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WHAT you know is WHO you know? – communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2006 (English)In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 11, no 2, Aricle nr 7- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The social networks is one factor determining the flow of information within communities and as such may be important in determining successful implementation of community based management. We mapped the social network used for communication of knowledge and information related to natural resource extraction among villagers in a coastal seascape in Kenya. We further identified subgroups and examined their interrelations while measuring to what extent personal attributes such as occupation can explain observed group structure. Finally, we compared the local ecological knowledge held by villagers of different occupations with the structure of the communication network to map how well this structure can explain distribution of ecological knowledge among them. Results show that communication occurs primarily between fishermen who use the same gear type, which may inhibit exchange of ecological knowledge within the community. This may partly explain why the community has been unsuccessful in regulating resource extraction, especially since potentially influential groups of nonfishermen have a limited communication with the various fisher groups. Analysis of network structure also shows that groups most central, and hence potentially most influential, are dominated in numbers by migrant deep sea fishermen, hypothetically less motivated to initiate collective action for resource management. Hence, we conclude that a lack of collective action to remedy an unsustainable situation may be attributed to various different but distinct aspects of the specific structure of the social network.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 11, no 2, Aricle nr 7- p.
Keyword [en]
co-management; communication patterns; East Africa; ecological knowledge; fisheries; fishing gear; social networks
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25692OAI: diva2:200275
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-844Available from: 2006-02-10 Created: 2006-02-10 Last updated: 2010-01-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A network perspective on ecosystems, societies and natural resource management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A network perspective on ecosystems, societies and natural resource management
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis employs a network perspective in studying ecosystems and natural resource management. It explores the structural characteristics of social and/or ecological networks and their implications on societies’ and ecosystems’ ability to adapt to change and to cope with disturbances while still maintaining essential functions and structures (i.e. resilience).

Paper I introduces terminology from the network sciences and puts these into the context of ecology and natural resource management. Paper II and III focus on habitat fragmentation and how it affects an agricultural landscape in southern Madagascar. Two ecosystem services were addressed: (1) crop pollination by bees, and (2) seed dispersal by ring-tailed lemurs. It is shown that the fraction of the studied landscape presently covered by both crop pollination and seed dispersal is surprisingly high, but that further removal of the smallest habitat patches in the study area could have a severe negative impact on the landscape’s capacity to support these ecosystem services.

In Papers IV and V, the network approach is used to study social networks and the impact they may have on the management of natural resources. In Paper IV it is found that social networks of low- to moderate link densities (among managers) significantly increase the probability for relatively high and stable utility returns whereas high link densities cause occasional large-scale ecological crises between periods of stable and excessively high utility returns. In Paper V, social networks of a rural fishing community in eastern Africa were analyzed. The results indicate that patterns of communication partly explain the distribution of ecological knowledge among villagers, and that gear type used by small-scale coastal fishermen strongly correlates with their patterns of communication. The results also show that groups most central in the network, and hence potentially most influential, are dominated by one type of fishermen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för systemekologi, 2006. 198 p.
network, seed dispersal, pollination, natural resource management, lemur catta, social networks, landscape fragmentation, Madagascar, East Africa, fisheries, resilience, co-management
National Category
Natural Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-844 (URN)91-7155-207-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-03-17, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 09:00
Available from: 2006-02-10 Created: 2006-02-10Bibliographically approved

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