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

Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Resilience, and Resilience of Ecosystem Management Policy, in SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE AND LAW 204 (Columbia University Press, Ahjond S. Garmestani and Craig R. Allen eds, 2014)

Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-38

17 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2014

See all articles by J. B. Ruhl

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School

F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin, III

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 24, 2014

Abstract

Ecosystem services theory and resilience theory have both gained tremendous stock in ecosystem management policy over the past decade. Each resonates firmly in the modern conception of ecosystems as complex adaptive systems. Ecosystem services theory merges the disciplines of ecology, geography, and economics to gain a better understanding of how complex ecological landscapes produce a natural economy that sustains human and social capital. Resilience theory studies the social-ecological interface to gain a better understanding of how dynamic forces in nature affect social systems, and vice versa. Standing alone, each of these theoretical models has established substantial independent credibility throughout academic, government, and private research bodies. Less attention has been paid, however, to the relationship between ecosystem services theory and resilience theory. Are the two mutually antagonistic, or will one support application of the other? How will knowing about one model influence how the other is developed and used? This chapter approaches the topic 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, Resilience, Management Policy

Suggested Citation

Ruhl, J. B. and Chapin, Francis, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Resilience, and Resilience of Ecosystem Management Policy (October 24, 2014). Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Resilience, and Resilience of Ecosystem Management Policy, in SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE AND LAW 204 (Columbia University Press, Ahjond S. Garmestani and Craig R. Allen eds, 2014); Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514427

J. B. Ruhl (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

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

Francis Chapin

University of Alaska Fairbanks ( email )

Fairbanks, AK 99775
United States

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