Tipping points in socio-ecological systems

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: David BLANCHON
Chairs: Adriana Zuniga

Call for Submissions

For this session, geographical approaches are welcomed, but also multidisciplinary ones which include spatial perspective.
We will be particularly interested in papers which address questions such as :
- Could we apply the notion of “Tipping Point” to social systems?
- Is it possible to link local and global “Tipping points” in SES?
- Is it possible to include the issue of environmental justice for instance and “Tipping points”?
- How can SES that are approaching “tipping points” be managed?


Description

Recent events in North America, such as wildfires and heat waves, have renewed the debate around the existence of tipping points in natural ecosystems in the media.
In scientific literature, the issue of “regime shifts” raised many controversies about the existence of tipping points in undisturbed natural ecosystems (Hildebrandt et al., 2020) or on the global scale linked to “planetary boundaries” (Brook et al., 2013; Lenton and Williams, 2013). Other debates are related to the perception of early-warning signals for critical transitions, and the way to anticipate and prevent brutal regime shifts (Sheffer et al., 2009).

In this session, our goal is to broaden the scope of the debates and include a social perspective on “tipping points”. Following the work of Milkoreit et al. (2018), who defined social Tipping point as “a point within a SES at which a small quantitative change inevitably triggers a non-linear change in the social component of the SES, driven by a self-reinforcing positive feedback mechanism that inevitably and often irreversibly lead to a qualitatively different state of the social system,” we want to address a few questions:
- Could we apply the notion of “Tipping Point” to social systems?
- Is it possible to link local and global “Tipping points” in SES?
- Is it possible to include the issue of environmental justice for instance and “Tipping points”?
- How can SES that are approaching “tipping points” be managed?

For this session, geographical approaches are welcomed, but also multidisciplinary ones which include spatial perspective. Presentations could include insights on the effects of fire, the existence of socio-ecological TP on specific agricultural production, water resources

References

Brook B.W, Erle C. Ellis E.C, Michael P. Perring M.P, Anson W. Mackay A.W. and Linus BlomqvistL. (2013): “Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points?” , Trends in ecology and evolution, Volume 28, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 396–401, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.016
Hillebrand, H., I. Donohue, W. S. Harpole, D. Hodapp, M. Kucera, A. M. Lewandowska, J. Merder, J. M. Montoya, and J. A. Freund. (2020) : Thresholds for ecological responses to global change do not emerge from empirical data. Nature Ecology & Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1256-9.
Lenton T.M. and Williams H.T.P. (2013): “On the origin of planetary-scale tipping points”, Trends in ecology and evolution, Volume 28, Issue 7, July 2013, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.06.001
Milkoreit M., Hodbod J., Baggio J., Benessaiah K., R Calderón-Contreras R. Donges J., Mathias J.-D.,Rocha J.-C., Schoon M.,Werners S. (2018): “Defining tipping points for social-ecological systems scholarship—an interdisciplinary literature review”, Environmental Research Letters, 13 (3), 033005.
Scheffer, Marten; Bascompte, Jordi; Brock, William A.; et al. (2009): Early-warning signals for critical transitions, Nature, Volume: 461, Issue: 7260 , Pages: 53–59.


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