Tag Archives: Terry Hughes

Resilience and Regime Shift videos

Kit Hill a Masters student at the Stockholm Resilience Centre made the three short videos below to introduce the concept of resilience and the idea of a regime shift.

Resilience from Kit Hill on Vimeo.

Beating Down Resilience from Kit Hill on Vimeo.

Regime Shift from Kit Hill on Vimeo.

This video was made in order to help people understand the concept of a Social Ecological Regime Shift.

Kit’s efforts are part of a larger project to create a set of communication and teaching resources that can be used to communicate different aspects of resilience thinking.

For more information on resilience see:
the resilience alliance,
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Brian Walker and David Salt’s book Resilience Thinking, or collection of resilience papers on Mendeley.

Stockholm Resilience Centre talks on iTunes

Sturle Hauge Simonsen from Stockholm Resilience Centre has told me that you can freely download Centre seminars and presentations from iTunes. Many shorter presentations are available on YouTube.

Speakers in the iTunes talks includes a diverse group of well known scientists such as Elinor Ostrom, Buzz Holling, Claire Kremen, Pavan Sukhdev, Frances Westley, Terry Hughes, Karen O’Brien, and Johan Rockström.  In total there are over 50 talks by a multi-disciplinary set of sustainability science researchers, including me.

You can download iTunes for free here. Once you have downloaded and opended iTunes, you can find all the SRC’s lectures and seminars by going to the iTunes store, going to podcasts, and searching for Stockholm Resilience Centre in the top right corner of iTunes.

Short Links: Climate change economics and impacts, dealing with data, and analyzing social networks

  1. Paul Krugman writes a popular article in New York Times Magazine on climate change economics.
  2. Nature reports on how Marine Reserves can be a ‘win–win’ for fish and fishermen.  Our colleague Terry Hughes research is mentioned.
  3. Nature Reports Climate Change has several articles that relate to resilience to sea level rise.  Mark Schrope describes coastal development in Florida (which combines a lack of planning with a lack of memory). Mason Inman reports on ecological engineering to adapt to sea level rise.
  4. An Economist special report on dealing with large volumes of data.
  5. Mathematican Steven Storgatz writes about analysis of social networks in New York Times in the Enemy of My Enemy.

Hidden Ecological Functions and Ecological Hysteresis

BatfishThe paper by coral reef researchers Bellwood, Hughes, & Hoey, Sleeping functional group drives coral-reef recovery in Current Biology (2006 16(24):2434 -9) shows that hidden ecological functions can be critical for ecological restoration and provides further evidence for the importance of hysteresis in ecological regime shifts.

The researchers were examining the frequently observed shift of coral reefs from being dominated coral to macroalgae. This change is often due to the overharvesting of herbivorous fishes, particularly parrotfishes and surgeonfishes, that maintain the coral regime. They showed that a shift to the marcoalgae dominated regime on the Australian Great Barrier Reef was reversed not by parrotfishes or surgeonfishes, but rather by a species of batfish, Platax pinnatus, which is relatively rare on the Great Barrier Reef, and was thought to feed only on invertebrates.

Their finding suggests three things:

  1. that conserving ecosystem functioning is important for both for the maintenance and recovery of ecosystems,
  2. that successful functional conservation requires that we need to greatly increase our functional understanding of ecosystems, and
  3. that research into ecosystem functioning should examine function in different ecological contexts.

Interestingly, this research finding is similar to that of common property researchers who have discovered that many local resource management institutions contain “hidden” resources management practices, that are only activated during special environmental conditions – for example a fishery may have alternative property rights emerge during periods low fish abundance.

Press coverage of this research can be found in a press release from James Cook University, the New Scientist, and the Washington Post.