Coupled social-ecological systems research for ecosystem-based management in coastal marine ecosystems
AERL 2202 Main Mall Room 120
Thursday March 8th, 1pm
Temperate coastal ecosystems are some of the most productive on the planet and provide a variety of benefits to humans. Yet, widespread ecological changes due to both natural factors and multiple human activities, such as climate change, over-exploitation of resources or the loss of top predators, can change ecosystem service provisioning for dependent human communities. These effects are not uniform across human communities and livelihoods, nor are people’s perceived or realized vulnerabilities to ecological change. To contend with trade-offs in ecosystem service provisioning by coastal systems, management agencies strive to integrate information on ecosystem structure and productivity with human perceptions and values. Such approaches require empirical research that quantify (1) the abiotic and biotic factors that influence ecological structure and dynamics in coastal marine ecosystems; and (2) the response of coastal communities and institutions to ecological change. My collaborative research in coastal British Columbia and Mexico demonstrates how social-ecological systems approaches can inform conservation and management policies that support the well-being of coastal communities and ecosystems.