Landscape Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1139–1150 | Cite as

Resilience, experimentation, and scale mismatches in social-ecological landscapes

  • Graeme S. Cumming
  • Per Olsson
  • F. S. ChapinIII
  • C. S. Holling
Research Article

Abstract

Growing a resilient landscape depends heavily on finding an appropriate match between the scales of demands on ecosystems by human societies and the scales at which ecosystems are capable of meeting these demands. While the dynamics of environmental change and ecosystem service provision form the basis of many landscape ecology studies, enhancing landscape resilience is, in many ways, a problem of establishing relevant institutions that act at appropriate scales to modify and moderate demand for ecosystem services and the resulting exploitation of ecosystems. It is also of central importance for landscape sustainability that institutions are flexible enough to adapt to changes in the external environment. The model provided by natural ecosystems suggests that it is only by encouraging and testing a diversity of approaches that we will be able to build landscapes that are resilient to future change. We advocate an approach to landscape planning that involves growing learning institutions on the one hand, and on the other, developing solutions to current problems through deliberate experimentation coupled with social learning processes.

Keywords

Resilience Landscape planning Management Social learning Adaptation Ecosystem services 

References

  1. Allen TFH, Starr TB (1982) Hierarchy: perspectives for ecological complexity. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  2. Argyris C, Schoen DA (1978) Organizational learning. Addison-Wesley Reading, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  3. Armitage D, Berkes F, Doubleday N (eds) (2007) Adaptive co-management: collaboration, learning, and multi-level governance. University of British Columbia Press, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  4. Armitage D, Marschke M, Plummer R (2008) Adaptive co-management and the paradox of learning. Glob Environ Change 18:86–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bainbridge V, Foerster S, Pasteur K, Pimbert MP, Pratt G, Arroyo IY (2000) Transforming Bureaucracies. Institutionalising participation in natural resource management. An annotated bibliography. International institute for environment and development, London, and the Institute for Development Studies, BrightonGoogle Scholar
  6. Becker K (2005) Individual and organizational unlearning: directions for future research. Int J Organ Behav 9:659–670Google Scholar
  7. Berkes F (2009) Evolution of co-management: role of knowledge generation, bridging organizations and social learning. J Environ Manage 90:1692–1702PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C (eds) (2003) Navigating social-ecological systems: building resilience for complexity and change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkes F, Hughes TP, Steneck RS, Wilson JA, Bellwood DR, Crona B, Folke C, Gunderson LH, Leslie HM, Norberg J, Nyström M, Olsson P, Österblom H, Scheffer M, Worm B (2006) Globalization, roving bandits, and marine resources. Science 311:1557–1558PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bohensky EL (2008) Discovering resilient pathways for South African water management: two frameworks for a vision. Ecol Soc 13(1):19Google Scholar
  11. Brueckner J (2000) Urban sprawl: diagnosis and remedies. Int Reg Sci Rev 23:160–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burel F (1996) Hedgerows and their role in agricultural landscapes. Crit Rev Plant Sci 15(2):169–190Google Scholar
  13. Burgman M, Fox J (2003) Bias in species range estimates from minimum convex polygons: implications for conservation and options for improved planning. Anim Conserv 6(1):19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carpenter SR, Walker M, Anderies JM, Abel N (2001) From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems 4:765–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chapin FSI, Hoel M, Carpenter SR, Lubchenco J, Walker B, Callaghan TV, Folke C, Levin S, Mäler K-G, Nilsson C, Barrett S, Berkes F, Crépin A-S, Danell K, Rosswall T, Starrett D, Xepapadeas T, Zimov SA (2006) Building resilience and adaptation to manage arctic change. Ambio 35:198–202Google Scholar
  16. Chave J, Levin S (2003) Scale and scaling in ecological and economic systems. Environ Resour Econ 26:527–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Comiskey EJ, Bass OL, Gross LJ, McBride RT, Salinas R (2002) Panthers and forests in South Florida: an ecological perspective. Conserv Ecol 6(1):18–40Google Scholar
  18. Cook W, Casagrande D, Hope D, Groffman P, Collins S (2004) Learning to roll with the punches: adaptive experimentation in human-dominated systems. Frontiers Ecol Environ 2:467–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crawford HS, Jennings DT (1989) Predation by birds on spruce budworm Choristoneura-Fumiferana—functional, numerical, and total responses. Ecology 70(1):152–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cronon W (2000) Resisting monoliths and Tabulae Rasae. Ecol Appl 10:673–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cumming GS (2011a) Spatial resilience in social-ecological systems. Springer, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cumming GS (2011b) Spatial resilience: integrating landscape ecology, resilience, and sustainability. Landscape Ecol 26:899–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cumming GS, Spiesman BJ (2006) Regional problems need integrated solutions: pest management and conservation biology in agroecosystems. Biol Conserv 131(4):533–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cumming GS, Cumming DHM, Redman CL (2006) Scale mismatches in social-ecological systems: causes, consequences, and solutions. Ecol Soc 11:14Google Scholar
  25. Cundill G, Cumming GS, Biggs D, Fabricius C (2012) Soft systems thinking and social learning for adaptive management. Conserv Biol 26:13–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Daily GC, Ehrlich PR (1996) Socioeconomic equity, sustainability, and Earth’s carrying capacity. Ecol Appl 6(4):991–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dietz T, Ostrom E, Stern PC (2003) The struggle to govern the commons. Science 302:1907–1912PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Farley K, Baker D, Batker D, Koliba C, Matteson R, Mills R, Pittman J (2007) Opening the policy window for ecological economics: Katrina as a focusing event. Ecol Econ 63:344–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fazey I, Fazey J, Fazey DM (2005) Learning more effectively from experience. Ecol Soc 10:4 (online) http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol10/iss2/art4 Google Scholar
  30. Foley JA, Costa MH, Delire C, Ramankutty N, Snyder P (2003) Green surprise? How terrestrial ecosystems could affect earth’s climate. Front Ecol Environ 1(1):38–44Google Scholar
  31. Folke C, Carpenter S, Walker B, Scheffer M, Elmqvist T, Gunderson L, Holling CS (2004) Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:557–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Folke C, Hahn T, Olsson P, Norberg J (2005) Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:441–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Folke C, Pritchard L, Berkes F, Colding J, Svedin U (2007) The problem of fit between ecosystems and institutions: ten years later. Ecol Soc 12:30Google Scholar
  34. Garaway CJ, Arthur RI (2004) Adaptive learning: a practical framework for the implementation of adaptive co-management—lessons from selected experiences in South and Southeast Asia. MRAG Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. Geist HJ, Lambin EF (2004) Dynamic causal patterns of desertification. Bioscience 54(9):817–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gell-Mann M (1992) Complexity and complex adaptive systems. In: Hawkins JA, Gell-Mann M (eds) The evolution of human languages. SFI studies in the sciences of complexity. Proceedings, vol XI. Addison-Wesley, Massachusetts, pp 3–18Google Scholar
  37. Gunderson LH (2000) Ecological resilience—in theory and application. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 31:425–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hobbs RJ, Cole DN, Yung L, Zavaleta ES, Aplet GH, Chapin FS, Landres PB, Parsons DJ, Stephenson NL, White PS, Graber DM, Higgs E, Millar CI, Randall JM, Tonnessen KA, Woodley S (2010) Guiding concepts for park and wilderness stewardship in an era of global environmental change. Front Ecol Environ 8:483–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Holling CS (1973) Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 4:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Holling CS (ed) (1978) Adaptive environmental assessment and management. Wiley, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Holling CS, Gunderson LH (2002) Resilience and adaptive cycles. In: Gunderson LH, Holling CS (eds) Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 25–62Google Scholar
  42. Holling CS, Gunderson LH, Peterson GD (2002) Sustainability and panarchies. In: Gunderson LH, Holling CS (eds) Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press, Washington, DC, p 63Google Scholar
  43. Imperial MT (2004) Collaboration and performance measurement: lessons from three watershed governance efforts. Center for the Business of Government, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  44. Kates RW, Clark WC, Corell R, Hall JM, Jaeger CC, Lowe I, Mccarthy JJ, Schellnhuber HJ, Bolin B, Dickson NM, Faucheux S, Gallopin GC, Grubler A, Huntley B, Jager J, Jodha NS, Kasperson RE, Mabogunje A, Matson P, Mooney H (2001) Environment and development sustainability science. Science 292(5517):641–642PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Krasny ME, Lundholm C, Plummer R (2010) Resilience in social–ecological systems: the roles of learning and education. Environ Educ Res 16:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lambin EH, Geist HJ (2006) Land-use and land-cover change: local processes and global impacts. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Leitao AB, Ahern J (2002) Applying landscape ecological concepts and metrics in sustainable landscape planning. Landsc Urban Plan 59(2):65–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Levin SA (1999) Fragile dominion: complexity and the commons. Perseus Books Reading, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  49. Liu JG, Daily GC, Ehrlich PR, Luck GW (2003) Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity. Nature 421(6922):530–533PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Liu JG, Dietz T, Carpenter SR, Alberti M, Folke C, Moran E, Pell AN, Deadman P, Kratz T, Lubchenco J, Ostrom E, Ouyang Z, Provencher W, Redman CL, Schneider SH, Taylor WW (2007) Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science 317(5844):1513–1516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ludwig D (2001) The era of management is over. Ecosystems 4(8):758–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ludwig D, Jones DD, Holling CS (1978) Qualitative-analysis of insect outbreak systems—spruce budworm and forest. J Anim Ecol 47(1):315–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. MA (2003) (Millennium Assessment): Ecosystems and human well-being: a framework for assessment. A report of the conceptual framework working group of the millennium ecosystem assessment. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  54. MA (2005) (Millennium Assesment): Ecosystems and human wellbeing: biodiversity synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  55. Manring SL (2007) Creating and managing interorganizational learning networks to achieve sustainable ecosystem management. Organ Environ 20:325–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. McGinnis M (ed) (2000) Polycentric governance and development. University of Michigan Press, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  57. Mezirow J (2000) Learning to think like an adult: core concepts of transformative theory. In: Mezirow J et al (eds) Learning as transformation. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp 3–34Google Scholar
  58. Millar CI, Stephenson NL, Stephens SL (2007) Climate change and forests of the future: managing in the face of uncertainty. Ecol Appl 17:2145–2151PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Naugle DE, Johnson RR, Estey ME, Higgins KF (2000) A landscape approach to conserving wetland bird habitat in the prairie, pothole region of eastern South Dakota. Wetlands 20(4):588–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Nelson DR, Adger WN, Brown K (2007) Adaptation to environmental change: contributions of a resilience framework. Annu Rev Environ Resour 32:395–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Nguyen NC, Bosch OJH, Maani KE (2010) Creating ‘learning laboratories’ for sustainable development in biospheres: a systems thinking approach. Syst Res Behav Sci 28:51–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Norberg J, Cumming GS (eds) (2008) Complexity theory for a sustainable future. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  63. Norton BG, Steinemann AC (2001) Environmental values and adaptive management. Environ Values 10(4):473–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Nystrom M, Folke C (2001) Spatial resilience of coral reefs. Ecosystems 4:406–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Olsson P, Folke C, Hahn T (2004) Social-ecological transformation for ecosystem management: the development of adaptive co-management of a wetland landscape in southern Sweden. Ecol Soc 9(4):2Google Scholar
  66. Olsson P, Gunderson LH, Carpenter SR, Ryan P, Lebel L, Folke C, Holling CS (2006) Shooting the rapids: navigating transitions to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Ecol Soc 11:18. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art18/ Google Scholar
  67. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Ostrom E (1998) The international forestry resources and institutions research program: a methodology for relating human incentives and actions on forest cover and biodiversity. In: Dallmeier F, Comiskey JA (eds) Forest biodiversity in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean: research and monitoring. Man and the biosphere series, 22. The Parthenon Publishing Group, CarnforthGoogle Scholar
  69. Ostrom E (2003) How types of goods and property rights jointly affect collective action. J Theor Politics 15(3):239–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ostrom E (2007) A diagnostic approach for going beyond panaceas. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104(39):15181–15187PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ostrom E (2009) A general framework for analyzing sustainability of social-ecological systems. Science 352:419–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Prato T (2000) Multiple attribute evaluation of landscape management. J Environ Manage 60(4):325–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Radeloff VC, Mladenoff DJ, Boyce MS (2000) The changing relation of landscape patterns and jack pine budworm populations during an outbreak. Oikos 90(3):417–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Reed MS, Evely AC, Cundill G, Fazey I, Glass J, Laing A, Newig J, Parrish B, Prell C, Raymond C, Stringer LC (2010) What is social learning? Ecol Soc 15(4). http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/resp1/
  75. Robbins P (2004) Political ecology: a critical introduction. Blackwell Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  76. Robinson J (1988) Unlearning and backcasting: rethinking some of the questions we ask about the future. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 33:325–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Rockstrom J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson A, Chapin FS, Lambin E, Lenton TM, Scheffer M, Folke C, Schellnhuber HJ, Nykvist B, De Wit CA, Hughes T, Van Der Leeuw S, Rodhe H, Sorlin S, Snyder PK, Costanza R, Svedin U, Falkenmark M, Karlberg L, Corell RW, Fabry VJ, Hansen J, Walker B, Liverman D, Richardson K, Crutzen P, Foley J (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461(7263):472–475Google Scholar
  78. Rodriguez JP, Beard TD, Bennett EM, Cumming GS, Cork SJ, Agard J, Dobson AP, Peterson GD (2006) Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services. Ecol Soc 11(1):28Google Scholar
  79. Rustigian HL, Santelmann MV, Schumaker NH (2003) Assessing the potential impacts of alternative landscape designs on amphibian population dynamics. Landscape Ecol 18(1):65–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sarch MT (2001) Fishing and farming at Lake Chad: institutions for access to natural resources. J Environ Manage 62(2):185–199PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Schultz L, Lundholm C (2010) Learning for resilience? Exploring learning opportunities in Biosphere Reserves. Environ Educ Res 16:645–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Simon HA (1962) The architecture of complexity. Proc Am Philos Soc 106:467–482Google Scholar
  83. Social_Learning_Group (2001) Learning to manage global environmental risksGoogle Scholar
  84. Stirling A (2007) Risk, precaution and science: towards a more constructive policy debate. Eur Mol Biol Organ Rep 8:309–315Google Scholar
  85. Thompson WA, Holling CS, Kira D, Huang CC, Vertinsky I (1979) Evaluation of alternative forest system management policies—case of the Spruce Budworm in New-Brunswick. J Environ Econ Manage 6(1):51–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Turner MG, Gardner RH, O’Neill RV (2001) Landscape ecology in theory and practice: pattern and process. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  87. Walker B (1992) Biological diversity and ecological redundancy. Conserv Biol 6:18–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Walker B, Salt D (2006) Resilience thinking: sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  89. Walters CJ (1986) Adaptive management of renewable resources. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  90. Walters C (1997) Challenges in adaptive management of riparian and coastal ecosystems. Conserv Ecol [online] 1(2):1. Available from the Internet. http://www.consecol.org/vol1/iss2/art1
  91. WCED (1987) Our common future. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). Oxford, pp 43–66Google Scholar
  92. Westley F, Carpenter SR, Brock WA, Holling CS, Gunderson LH (2002) Why systems of people and nature are not just social and ecological systems. In: Gunderson LH, Holling CS (eds) Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Island Press, Washington, DC, p 103Google Scholar
  93. WRI (2008) World Resources Institute (WRI) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, and World Bank. World Resources 2008: roots of resilience—growing the wealth of the poor. WRI, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  94. Yachi S, Loreau M (1999) Biodiversity and ecosystem productivity in a fluctuating environment: the insurance hypothesis. Proc Nat Acad Sci 96:1463–1468PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Zhang PC, Shao GF, Zhao G, Le Master DC, Parker GR, Dunning JB, Li QL (2000) Ecology—China’s forest policy for the 21st century. Science 288(5474):2135–2136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graeme S. Cumming
    • 1
  • Per Olsson
    • 2
  • F. S. ChapinIII
    • 3
  • C. S. Holling
    • 4
  1. 1.Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST/NRF Center of ExcellenceUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of StockholmStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  4. 4.NanaimoCanada

Personalised recommendations