Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics

Stephen Whitfield*, Emilie Beauchamp, Doreen S. Boyd, David Burslem, Anja Byg, Francis Colledge, Mark E.J. Cutler, Mengistu Didena, Andrew Dougill, Giles Foody, Jasmin A. Godbold, Mirjam Hazenbosch, Mark Hirons, Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Eleanor Jew, Carmen Lacambra, David Mkwambisi, Awdenegest Moges, Alexandra Morel, Rebecca Morris & 8 others Paula Novo, Mario Rueda, Harriet Smith, Martin Solan, Thomas Spencer, Ann Thornton, Julia Touza, Piran C.L. White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume55
Early online date23 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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tropics
resilience
ecological system
climate
learning
fluctuation
experience
ecosystem response
historical perspective
Oceania
event
vulnerability
social learning
trend
income
climate change
low income
ecosystem
determinants
history

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems
  • Perturbations
  • Resistance
  • Societies
  • Temporal dynamics
  • Variability
  • SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
  • EVENTS
  • CARIBBEAN COAST
  • CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE SYSTEMS
  • SANTA-MARTA
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • FOREST
  • ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
  • ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE
  • CIENAGA GRANDE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology

Cite this

Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics. / Whitfield, Stephen; Beauchamp, Emilie; Boyd, Doreen S.; Burslem, David; Byg, Anja; Colledge, Francis; Cutler, Mark E.J.; Didena, Mengistu; Dougill, Andrew; Foody, Giles; Godbold, Jasmin A.; Hazenbosch, Mirjam; Hirons, Mark; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Jew, Eleanor; Lacambra, Carmen; Mkwambisi, David; Moges, Awdenegest; Morel, Alexandra; Morris, Rebecca; Novo, Paula; Rueda, Mario; Smith, Harriet; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Thomas; Thornton, Ann; Touza, Julia; White, Piran C.L.

In: Global Environmental Change, Vol. 55, 01.03.2019, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whitfield, S, Beauchamp, E, Boyd, DS, Burslem, D, Byg, A, Colledge, F, Cutler, MEJ, Didena, M, Dougill, A, Foody, G, Godbold, JA, Hazenbosch, M, Hirons, M, Ifejika Speranza, C, Jew, E, Lacambra, C, Mkwambisi, D, Moges, A, Morel, A, Morris, R, Novo, P, Rueda, M, Smith, H, Solan, M, Spencer, T, Thornton, A, Touza, J & White, PCL 2019, 'Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics', Global Environmental Change, vol. 55, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004
Whitfield, Stephen ; Beauchamp, Emilie ; Boyd, Doreen S. ; Burslem, David ; Byg, Anja ; Colledge, Francis ; Cutler, Mark E.J. ; Didena, Mengistu ; Dougill, Andrew ; Foody, Giles ; Godbold, Jasmin A. ; Hazenbosch, Mirjam ; Hirons, Mark ; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe ; Jew, Eleanor ; Lacambra, Carmen ; Mkwambisi, David ; Moges, Awdenegest ; Morel, Alexandra ; Morris, Rebecca ; Novo, Paula ; Rueda, Mario ; Smith, Harriet ; Solan, Martin ; Spencer, Thomas ; Thornton, Ann ; Touza, Julia ; White, Piran C.L. / Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics. In: Global Environmental Change. 2019 ; Vol. 55. pp. 1-14.
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abstract = "In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Ni{\~n}o, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Ni{\~n}o event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.",
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T1 - Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015–16 El Niño across the Tropics

AU - Whitfield, Stephen

AU - Beauchamp, Emilie

AU - Boyd, Doreen S.

AU - Burslem, David

AU - Byg, Anja

AU - Colledge, Francis

AU - Cutler, Mark E.J.

AU - Didena, Mengistu

AU - Dougill, Andrew

AU - Foody, Giles

AU - Godbold, Jasmin A.

AU - Hazenbosch, Mirjam

AU - Hirons, Mark

AU - Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe

AU - Jew, Eleanor

AU - Lacambra, Carmen

AU - Mkwambisi, David

AU - Moges, Awdenegest

AU - Morel, Alexandra

AU - Morris, Rebecca

AU - Novo, Paula

AU - Rueda, Mario

AU - Smith, Harriet

AU - Solan, Martin

AU - Spencer, Thomas

AU - Thornton, Ann

AU - Touza, Julia

AU - White, Piran C.L.

N1 - Funding: This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the UK Government Department for International Development [grant numbers NE/P004806/1; NE/P004091/1; NE/P00394X/1; NE/P004210/1; NE/P004830/1; NE/P003974/1]. Acknowledgment We are grateful to Annalyse Moskeland for her valuable support in the organisation and running of the workshop.

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N2 - In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

AB - In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

KW - Climate change

KW - Ecosystems

KW - Perturbations

KW - Resistance

KW - Societies

KW - Temporal dynamics

KW - Variability

KW - SMALLHOLDER FARMERS

KW - EVENTS

KW - CARIBBEAN COAST

KW - CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE SYSTEMS

KW - SANTA-MARTA

KW - CLIMATE-CHANGE

KW - FOREST

KW - ADAPTIVE CAPACITY

KW - ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE

KW - CIENAGA GRANDE

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U2 - 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004

DO - 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 1

EP - 14

JO - Global Environmental Change

JF - Global Environmental Change

SN - 0959-3780

ER -