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Novelty in the Anthropocene: Exploring past and future novelty in marine social-ecological systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3968-2008
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Humans have become the major driving force of change, deeply affecting the Earth system and the biosphere. In marine ecosystems specifically, climate-related environmental changes and anthropogenic pressures (e.g., fishing, the introduction of new species, nutrient load) have altered the structures and functioning of social-ecological systems (SES). These changes have created novel, never encountered before, SES dynamics. Novelty, a natural process of SES dynamics, has accelerated due to human activities. On the one hand, novelty allows SES to adapt to change, including maintaining their functions and resilience. On the other hand, the fast-emerging novelty in the Anthropocene epoch is unpredictable and increases the uncertainty related to management and predicting models. Despite consensus on the need for acknowledging novelty in SES, there is much confusion associated with this concept. This thesis provides a unifying conceptualization of novelty in SES by linking Complex Adaptive Systems theories and ecological novelty concepts. The papers that make up this thesis are an empirical contribution to understanding novelty in marine SES in the past and future. Novelty was measured in multiple social and ecological components of the Baltic Sea SES across different temporal and spatial scales. Although novelty is important for SES adaptation to change, it can be a problem or a solution - depending on its rate, drivers, and scale. There is a need to foster novelty that could enhance SES resilience and sustainability, in order to achieve good environmental status in marine ecosystems and for human wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University , 2021. , p. 53
Keywords [en]
Novelty, marine ecosystems, Social-Ecological Systems, Baltic Sea, Complex Adaptive Systems
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-198093ISBN: 978-91-7911-676-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7911-677-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-198093DiVA, id: diva2:1606228
Public defence
2021-12-10, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, and online via Zoom, public link is available at the department website, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-11-17 Created: 2021-10-26 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The rise of novelty in marine ecosystems: The Baltic Sea case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The rise of novelty in marine ecosystems: The Baltic Sea case
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2021 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 27, no 7, p. 1485-1499Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Global environmental changes have accelerated at an unprecedented rate in recent decades due to human activities. As a consequence, the incidence of novel abiotic conditions and biotic communities, which have been continuously emerging in the Earth system, has rapidly risen. Despite growing attention to the incidence and challenges posed by novelty in terrestrial ecosystems, novelty has not yet been quantified in marine ecosystems. Here, we measured for the rate of novelty (RoN) in abiotic conditions and community structure for three trophic levels, i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish, in a large marine system - the Baltic Sea. We measured RoN as the degree of dissimilarity relative to a specific spatial and temporal baseline, and contrasted this with the rate of change as a measure of within-basin change over time. We found that over the past 35 years abiotic and biotic RoN showed complex dynamics varying in time and space, depending on the baseline conditions. RoN in abiotic conditions was smaller in the open Central Baltic Sea than in the Kattegat and the more enclosed Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Riga, and Gulf of Finland in the north. We found a similar spatial pattern for biotic assemblages, which resulted from changes in composition and stock size. We identified sea-surface temperature and salinity as key drivers of RoN in biotic communities. Hence, future environmental changes that are expected to affect the biogeochemistry of the Baltic Sea, may favor the rise of biotic novelty. Our results highlighted the need for a deeper understanding of novelty development in marine ecosystems, including interactions between species and trophic levels, ecosystem functioning under novel abiotic conditions, and considering novelty in future management interventions.

Keywords
General Environmental Science, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Global and Planetary Change
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-197606 (URN)10.1111/gcb.15503 (DOI)000611960300001 ()
Available from: 2021-10-10 Created: 2021-10-10 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
2. Quantifying socio-economic novelty in fisheries social-ecological systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantifying socio-economic novelty in fisheries social-ecological systems
2022 (English)In: Fish and Fisheries, ISSN 1467-2960, E-ISSN 1467-2979, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 445-461Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Socio-economic development has shaped fisheries social-ecological systems (SES) worldwide across different scales. No work has yet undertaken how this development led to novel, not experienced before, systems structure in marine SES. Here, we quantify socio-economic novelty as the degree of dissimilarity relative to a specific spatiotemporal baseline in the Baltic Sea fisheries SES between 1975 and 2015. We used catch by "gears," catch by "commercial groups" and trade ("import" and "export") as respective indicators of novelty at national, regional and international governance levels. We found that socio-economic novelty increased over time nonlinearly in relation to the 1975–1979 baseline. The contribution to total novelty shifted from the dominance of “gears” and “commercial groups” in the late 1990s and early 2000s to “import” and “export” after the mid-2000s, i.e. from national and regional levels to the international level. The fastest increase in novelty occurred with the trade dominance shift, primarily related to monetary value rather than quantity. Spatially, novelty emerged with a large difference across countries, and a major contribution by Sweden, Denmark and Poland. We identified the influence of different management interventions and governance actions on the emergence of novelty in the Baltic SES. The decreasing socio-economic novelty at national and regional levels could indicate reduced variability due to management intervention in recent years which might decrease SES resilience to shocks. Calculating socio-economic novelty and studying its drivers at different scales could provide a better understanding of SES complexity and inform urgently needed adaptation and transformation towards sustainable future pathways. 

Keywords
Baltic Sea fisheries, complex adaptive systems, fishery products trade, governance levels, marine social-ecological systems, socio-economic novelty
National Category
Environmental Sciences Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-197993 (URN)10.1111/faf.12626 (DOI)000714862500001 ()
Available from: 2021-10-24 Created: 2021-10-24 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
3. The Risk for Novel and Disappearing Environmental Conditions in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Risk for Novel and Disappearing Environmental Conditions in the Baltic Sea
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2021 (English)In: Frontiers in Marine Science, E-ISSN 2296-7745, Vol. 8, article id 745722Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Future climate biogeochemical projections indicate large changes in the ocean with environmental conditions not experienced at present referred to as novel, or may even disappear. These climate-induced changes will most likely affect species distribution via changes in growth, behavior, evolution, dispersal, and species interactions. However, the future risk of novel and disappearing environmental conditions in the ocean is poorly understood, in particular for compound effects of climate and nutrient management changes. We map the compound risk of the occurrence of future novel and disappearing environmental conditions, analyze the outcome of climate and nutrient management scenarios for the world’s largest estuary, the Baltic Sea, and the potential consequences for three charismatic species. Overall, the future projections show, as expected, an increase in environmental novelty over time. The future nutrient reduction management that improves the eutrophication status of the Baltic Sea contributes to large novel and disappearing conditions. We show the consequences of novel and disappearing environmental conditions for fundamental niches of three charismatic species under different scenarios. This first step toward comprehensively analyzing environmental novelty and disappearing conditions for a marine system illustrates the urgent need to include novelty and disappearing projection outputs in Earth System Models. Our results further illustrate that adaptive management is needed to account for the emergence of novelty related to the interplay of multiple drivers. Overall, our analysis provides strong support for the expectation of novel ecological communities in marine systems, which may affect ecosystem services, and needs to be accounted for in sustainable future management plans of our oceans.

Keywords
Ocean Engineering, Water Science and Technology, Aquatic Science, Global and Planetary Change, Oceanography
National Category
Ecology Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-197607 (URN)10.3389/fmars.2021.745722 (DOI)000709086300001 ()
Available from: 2021-10-10 Created: 2021-10-10 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
4. Exploring future ecosystem novelty and resilience using the adaptive cycle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring future ecosystem novelty and resilience using the adaptive cycle
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Marine ecosystems worldwide are under unprecedented pressure from the impacts of climate change and human activities. Such pressure increased novelty in species assemblages, i.e., assemblages increasingly outside their historical range of variation. It may further rise in the future, and whether it will unfold and influence resilience remains unclear. Using the adaptive cycle, we explore the relationship between resilience and novelty under the compound effect of climate, nutrient load, and fishing management scenarios in the Finnish Archipelago Sea (FAS) future food web model. Novelty was measured as the minimum dissimilarity over time relative to a specific baseline. Ecological Network Analysis indices associated to the model: ascendancy, capacity, and overhead flow, were used as indicators of connectedness, potential, and resilience axes of the adaptive cycle. A model-based clustering method distinguished four regimes determined by the impact of the nutrient load and climate on the bottom-up dynamic of the FAS food web. Resilience decreased in regimes where higher and faster novelty emerged in response to warmer climate pathways. The number of reorganization phases of the adaptive cycle, characterized by the generation of novelty, was greater in regimes under low nutrient load management scenarios. We highlight the importance of understanding ecosystem reorganization and resilience in a growing Anthropogenic novelty to inform future management. 

Keywords
Adaptive cycles, novelty, resilience, reorganization, marine food web model, Ecological Network Analysis (ENA), Finnish Archipelago Sea
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-198088 (URN)
Available from: 2021-10-26 Created: 2021-10-26 Last updated: 2022-02-25

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