The Economics of Resilience

This paper provides an interpretive overview on the economics of resilience with special reference to social-ecological systems. We address the basic sciences of regime shifts and resilience in different settings linked to empirical cases and review the economic models related to these aspects. In particular we discuss models to assess market outcomes when thresholds exist and are known and particular characteristics of such systems when…

Marine ecosystem science on an intertwined planet

Marine ecosystem science has developed since the 1940s, when humans obtained the ability to spend substantial time underneath the surface of the ocean. Since then, and drawing on several decades of scientific advances, a number of exciting research frontiers have emerged. We find: Under- standing interacting drivers of change, Identifying thresholds in ecosystems, and Investigating social-ecological dynamics to represent particularly interesting frontiers, which we speculate…

Quantifying spatial resilience

Anthropogenic stressors affect the ecosystems upon which humanity relies. In some cases when resilience is exceeded, relatively small linear changes in stressors can cause relatively abrupt and nonlinear changes in ecosystems. 2. Ecological regime shifts occur when resilience is exceeded and ecosystems enter a new local equilibrium that differs in its structure and function from the previous state. Ecological resilience, the amount of disturbance that…

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…

Measuring sustainability under regime shift uncertainty: a resilience pricing approach

This paper is concerned with the theory of resilience pricing and sustainability measurement in the presence of risk for regime shift in a dynamic economy–environment system. Following Holling (Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, vol. 4, 1973, pp. 1–23), we consider resilience as the maximal perturbation that the system can absorb without flipping into a qualitatively different state. Using a multisector growth model under uncertainty,…

Making the ecosystem approach operational—Can regimeshifts in ecological-and governance systems facilitate the transition?

Effectively reducing cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems requires co-evolution between science, policy and practice. Here, long-term social–ecological changes in the Baltic Sea are described, illustrating how the process of making the ecosystem approach operational in a large marine ecosystem can be stimulated. The existing multi-level governance institutions are specifically set up for dealing with individual sectors, but do not adequately support an operational application of…

Human-induced Trophic Cascades and Ecological Regime Shifts in the Baltic Sea

The ecosystems of coastal and enclosed seas are under increasing anthropogenic pressure worldwide, with Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Black and Baltic Seas as well known examples. We use an ecosystem model (Ecopath with Ecosim, EwE) to show that reduced top-down control (seal predation) and increased bottom-up forcing (eutrophication) can largely explain the historical dynamics of the main fish stocks (cod, herring…

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