ES293 Social Ecological Systems - Final Exam Notes.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

Wilfrid Laurier University
Environmental Studies
Scott Slocombe

Social-Ecological Systems Final Exam Notes Landscape Ecology Concepts  Matrix  Patch  Corridor Biodiversity implications  Edge and interior loss and gain Forces of change in landscape  Deterministic o Pollution, hunting, harvesting, isolation  Stochastic o Demographic, genetic, environmental fluctuation, catastrophes Reducing landscape change  Protect and expand habitat  Enhance habitat quality  Manage across entire landscape  Increase landscape connectivity Fire, Landscapes and Biodiversity  Fire-dependant species  Human uses of fire  Fire suppression and management (controlled burns)  Climate change and fire Adaptive Management  Maintain systems ability to change and adapt  Management as experiment  Monitoring and learning Highly functional systems have 3 characteristics that make them work:  Resilience o The amount of change or disturbance a system can absorb without crossing a threshold o Several loops, with different mechanisms, operating at different scales and with redundancy o Not the same as being static or constant over time  Self-organization o Capacity of system to make its own structure complex within window of vitality o Characterized by goals, positive and negative feedback, autocalysis o Often sacrifices for productivity and stability o Basic property of living systems  Hierarchy o Help subsystems do their jobs better  Decrease information overload, minimize delays o Must balance welfare, freedoms, and responsibilities of sub-systems and total system o Evolve from the bottom up Resilient local economy: high number of species doing similar jobs in an ecosystem Ball in Basin Theory:  Ball = combination of variables in system  Basin = state of the system  Basin characteristics = resilience o System has essentially same structure and function within basin o Awareness of state of resilience allows one to preserve or enhance restorative powers Tipping point of resilience  Once threshold is crossed, fundamental changes occur to structure and function  Not always observable until threshold has been met  Systems can have many different ``states`` o Many tend towards equilibrium o Constantly changing Adaptive Cycle  Thought tool used to describe how ecological systems behave and change over time Front loop – longer, relatively predictable, increasing stability, slow accumulation Back loop – brief, uncertainty, loss of human natural and economic capital 1) Rapid growth  Exploit resources and opportunities  Variability, flexibility, adaptable 2) Conservation  Growth slows  Energy and materials accumulate  More conservative and efficient  Less resilient 3) Release  Disturbance  System breaks down when disturbance exceeds system resilience Climate Change Responses  Avoidance o International agreement o Reducing emission  Mitigation o Restoring natural systems  Adaptation o Redevelopment, engineering, reducing other stresses o Higher insurance premiums Political Ecology  Five characteristics o Multiple scales, context o Actor based o Historical o Socio-economic factors of environmental destruction (class, gender, race) o Social construction of natural resources (issues of meaning) Impact = Population x Affluence x technology Outline System Structure  Systems diagram  Hierarchies  Influence diagram  Space & time scales Social-Ecological Systems Management  Societies direct and indirect dependence on natural systems  Influence of environmental change on societies and economies  Effect of economic and social forces on natural systems o Growth o Subsidies o Taxes o Prices o Markets o Discount rates  Stable – but ultimately changeable and unpredictable o Dynamic equilibrium and resilient (not infinitely)  Social Dimensions o Politics o Power o Control o Managing people  Property rights o Tragedy of the commons  Communication  Culture and institutions  Determine who has what right and where  Institutional legitimacy  Invoking and interpreting rules and sanctions Surprise and Adaptive Management Sources of surprise  Linear-nonlinear  Nonexistent boundaries  Limiting factors  Delays  Bounded rationality Adaptive Management  Uncertainty  Can`t optimize  Maintain systems ability to change and adapt Environmental Economics Environmental vs. ecological Scarcity and resources  Demand  Supply  Price  Technology Economic Resources  Natural  Human  Financial  Manufactures Core Issues  Markets  Externalities  Discount rates and time preferences  Valuation o Tangible and intangible values o Cost-benefit analysis Government Subsidies and taxes, tariffs and regulation Ecological Economics Types of capital:  Natural  Social  Economic Addresses ecosystem functions and services  Linkages between or embedding of human and natural systems Indicators  Economic growth  Development  Quality of life SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS IN TEXT Climate Change  Massive releases of greenhouse gasses by humans have altered the climate.  Rapid global warming is responsible for a biotic changes such as receding of glaciers and increase in wildfires  Increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have acidified the oceans.  Populations, species, and ecosystems are responding to these climatic conditions.  Urgent actions are needed to reverse the climatic changes. Invasive Species  Invasive species cause myriad sorts of conservation problems, many of which are complicated, some of which are subtle, and some of which are not manifested until long after a species is introduced.  The best way to avoid such problems is to prevent introductions in the first place or, failing that, to find them quickly and eradicate them.  However, many established introduced species can be managed by a variety of technologies so that their populations remain restricted and their impacts are minimized. Over-Exploitation  Human exploitation of biological commodities involves resource extraction from the land, freshwater bodies or oceans, so that wild animals, plants or their products are used for a wide variety of purposes.  Overexploitation occurs when the harvest rate of any given population exceeds its natural replacement rate  Many species are relatively insensitive to harvesting, remaining abundant under relatively high rates of off take, whereas others can be driven to local extinction by even the lightest levels of off take.  This chapter reviews the effects of overexploitation in terrestrial as well as aquatic biomes. Options to manage resource exploitation are also discussed. Habitat Fragmentation & Landscape Change  Destruction and fragmentation of habitats are major factors in the global decline of species, the modification of native plant and animal communities and the alteration of ecosystem processes.  Habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation (or subdivision) and new forms of land use are closely intertwined in an overall process of landscape change.  Landscape change is not random: disproportionate change typically occurs in flatter areas, at lower elevations and on more-productive soils.  Altered physical processes (e.g. wind and water flows) and the impacts of human land-use have a profound influence on fragments and their biota, particularly at fragment edges.  Differe
More Less

Related notes for ES293

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.