Understanding and managing for resilience in the face of global change

Science Center Objects

Resilience science provides a conceptual framework and methodology for quantitatively assessing the ability of a system to remain in a particular state. Probable non-linear ecological responses to global change, including climate change, require a clear framework for understanding and managing resilience. However, much of the resilience research to date has been qualitative in nature, and frame...

Resilience science provides a conceptual framework and methodology for quantitatively assessing the ability of a system to remain in a particular state. Probable non-linear ecological responses to global change, including climate change, require a clear framework for understanding and managing resilience. However, much of the resilience research to date has been qualitative in nature, and frameworks developed for the implementation of resilience science have been either vague or focused on the social component of social-ecological systems. Attempts to quantify resilience and operationalize the concept include the cross-scale resilience model, discontinuity theory and the early detection of leading indicators of regime shifts. More work is needed to support the effective use of resilience theory for managing ecological systems. We propose to address gaps in the science of ecological resilience in order to develop a usable framework for the implementation of resilience science by natural resource managers. We will do this by accomplishing a series of related but discrete tasks. The first is to synthesize the current state of discontinuity research, the language barriers to communicating complex systems science and discontinuities, and the key criticisms of discontinuity theory in order to present a defined direction for how these criticisms could be addressed and/or tested. The second task is to determine whether changes in species abundance can be a leading indicator of system-level regime shifts and an indication of the location of scale breaks within the scales of a system, and test the hypothesis that the location of species with the highest variance in abundance will be non-random. The third task is to develop a new conceptual model of the relationship between biodiversity, scale and resilience that accounts for abundance and functional response diversity. The fourth task is a synthesis of our discussions and basic research and would culminate in the development of a resilience framework for managers. To accomplish these goals we will bring together an international team of scientists working in a broad range of social-ecological systems.



Picture of coral reefs

Publications:

Allen, C., Angeler, D., Garmestani, A., Gunderson, L., and Holling, C.S. (2014). Panarchy: Theory and Application. Ecosystems 17, no. 4, 578-589.



Angeler, D. G., Allen, C. R., Barichievy, C., Eason, T., Garmestani, A. S., Graham, N. A. J., … Sundstrom, S. M. (2015). Management applications of discontinuity theory. Journal of Applied Ecology, n/a–n/a. http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12494



Angeler, D.G., Allen, C.R., & Johnson, R.K., (2013). Measuring the relative resilience of subarctic lakes to global change: redundancies of functions within and across temporal scales. Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 572-584. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12092



Angeler, D.G., Allen, C.R., Vila-Gispert, A., and Almeida, D.(2014). Fitness in animals correlates with proximity to discontinuities in body mass distributions. Ecological Complexity 20:213-218. doi:10.1016/j.ecocom.2014.08.001



Barichievy C., Angeler D.G., Eason T., Garmestani, A.S., Nash, K.L., Stow, C.A., Sundstrom, S., and Allen, C.R. (2018). A method to detect discontinuities in census data. Ecol Evol. 2018;00:1-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4297



Nash, K.L., Allen, C.R., Angeler, D.G., Barichievy, C., Eason, T., Garmestani, A.S., Graham, N.A.J., Granholm, D., Knutson, M., Nelson, R.J., Nyström, M., Stow, C.A., and Sundstrom, S.M. (2014). Discontinuities, cross-scale patterns, and the organization of ecosystems. Ecology, 95, 654-667. doi: 10.1890/13-1315.1



Nash, K.L., Allen, C.R., Barichievy, C., Nystrom, M., Sundstrom, S., and Graham, N.A.J. (2014). Habitat structure and body size distributions: cross-ecosystem comparison for taxa with determinate and indeterminate growth. Oikos. doi: 10.1111/oik.01314



Spanbauer T. Allen C. Angeler D. Eason T. Fritz S. Garmestani A. Nash KL. Stone J. Stow C. Sundstrom S. (2016), Body size distributions signal a regime shift in a lake ecosystem. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283(1833). 10.1098/rspb.2016.0249



Sundstrom, Shana M., Tarsha Eason, R. John Nelson, David G. Angeler, Chris Barichievy, Ahjond S. Garmestani, Nicholas A.J. Graham, et al. “Detecting Spatial Regimes in Ecosystems.” Edited by Dave Hodgson. Ecology Letters 20, no. 1 (January 2017): 19-32. doi:10.1111/ele.12709.



Sundstrom, S. M., Angeler, D. G., Barichievy, C. , Eason, T. , Garmestani, A. , Gunderson, L. , Knutson, M. , Nash, K. L., Spanbauer, T. , Stow, C. and Allen, C. R. (2018), The distribution and role of functional abundance in cross‐scale resilience. Ecology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/ecy.2508

 

Principal Investigator(s):

Craig R Allen (Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit)

Shana Sundstrom (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Kirsty Nash (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

Participant(s):

Ahjond Garmestani (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Christopher Barichievy (Ezemvelo KZM Wildlife)

Craig Stow (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

David Angeler (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Dean Granholm (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Douglas Beard (National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and Climate Science Centers)

Eddy Carmack (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

John Nelson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Magnus Nystrom (Stockholm Resilience Center)

Melinda Knutson

Nick Graham (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)

Stephen Riley (Great Lakes Science Center)

Tarsha Eason (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Lance Gunderson (Emory University)