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Ecosystem Resilience on Human Terms.

Authors
  • von Stackelberg, Katherine1, 2
  • 1 Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE), Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 2 NEK Associates LTD, Allston, Massachusetts, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2018
Volume
14
Issue
5
Pages
598–600
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ieam.4073
PMID: 30489029
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Linked socioecological systems consist of economies in societies in nature and make explicit the relationship between the natural environment and human well-being using the language of ecosystem services. A growth-based economy within a constrained biophysical planet (e.g., human activities) has led to a need for ecosystem resilience. Valuation of ecosystem services using the language of economics appears insufficient in the face of human activity. All ecosystems are resilient but will demonstrate that resilience in unexpected and potentially unwanted ways, particularly as human pressures and influences lead to tipping points of extinction (e.g., complete die-off of coral reefs) in these linked socioecological systems. Structured approaches for evaluating the risks, benefits, and impacts of human activities exist but are not effectively applied and when applied, focus on downstream outcomes rather than on upstream actions (e.g., responding to climate change impacts rather than addressing causes of climate change). Ecosystem resilience in the face of unprecedented environmental challenges may not result in the hoped-for set of ecosystem services. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:598-600. © 2018 SETAC. © 2018 SETAC.

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