Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Resilience, and Resilience of Ecosystem Management Policy

Resilience and Law, Craig R. Allen & Ahjond S. Garmestani, eds., Columbia University Press, 2013.

Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 12-41

22 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2012

See all articles by J. B. Ruhl

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School

F.S. Chapin III

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Institute of Arctic Biology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 26, 2012

Abstract

Two emerging theoretical models have captivated ecological science and policy over the past decade. One is the concept of ecosystem services, which focuses on the benefits that people derive from ecosystems, including the flows of economically valuable services to human populations (Costanza 1997, Daily 1997, Ruhl et al. 2007; Ruhl and Salzman 2007). The other is resilience theory, which explores how natural and social systems withstand disturbances over time (Gunderson and Holling 2002, Gunderson et al., 2010). This chapter examines the connections between the two from two perspectives. The first is to ask whether using the concept of ecosystem services in policy can support the resilience of ecological systems. Is there anything to be gained in sustainable ecosystem management by applying ecosystem services theory, and are there any risks from doing so? The second perspective is to ask whether using the concept of ecosystem services in ecosystem management policy can support the resilience of policy itself. Will using ecosystem services concepts help ecosystem management policy deliver on its goals over sustained time frames in the face of massive perturbations such as global climate and economic changes?

Keywords: ecosystem services, resilience, ecosystem management

Suggested Citation

Ruhl, J. B. and Chapin III, F.S., Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Resilience, and Resilience of Ecosystem Management Policy (November 26, 2012). Resilience and Law, Craig R. Allen & Ahjond S. Garmestani, eds., Columbia University Press, 2013.; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 12-41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2181093

J. B. Ruhl (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

F.S. Chapin III

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Institute of Arctic Biology ( email )

Fairbanks, AK 99775
United States

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