Resilience metrics to inform ecosystem management under global change with application to coral reefs

Mumby, Peter J. and Anthony, Kenneth R. N. (2015) Resilience metrics to inform ecosystem management under global change with application to coral reefs. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6 9: 1088-1096. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12380


Author Mumby, Peter J.
Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
Title Resilience metrics to inform ecosystem management under global change with application to coral reefs
Journal name Methods in Ecology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-210X
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.12380
Volume 6
Issue 9
Start page 1088
End page 1096
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Environmental policy instruments often require that natural resource managers safeguard the resilience of ecosystems. However, ‘resilience’ has been a difficult concept to operationalise. Two forms of resilience are recognised in the ecological literature. ‘Ecological resilience’ concerns ecosystems that possess alternative equilibrial states (attractors) and has been operationalised in a few systems. ‘Engineering resilience’ was developed for ecosystems with a single attractor, but its use is confined to systems that gravitate towards a stable equilibrium.

We present a general method to quantify engineering resilience that can be applied irrespective of an ecosystem's stability or proclivity to obey multiple attractors. The technique uses a system model to distinguish the effects of globally driven (and essentially unmanageable) stressors, such as climate change and ocean acidification, from regional- and local-scale (manageable) stressors on the ecosystem.

We illustrate the technique using a simple coral reef model and find it able to calculate the impacts of managing crown-of-thorns starfish against a background of increasing stress from climate change and ocean acidification.

Resilience analyses using our approach help assess the relative importance of local- or regional-scale management interventions under varying degrees of global environmental change, even if they preside over long-term ecosystem decline. Several frameworks of varying complexity are provided to guide the linkage of resilience metrics to environmental decision-making.
Keyword Climate change
Conservation
Decision making
Dynamics
Resource management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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