Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing

Charting two centuries of transformation in a coastal social-ecological system: A mixed methods approach

Thurstan RH, Diggles BK, Gillies CL, Strong MK, Kerkhove R, Buckley SM, King RA, Smythe V, Heller-Wagner G, Weeks R, et al. Charting two centuries of transformation in a coastal social-ecological system: A mixed methods approach. Global Environmental Change [Internet]. 2020 ;61:102058. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378019311033
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Oyster reef ecosystems used to form significant components of many temperate and subtropical inshore coastal systems but have suffered declines globally, with a concurrent loss of services. The early timing of many of these changes makes it difficult to determine restoration targets which consider interdecadal timeframes, community values and shifted baselines. On the Australian continent, however, the transition from Indigenous (Aboriginal) to Westernized resource use and management occurred relatively recently, allowing us to map social-ecological changes in detail. In this study, we reconstruct the transformations in the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) wild commercial industry of central and southeast Queensland, and by extension its reef ecosystems, as well as the changing societal and cultural values related to the presence and use of the rock oyster through time. By integrating data from the archaeological, anthropological and fisheries literature, government and media accounts, we explore these transformations over the last two centuries. Before the 1870s, there was a relative equilibrium. Aboriginal peoples featured as sole traders to Europeans, supplying oysters and becoming a substantial component of the industry's labour pool. Effectively, Australia's commercial oyster industry arose from Aboriginal-European trade. During this initial phase, there was still a relative abundance of wild oyster, with subtidal oyster reef structures present in regions where oysters are today absent or scarce. By contrast, these reefs declined by the late 19th century, despite production of oysters increasing due to continued large-scale oyster recruitment and the expansion of oyster cultivation in intertidal areas. Production peaked in 1891, with successive peaks observed in regions further north. During the 1890s, flood events coupled with land-use changes introduced large quantities of silt into the system, which likely facilitated an increase in oyster pests and diseases, ultimately decreasing the carrying capacity of the system. Today oyster production in this region is less than one-tenth of historical peak production. Many cultural heritage components have also been lost. Indigenous management is now very minor due to the massive decimation of Aboriginal populations and their respective practices. Yet, we found strong cultural attachment to midden remains and oyster production continues within Indigenous communities, with considerable broader community support. This study highlights the value of conducting thorough analysis of early media accounts as a means for reconstructing historical resource decline and management. It further demonstrates the application of historical information and context for contemporary management, protection and restoration of much-altered coastal social-ecological systems.

Ecosystem services, socio-economic values and organizational profiles of Mediterranean MPAs

F. N, D. M, S. S, M. R, K. H, M G. Ecosystem services, socio-economic values and organizational profiles of Mediterranean MPAs. WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature; 2019. Available from: http://medpan.org/ecosystem-services-socio-economic-values-and-organizational-profiles-of-mediterranean-mpas/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

WWF and CoNISMa outline an adaptive methodology for evaluating key economic benefits, potentially applicable in different Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The study was piloted in 6 MPAs: 3 MPAs with an official mission and long-term management plans – Egadi Islands MPA (Italy), Telašćica Nature Park (Croatia), Torre Guaceto MPA (Italy) – and 3 not-yet officially gazetted MPA without an operational management plan – Gouraya National Park, Taza National Park in Algeria and Tabarka Marine and Coastal Protected Area in Tunisia.

Moving Toward an Agenda on Ocean Health and Human Health in Europe

Borja A, White MP, Berdalet E, Bock N, Eatock C, Kristensen P, Leonard A, Lloret J, Pahl S, Parga M, et al. Moving Toward an Agenda on Ocean Health and Human Health in Europe. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00037/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The integrated study of ocean health and human health is an emerging area of increasing global importance. Growing evidences demonstrate that the health of the ocean and the health of humans have always been and will continue to be, inextricably linked. Our actions toward the oceans will significantly influence the future of the whole planet and, in turn, our own health. The current review of these issues arose from a summer school in San Sebastian (Spain), from 5th to 7th June, 2019. An interdisciplinary group of researchers discussed key risks (e.g., microbial pollution, pharmaceuticals, harmful algal blooms, plastic pollution) and benefits (e.g., bathing waters, recreation, tourism) of the seas and global ocean for humanity; and debated the future priorities and potential actions for a joint Oceans and Human Health research and governance programme in Europe. The aim of this review is to contribute to the emerging scientific agenda on ocean health and human health, as well as coordinate efforts with stakeholders, policy makers and the general public. This agenda operates within the larger context of the upcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: 2021–2030, which strives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including healthy (human) lives and well-being (SDG3) and conserving and sustainably using the oceans (SDG14), among others. In addition to summarizing some of the key risks and benefits, therefore, we describe the governance of oceans and health interactions (especially in Europe), and we finish by proposing a list of elements for potential future research priorities on oceans and human health.

Mapping the Policy Interventions on Marine Social-Ecological Systems: Case Study of Sekisei Lagoon, Southwest Japan

Makino M, Hori M, Nanami A, Hori J, Tajima H. Mapping the Policy Interventions on Marine Social-Ecological Systems: Case Study of Sekisei Lagoon, Southwest Japan. In: Managing Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes for Sustainable Communities in Asia. Managing Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes for Sustainable Communities in Asia. Singapore: Springer Singapore; 2020. pp. 11 - 29. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-1133-2_2
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book Chapter

Using a case of the Sekisei Lagoon, Okinawa Prefecture, the southeastern tip of Japanese archipelago, this chapter discussed the interrelationships among the sectoral policy interventions by various marine-related ministries, and the whole structure of the integrated ocean policy. First, we developed the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Schematic, which summarized the main ecosystem structures, functions, use types, and the stakeholders relating to the Sekisei Lagoon. Then, sectoral policy interventions by various ministries were overlaid onto the SES schematic to graphically show their interrelationships. We found that the ecosystem structure and functions used by one sector is closely connected to other structures and functions, which are then used by other sectors. In other words, all the stakeholders in the social system are closely interlinked at the ecological system level. Secondly, all in all, sectoral policy interventions by various ministries are covering almost all part of the Sekisei Lagoon SES, and therefore, the total coordination of the sectoral policy interventions and the creation of the synergy effects are required. In this process, the cabinet office and the local government will play the important roles. Finally, this SES schematic can be used as a boundary object to facilitate the knowledge exchanges among various stakeholders including the policy makers, practitioners, and researchers, to share the common understandings of the current situation, and to cocreate the policy interventions for the sustainable uses of Sekisei Lagoon.

Integrated Modeling to Evaluate Climate Change Impacts on Coupled Social-Ecological Systems in Alaska

Hollowed ABabcock, Holsman KKari, Haynie AC, Hermann AJ, Punt AE, Aydin K, Ianelli JN, Kasperski S, Cheng W, Faig A, et al. Integrated Modeling to Evaluate Climate Change Impacts on Coupled Social-Ecological Systems in Alaska. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00775/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project represents a comprehensive, multi-year, interdisciplinary effort to characterize and project climate-driven changes to the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) ecosystem, from physics to fishing communities. Results from the ACLIM project are being used to understand how different regional fisheries management approaches can help promote adaptation to climate-driven changes to sustain fish and shellfish populations and to inform managers and fishery dependent communities of the risks associated with different future climate scenarios. The project relies on iterative communications and outreaches with managers and fishery-dependent communities that have informed the selection of fishing scenarios. This iterative approach ensures that the research team focuses on policy relevant scenarios that explore realistic adaptation options for managers and communities. Within each iterative cycle, the interdisciplinary research team continues to improve: methods for downscaling climate models, climate-enhanced biological models, socio-economic modeling, and management strategy evaluation (MSE) within a common analytical framework. The evolving nature of the ACLIM framework ensures improved understanding of system responses and feedbacks are considered within the projections and that the fishing scenarios continue to reflect the management objectives of the regional fisheries management bodies. The multi-model approach used for projection of biological responses, facilitates the quantification of the relative contributions of climate forcing scenario, fishing scenario, parameter, and structural uncertainty with and between models. Ensemble means and variance within and between models inform risk assessments under different future scenarios. The first phase of projections of climate conditions to the end of the 21st century is complete, including projections of catch for core species under baseline (status quo) fishing conditions and two alternative fishing scenarios are discussed. The ACLIM modeling framework serves as a guide for multidisciplinary integrated climate impact and adaptation decision making in other large marine ecosystems.

Social network analysis as a tool for marine spatial planning: Impacts of decommissioning on connectivity in the North Sea

Tidbury H, Taylor N, Molen J, Garcia L, Posen P, Gill A, Lincoln S, Judd A, Hyder K. Social network analysis as a tool for marine spatial planning: Impacts of decommissioning on connectivity in the North Sea. Journal of Applied Ecology [Internet]. 2020 . Available from: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2664.13551
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Connectivity of marine populations and ecosystems is crucial to maintaining and enhancing their structure, distribution, persistence, resilience and productivity. Artificial hard substrate, such as that associated with oil and gas platforms, provides settlement opportunities for species adapted to hard substrates in areas of soft sediment. The contribution of artificial hard substrate and the consequences of its removal (e.g. through decommissioning) to marine connectivity is not clear, yet such information is vital to inform marine spatial planning and future policy decisions on the use and protection of marine resources.
  2. This study demonstrates the application of a social network analysis approach to quantify and describe the ecological connectivity, informed by particle tracking model outputs, of hard substrate marine communities in the North Sea. Through comparison of networks with and without artificial hard substrate, and based on hypothetical decommissioning scenarios, this study provides insight into the contribution of artificial hard substrate, and the consequence of decommissioning, to the structure and function of marine community connectivity.
  3. This study highlights that artificial hard substrate, despite providing only a small proportion of the total area of hard substrate, increases the geographic extent and connectivity of the hard substrate network, bridging gaps, thereby providing ‘stepping stones’ between otherwise disconnected areas of natural hard substrate. Compared to the baseline scenario, a decommissioning scenario with full removal of oil and gas platforms results in a nearly 60% reduction in connectivity. Such reduction in connectivity may have negative implications for species’ distribution, gene flow and resilience following disturbance or exploitation of marine hard substrate communities.
  4. Synthesis and applications. Social network analysis can provide valuable insight into connectivity between marine communities and enable the evaluation of impacts associated with changes to the marine environment. Providing standardized, transparent and robust outputs, such a tool is useful to facilitate understanding across different disciplines, including marine science, marine spatial planning and marine policy. Social network analysis therefore has great potential to address current knowledge gaps with respect to marine connectivity and crucially facilitate assessment of the impacts of changes in offshore substrate as part of the marine spatial planning process, thereby informing policy and marine management decisions.

Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Wilson TJB, Cooley SR, Tai TC, Cheung WWL, Tyedmers PH. Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(1):e0226544. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226544
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.

Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Wilson TJB, Cooley SR, Tai TC, Cheung WWL, Tyedmers PH. Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(1):e0226544. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226544
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.

Socio-ecological vulnerability to tipping points: A review of empirical approaches and their use for marine management

Lauerburg RAM, Diekmann R, Blanz B, Gee K, Held H, Kannen A, Mollmann C, Probst WN, Rambo H, Cormier R, et al. Socio-ecological vulnerability to tipping points: A review of empirical approaches and their use for marine management. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. In Press :135838. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719358334
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Sustainability in the provision of ecosystem services requires understanding of the vulnerability of social-ecological systems (SES) to tipping points (TPs). Assessing SES vulnerability to abrupt ecosystem state changes remains challenging, however, because frameworks do not operationally link ecological, socio-economic and cultural elements of the SES. We conducted a targeted literature review on empirical assessments of SES and TPs in the marine realm and their use in ecosystem-based management. Our results revealed a plurality of terminologies, definitions and concepts that hampers practical operationalisation of these concepts. Furthermore, we found a striking lack of socio-cultural aspects in SES vulnerability assessments, possibly because of a lack of involvement of stakeholders and interest groups. We propose guiding principles for assessing vulnerability to TPs that build on participative approaches and prioritise the connectivity between SES components by accounting for component linkages, cascading effects and feedback processes.

Development of a Model for Enhancing Justice in MPA Designation and Zoning and its Application to Taiwan’s South Penghu Marine National Park

Chung H-SElly, Gullett W, Rose G. Development of a Model for Enhancing Justice in MPA Designation and Zoning and its Application to Taiwan’s South Penghu Marine National Park. Coastal Management [Internet]. 2019 ;47(6):570 - 593. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2019.1669101?journalCode=ucmg20
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $50.00
Type: Journal Article

Multi-purpose marine protected areas (MPAs) are prevalent world-wide as institutional mechanisms deployed in the marine environment to manage multiple uses, conserve resources and protect ecosystems. Yet some people may experience disadvantage following the implementation of new MPAs. One understudied aspect of MPAs is the distribution of advantages and disadvantages and how best to address the “justice” concerns that they raise. This article identifies a framework of principles, methods and tools to address these concerns. It devises a “MPA justice model” and demonstrates its applicability to a Taiwanese case study. In 2014, Taiwan proclaimed its first multiple-purpose MPA, the South Penghu Marine National Park and the case study shows ways that the MPA’s socio-economic sustainability could have been better accomplished. The article focuses on future MPA establishment that incorporates distributional fairness and procedural legitimacy into MPA site designation and zoning design - but might also be adapted to use retrospectively in MPA review processes.

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