime shifts are substantial reorganizations in system structure, functions and feedbacks, which can lead to changes in the provision of ecosystem services with significant impacts on human well-being. Recent research has documented cases of regime shifts in local and regional systems and there is mounting concern about regime shifts of global significance. In this paper we discuss management of social–ecological systems in light of the…

Conservation could save commercial fishery in Argentina

In Argentina, the implementation of conservation strategies is needed to avoid the collapse of commercial fish stocks and the fishing industry. Conservation strategies, including zoning and compliance with catch quotas, are expected to help recover hake stocks and increase the net benefit for the fishing industry

Water RATs (resilience, adaptability, and transformability) in Lake and Wetland Social-Ecological Systems

The lakes in the northern highlands of Wisconsin, USA, the lakes and wetlands of Kristianstads Vattenrike in southern Sweden, and the Everglades of Florida, USA, provide cases that can be used to compare the linkages between ecological resilience and social dynamics. The erosion of ecological resilience in aquatic and wetland ecosystems is often a result of past management actions and is manifest as a real…

Using Fast and Slow Processes to Manage Resources with Thresholds

Economists have relied on convexity assumptions for a long time but many natural resources that stem from ecosystems have non-convexities in their dynamics. This article illustrates the consequences of relaxing convexity assumptions for management and the role of fast and slow variables. The paper presents a general framework to handle systems with fast and slow variables, and illustrates the method using a model of coral…

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