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Marine regime shifts: drivers and impacts on ecosystems services
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
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2015 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 370, no 1659, 20130273Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Marine ecosystems can experience regime shifts, in which they shift from being organized around one set of mutually reinforcing structures and processes to another. Anthropogenic global change has broadly increased a wide variety of processes that can drive regime shifts. To assess the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to such shifts and their potential consequences, we reviewed the scientific literature for 13 types of marine regime shifts and used networks to conduct an analysis of co-occurrence of drivers and ecosystem service impacts. We found that regime shifts are caused by multiple drivers and have multiple consequences that co-occur in a non-random pattern. Drivers related to food production, climate change and coastal development are the most common co-occurring causes of regime shifts, while cultural services, biodiversity and primary production are the most common cluster of ecosystem services affected. These clusters prioritize sets of drivers for management and highlight the need for coordinated actions across multiple drivers and scales to reduce the risk of marine regime shifts. Managerial strategies are likely to fail if they only address well-understood or data-rich variables, and international cooperation and polycentric institutions will be critical to implement and coordinate action across the scales at which different drivers operate. By better understanding these underlying patterns, we hope to inform the development of managerial strategies to reduce the risk of high-impact marine regime shifts, especially for areas of the world where data are not available or monitoring programmes are not in place.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 370, no 1659, 20130273
Keyword [en]
regime shifts, critical transitions, drivers, ecosystem services, networks
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science; Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113112DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0273ISI: 000346147200011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113112DiVA: diva2:787737
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2015-02-11 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Regime Shifts in the Anthropocene
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regime Shifts in the Anthropocene
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abrupt and persistent reconfiguration of ecosystem’s structure and function has been observed on a wide variety of ecosystems worldwide. While scientist believe that such phenomena could become more common and severe in the near future, little is known about the patterns of regime shifts’ causes and consequences for human well-being. This thesis aims to assess global patterns of regime shifts in social-ecological systems. A framework for comparing regime shifts has been developed as well as a public forum for discussing knowledge about regime shifts, namely the regime shift database. The most common drivers and expected impacts on ecosystem services have been identified by studying the qualitative topology of causal networks as well as the statistical properties that explain their emergent patters. Given that long time series data for ecosystems monitoring is rather sparse, and experimenting with ecosystems at the scales required to understand their feedback dynamics is rarely an option; we also proposed an indirect computationally based method for monitoring changes in ecosystem services. I hope the results here presented offer useful guidance for managers and policy makers on how to prioritize drivers or impacts of regime shifts: one take home message is that well-understood variables are not necessary the ones where most managerial efforts need to be taken. I also hope the scientific community rigorously criticize our results, but also acknowledge that when doing theoretical or empirical work, our methods tend to ignore the multi-causal nature of regime shifts. By bringing back multi-causality to the scientific debate, I hope our results offer new avenues for hypothesis exploration and theory development on the human endeavour of understanding Nature.

Abstract [es]

Transiciones críticas o cambios de régimen en ecosistemas se definen como reconfiguraciones abruptas de su estructura y función. Estos cambios, en ocasiones inesperados, se han documentado en una gran variedad de ecosistemas en todo el planeta. Algunos científicos proponen que en el futuro cercano dichos fenómenos pueden volverse más frecuentes y severos. Sin embargo, sabemos muy poco sobre las causas y consecuencias potenciales para el bienestar humano. El objetivo de esta tesis es evaluar patrones globales de cambios de régimen en sistemas socio-ecológicos. Un marco conceptual para comparar cambios de régimen y un foro público de discusión sobre el estado del arte en su conocimiento fue desarrollado en la base de datos virtual www.regimeshifts.org. Las causas más comunes y los impactos en servicios ecosistémicos más esperados han sido identificados estudiando las propiedades topológicas de redes causales, así como las propiedades estadísticas que explican sus propiedades emergentes. Dado que experimentar con ecosistemas a la escala adecuada para capturar sus mecanismos causales generalmente no es una opción, y dado que la disponibilidad de datos de largo plazo necesarios para monitorear cambios de régimen son la excepción y no la regla, proponemos un método indirecto computacional para monitorear cambios en servicios ecosistémicos. Espero que los resultados sean de utilidad para actores encargados del diseño de políticas o del manejo de ecosistemas, especialmente espero que ofrezcan una guía sobre cómo priorizar causas y consecuencias de estos cambios de régimen: una lección clave es que las variables que mejor entendemos o las que más monitoreamos no son necesariamente aquellas en las que debemos enfocar las estrategias de manejo. También espero que la comunidad científica critique con rigor nuestros resultados, pero a su vez reconozca que tanto el trabajo empírico y teórico como los métodos que comúnmente se utilizan para estudiar cambios de régimen tienden a ignorar su naturaleza multi-causal. Al enfatizar la diversidad de sus causas, espero que los resultados ofrezcan nuevas posibilidades para la exploración de hipótesis y el desarrollo de teorías para entender mejor la Naturaleza.

Abstract [sv]

Abrupt och ihållande omkonfigurering av ekosystems struktur och funktion har observerats i en mängd olika ekosystem världen över. Forskning visar på att dessa fenomen antas bli vanligare och allvarligare inom vår närmsta framtid. Kunskapen kring dessa s.k. regimskiften är dock bristfällig, framförallt kring dess konsekvenser för mänskligt välbefinnande. Denna avhandling syftar till att bedöma globala mönster av regimskiften. Ett ramverk för att jämföra regimskiften, samt ett offentligt forum, “the regime shifts database”, för att främja diskussion och sprida kunskap om regimskiften, har utvecklats. De mest förekommande drivkrafter och effekter på ekosystemtjänster har identifierats genom att studera kvalitativa topologiska och kausala nätverk, samt de statistiska egenskaperna som förklarar deras framväxande mönster. Då långvariga tidsserier av ekosystemövervakning är få, och då de experiment som krävs för att förstå regimskiftens återkopplingsdynamik sällan är möjliga, föreslås också en indirekt beräkningsmetod för övervakning av förändringar i ekosystemtjänster. Resultaten från denna avhandling ämnar ger värdefull vägledning för beslutsfattare om prioriteringsordningen mellan olika typer av drivkrafter och effekter av regimskiften. En viktig slutsats är att gedigen kunskap om en viss variabel inte nödvändigtvis ger området där insatser bör tillsättas. Vidare, genom att föra tillbaka multi-kausalitet till den vetenskapliga debatten, erbjuder avhandlingen nya vägar för hypotesprövning och teoriutveckling inom vår gemensamma strävan att förstå Naturen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2015. 20 p.
Keyword
regime shifts, critical transitions, ecosystems, drivers, impacts, ecosystem services
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116894 (URN)978-91-7649-200-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, Gröjersalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Roslagsvägen 101, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2009-6966-139149-41
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-05-14 Created: 2015-05-04 Last updated: 2015-07-06Bibliographically approved
2. The Impact of Multiple Drivers on Marine Systems: Novel approaches for studying structural changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Multiple Drivers on Marine Systems: Novel approaches for studying structural changes
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human action is transforming the species composition, biogeochemistry and habitats of the world’s oceans at unprecedented rates. The cumulative effect of natural and anthropogenic drivers is challenging to measure, in part due to indirect effects and the complexity of marine systems. Building on the theory of complex adaptive systems, this thesis aims to increase our understanding of how complex, heterogeneous marine social-ecological systems (SES) may respond to changing conditions. This thesis integrates resilience research with network science and describes change and structural patterns at several SES scales in order to advance our knowledge on the effects of multiple drivers.

Paper I proposes a new, quantitative fish stock collapse definition, that accounts for fish stock dynamics and enables standardization and thus comparability across a large number of commercial fish stocks. Recognizing that substantial ecosystem changes are part of SES dynamics, in Paper II we review marine regime shifts worldwide to specify how co-occurring bundles of drivers are related to degraded ecosystem services for management purposes. A more detailed ecological study on regime shifts was performed in Papers III and IV. Paper III describes the late-1980s central Baltic Sea regime shift based on a food-web model. Paper IV uses a novel structural network analysis approach to detect functional shifts in complex food webs. The results of Paper IV imply that the Baltic Sea regime shift may not be a systemwide shift. Paper V uses a network approach to analyze fishing strategy diversification and social-ecological connectivity among Swedish Baltic Sea fishers, indicating that natural resource management evaluations should not be limited only to ecosystem conditions but also take account of social conditions.

Overall, this thesis provides empirical evidence for the emerging perspective that marine resource science and management must account for the complexity of system elements in order to ensure the provision of ecosystem services in the future. The first application of Exponential Random Graph Modeling in ecology and an improved fish stock collapse definition provide new advanced tools for studying oceans from an SES perspective in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2016. 60 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129280 (URN)978-91-7649-414-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-03, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-05-11 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2017-02-24Bibliographically approved

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