Assessing the resilient provision of ecosystem services by social-ecological systems : introduction and theory
Sarkki, Simo; Ficko, Andrej; Wielgolaski, Frans E.; Abraham, Eleni M.; Bratanova-Doncheva, Svetla; Grunewald, Karsten; Hofgaard, Annika; Holtmeier, Friedrich-Karl; Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P.; Broll, Gabriele; Nijnik, Maria; Sutinen, Marja-Liisa (2017-08-21)
Sarkki S, Ficko A, Wielgolaski FE, Abraham EM and others (2017) Assessing the resilient provision of ecosystem services by social-ecological systems: introduction and theory. Clim Res 73:7-15. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01437
© The authors 2017. Open Access under Creative Commons by Attribution Licence. Use, distribution and reproduction are unrestricted. Authors and original publication must be credited.
The concepts of resilience and ecosystem services broaden the opportunities for assessing sustainability of social-ecological systems (SESs). The lack of operational frameworks for assessing the resilient provision of ecosystem services by SESs impedes greater integration of resilience thinking in natural resource governance. The greatest challenge so far has been to understand the capacity of the SES to (re)organize itself and sustain the flow of benefits from nature to people under various global and local pressures and trade-offs between ecosystem services users. To assess the resilience of an SES within a single framework, we propose a new approach which is a combination of: (1) the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework; (2) social-ecological indicators; and (3) scenario building. Practical application of the approach is demonstrated with the example of European polar and altitudinal treeline areas. The DPSIR framework analyzes causal relationships between the components of the SES. Social-ecological indicators quantify processes in the SES and estimate trends in the DPSIR factors. Combined top-down and bottom-up scenarios envision plausible development paths of the SES in the future based on expected global environmental and social changes which create context specific dynamics between DPSIR factors at specific localities. The proposed approach represents the analytical framework of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) action SENSFOR (Enhancing the resilience capacity of SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change) and can be applied to promote systemic resilience thinking in any SES.
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