Discovering interesting articles within sea of scientific publications can be difficult. BioMedCentral produces – Faculty of 1000 – an internet based research filtering service that highlights and reviews the papers published in the biological sciences, based on the ranking and recommendations of a faculty of well over 1000 selected researchers.
Along with many other ecologists from diverse backgrounds, a number of resilience researchers including Carl Folke, Terry Chapin and Ann Kinzig, participate in the Faculty of 10000, but none of them have recommended papers yet.” Resilience Alliance program director Brian Walker, is also a member and he recently recommended Marty Anderies new paper on how deforestation produced a soil-moisture regime shift in the south-eastern Australia,
Minimal models and agroecological policy at the regional scale: An application to salinity problems in southeastern Australia Regional Environmental Change 2005 5:1-17
abstract: A minimal dynamical systems model that couples agricultural activity, native vegetation, and hydrological processes is developed to explore policy options regarding regional-scale soil and water salinization in southeastern Australia. The analysis suggests that although considerable revegetation is required to restore catchment water balance, the current value of water in uses other than agriculture is too low for revegetation to be economically viable. In contrast, groundwater pumping generates significant short-term gains by preventing soil salinization but is not a viable long-term solution. Thus, effective salinity management policy must include mechanisms to increase the value of water in uses other than irrigated agriculture to achieve sufficient long-term revegetation. These results are robust over a wide range of parameter values and thus provide a basis for policy action in the face of uncertainty about groundwater flow characteristics.
Brian Walker writes in Faculty of 1000:
Using a well-developed, simple, analytical model of the dynamics of a water table in response to clearing of native vegetation and to variation in rainfall, the authors report that, in the catchment they studied, a clearing of native vegetation in the early 1900s resulted in a new equilibrium for the groundwater table at the surface. Their findings demonstrate an interesting application of the consequences of a threshold effect in an ecosystem for management policy. The original water table was around 20-30m, and it took many decades for the water table to rise. As it rose it brought up salt that was stored in the soil profile. There is a threshold effect at 2m below the surface. If the water rises above that, it and the salt get drawn to the surface by capillary action, and there is a hysteretic effect in the return path of water levels. The region now faces a severe salinisation problem. The options are pumping and re-vegetation. The paper describes the model and explores, in the model’s parameter space, the options for economically feasible solutions.
Brian Walker also recommended another resilience paper Spatial Complexity, Resilience, and Policy Diversity: Fishing on Lake-rich Landscapes by Steve Carpenter and Buz Brock, in Ecology and Society that shows how spatial connections can change the resilience of a social-ecological system.