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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cascading Events in Linked Ecological and Socio-Economic Systems

Authors
item Peters, Debra
item Sala, Osvaldo - BROWN UNIVERSITY
item Allen, Craig - USGS, JEMEZ MTN FIELD
item Covich, A. - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Brunson, M. - UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Citation: Peters, D.C., Sala, O.E., Allen, C.D., Covich, A., Brunson, M. 2007. Cascading events in linked ecological and socio-economic systems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 5(4):221-224.

Interpretive Summary: Cascading events that start at small spatial scales and propagate nonlinearly through time to influence larger areas often have major impacts on ecosystem goods and services. These events, such as wildfires, are increasing as systems become increasingly connected through globalization processes. We held a workshop at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Merida, Mexico on 2006 January 11 to synthesize known information about cascading events in the Americas. Our discussions include diverse examples of cascading events that shared a common feature: ecological and human processes were linked across scales to drive these events. We recommend studies that explicitly examine connections across scales, and the role of connectivity among non-contiguous areas as well as contiguous areas.

Technical Abstract: Cascading events that start at small spatial scales and propagate nonlinearly through time to influence larger areas often have major impacts on ecosystem goods and services. These events, such as wildfires and hurricanes, are increasing in frequency and magnitude as systems become increasingly connected through globalization processes. We need to improve our understanding of these events in order to predict their occurrence, to minimize potential impacts, and to allow for strategic recovery. In this workshop held during the ESA meeting in Merida, Mexico on 2006 January 11, we synthesized information about cascading events for systems located throughout the Americas. Our discussions included diverse examples of cascading events that share a common feature: linked ecological and human processes across scales often drive these events. In this era of globalization, we recommend studies that explicitly examine connections across scales, and the role of connectivity among non-contiguous areas as well as contiguous areas.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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