, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 359-362
Date: 17 Oct 2008

Adaptive management principles and sediment management

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Adaptive management


In general, the premise behind decision making for management is that we can predict the effects of management actions and compare these to the effects of other actions, including no action. Using past experience, research, scenario studies, models and pilots, we quantitatively or semi-quantitatively predict the responses to various actions, and select the “best” actions, based upon our chosen set of criteria. Whilst this premise may be correct for the simplest of problems (though even seemingly “simple”, environmental problems have a tendency to surprise us), as we move to more complex problems, attempting to manage the effects of multiple stressors on complex ecosystems at various scales, this becomes increasingly difficult. Our scientific knowledge of how various components of the ecosystem (both those we will monitor and those we do not consider) respond to natural and anthropogenic changes will always be incomplete, and the variability and heterogeneit ...