Home About Browse Search
Svenska


High-integrity human intervention in ecosystems: Tracking self-organization modes

Zelnik, Yuval and Mau, Yair and Shachak, Moshe and Meron, Ehud (2021). High-integrity human intervention in ecosystems: Tracking self-organization modes. PLoS Computational Biology. 17 , e1009427
[Research article]

[img] PDF
1MB

Abstract

Human intervention in ecosystems is motivated by various functional needs, such as provisioning ecosystem services, but often has unexpected detrimental outcomes. A major question in ecology is how to manage human intervention so as to achieve its goal without impairing ecosystem function. The main idea pursued here is the need to identify the inherent response ways of ecosystems to disturbances, and use them as road maps for conducting interventions. This approach is demonstrated mathematically using two contexts, grazing management and vegetation restoration, and compared to remote sensing data for the latter. Among the surprising insights obtained is the beneficial effect of grazing, in terms of resilience to droughts, that can be achieved by managing it non-uniformly in space.
Humans play major roles in shaping and transforming the ecology of Earth. Unlike natural drivers of ecosystem change, which are erratic and unpredictable, human intervention in ecosystems generally involves planning and management, but often results in detrimental outcomes. Using model studies and aerial-image analysis, we argue that the design of a successful human intervention form calls for the identification of the self-organization modes that drive ecosystem change, and for studying their dynamics. We demonstrate this approach with two examples: grazing management in drought-prone ecosystems, and rehabilitation of degraded vegetation by water harvesting. We show that grazing can increase the resilience to droughts, rather than imposing an additional stress, if managed in a spatially non-uniform manner, and that fragmental restoration along contour bunds is more resilient than the common practice of continuous restoration in vegetation stripes. We conclude by discussing the need for additional studies of self-organization modes and their dynamics.

Authors/Creators:Zelnik, Yuval and Mau, Yair and Shachak, Moshe and Meron, Ehud
Title:High-integrity human intervention in ecosystems: Tracking self-organization modes
Series Name/Journal:PLoS Computational Biology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:17
Article number:e1009427
Number of Pages:23
Publisher:PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
ISSN:1553-734X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (methods development to be 10203)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113901
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113901
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009427
Web of Science (WoS)000701270000001
ID Code:26114
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:16 Nov 2021 05:25
Metadata Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 06:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads

Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics

Downloads
Hits