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Social-ecological resilience and geomorphic systems

Chaffin, Brian C. and Scown, Murray LU (2018) In Geomorphology 305. p.221-230
Abstract

Governance of coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) and the underlying geomorphic processes that structure and alter Earth's surface is a key challenge for global sustainability amid the increasing uncertainty and change that defines the Anthropocene. Social-ecological resilience as a concept of scientific inquiry has contributed to new understandings of the dynamics of change in SESs, increasing our ability to contextualize and implement governance in these systems. Often, however, the importance of geomorphic change and geomorphological knowledge is somewhat missing from processes employed to inform SES governance. In this contribution, we argue that geomorphology and social-ecological resilience research should be integrated to... (More)

Governance of coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) and the underlying geomorphic processes that structure and alter Earth's surface is a key challenge for global sustainability amid the increasing uncertainty and change that defines the Anthropocene. Social-ecological resilience as a concept of scientific inquiry has contributed to new understandings of the dynamics of change in SESs, increasing our ability to contextualize and implement governance in these systems. Often, however, the importance of geomorphic change and geomorphological knowledge is somewhat missing from processes employed to inform SES governance. In this contribution, we argue that geomorphology and social-ecological resilience research should be integrated to improve governance toward sustainability. We first provide definitions of engineering, ecological, community, and social-ecological resilience and then explore the use of these concepts within and alongside geomorphology in the literature. While ecological studies often consider geomorphology as an important factor influencing the resilience of ecosystems and geomorphological studies often consider the engineering resilience of geomorphic systems of interest, very few studies define and employ a social-ecological resilience framing and explicitly link the concept to geomorphic systems. We present five key concepts—scale, feedbacks, state or regime, thresholds and regime shifts, and humans as part of the system—which we believe can help explicitly link important aspects of social-ecological resilience inquiry and geomorphological inquiry in order to strengthen the impact of both lines of research. Finally, we discuss how these five concepts might be used to integrate social-ecological resilience and geomorphology to better understand change in, and inform governance of, SESs.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Geomorphology, Governance, Resilience, Social-ecological systems (SESs), Sustainability
in
Geomorphology
volume
305
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044265067
ISSN
0169-555X
DOI
10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.09.038
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b7c6a4e0-9f33-4cd3-a1b4-5d7d2d259d8f
date added to LUP
2018-04-04 07:46:50
date last changed
2018-10-07 05:05:41
@article{b7c6a4e0-9f33-4cd3-a1b4-5d7d2d259d8f,
  abstract     = {<p>Governance of coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) and the underlying geomorphic processes that structure and alter Earth's surface is a key challenge for global sustainability amid the increasing uncertainty and change that defines the Anthropocene. Social-ecological resilience as a concept of scientific inquiry has contributed to new understandings of the dynamics of change in SESs, increasing our ability to contextualize and implement governance in these systems. Often, however, the importance of geomorphic change and geomorphological knowledge is somewhat missing from processes employed to inform SES governance. In this contribution, we argue that geomorphology and social-ecological resilience research should be integrated to improve governance toward sustainability. We first provide definitions of engineering, ecological, community, and social-ecological resilience and then explore the use of these concepts within and alongside geomorphology in the literature. While ecological studies often consider geomorphology as an important factor influencing the resilience of ecosystems and geomorphological studies often consider the engineering resilience of geomorphic systems of interest, very few studies define and employ a social-ecological resilience framing and explicitly link the concept to geomorphic systems. We present five key concepts—scale, feedbacks, state or regime, thresholds and regime shifts, and humans as part of the system—which we believe can help explicitly link important aspects of social-ecological resilience inquiry and geomorphological inquiry in order to strengthen the impact of both lines of research. Finally, we discuss how these five concepts might be used to integrate social-ecological resilience and geomorphology to better understand change in, and inform governance of, SESs.</p>},
  author       = {Chaffin, Brian C. and Scown, Murray},
  issn         = {0169-555X},
  keyword      = {Geomorphology,Governance,Resilience,Social-ecological systems (SESs),Sustainability},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  pages        = {221--230},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Geomorphology},
  title        = {Social-ecological resilience and geomorphic systems},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.09.038},
  volume       = {305},
  year         = {2018},
}