Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 496921
Title Allowing variance may enlarge the safe operating space for exploited ecosystems
Author(s) Carpenter, S.R.; Brock, W.A.; Folke, Carl; Nes, E.H. Van; Scheffer, Marten; Polasky, Stephen
Source Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (2015)46. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 14384 - 14389.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1511804112
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Adaptive management - Critical transition - Ecosystem - Resilience - Variance
Abstract

Variable flows of food, water, or other ecosystem services complicate planning. Management strategies that decrease variability and increase predictabilitymay therefore be preferred. However, actions to decrease variance over short timescales (2-4 y), when applied continuously,may lead to long-termecosystem changeswith adverse consequences. We investigated the effects of managing short-term variance in three well-understood models of ecosystem services: lake eutrophication, harvest of a wild population, and yield of domestic herbivores on a rangeland. In all cases, actions to decrease variance can increase the risk of crossing critical ecosystem thresholds, resulting in less desirable ecosystem states. Managing to decrease shortterm variance creates ecosystem fragility by changing the boundaries of safe operating spaces, suppressing information needed for adaptive management, cancelling signals of declining resilience, and removing pressures that may build tolerance of stress. Thus, the management of variance interacts strongly and inseparably with the management of resilience. By allowing for variation, learning, and flexibility while observing change, managers can detect opportunities and problems as they develop while sustaining the capacity to deal with them.

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