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Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the tropics

Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the tropics
Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the tropics
In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.
0959-3780
1-14
Whitfield, Stephen
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Beauchamp, Emilie
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Boyd, Doreen S.
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Burslem, David F.R.P.
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Byg, Anja
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Colledge, Francis
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Cutler, Mark
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Didena, Mengitsu
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Dougill, Andrew
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Foody, Giles
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Godbold, Jasmin
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Hazenbosch, Mirjam
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Hirons, Mark
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Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika
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Jew, Eleanor
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Lacambra, Carmen
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Mkwambisi, David
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Moges, Awdenegest
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Morel, Alexandra
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Morris, Rebecca J
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Novo, Paula
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Rueda Hernandez, Mario Enrique
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Smith, Harriet
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Solan, Martin
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Spencer, Thomas
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Thornton, Ann
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Touza, Julia
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White, Piran C.L.
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Whitfield, Stephen
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Beauchamp, Emilie
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Boyd, Doreen S.
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Burslem, David F.R.P.
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Byg, Anja
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Colledge, Francis
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Cutler, Mark
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Didena, Mengitsu
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Dougill, Andrew
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Foody, Giles
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Godbold, Jasmin
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Hazenbosch, Mirjam
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Hirons, Mark
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Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika
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Jew, Eleanor
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Lacambra, Carmen
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Mkwambisi, David
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Moges, Awdenegest
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Morel, Alexandra
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Morris, Rebecca J
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Novo, Paula
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Rueda Hernandez, Mario Enrique
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Smith, Harriet
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Solan, Martin
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Spencer, Thomas
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Thornton, Ann
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Touza, Julia
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White, Piran C.L.
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Whitfield, Stephen, Beauchamp, Emilie, Boyd, Doreen S., Burslem, David F.R.P., Byg, Anja, Colledge, Francis, Cutler, Mark, Didena, Mengitsu, Dougill, Andrew, Foody, Giles, Godbold, Jasmin, Hazenbosch, Mirjam, Hirons, Mark, Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika, Jew, Eleanor, Lacambra, Carmen, Mkwambisi, David, Moges, Awdenegest, Morel, Alexandra, Morris, Rebecca J, Novo, Paula, Rueda Hernandez, Mario Enrique, Smith, Harriet, Solan, Martin, Spencer, Thomas, Thornton, Ann, Touza, Julia and White, Piran C.L. (2019) Exploring temporality in socio-ecological resilience through experiences of the 2015-16 El Niño across the tropics. Global Environmental Change, 55, 1-14. (doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.01.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In a context of both long-term climatic changes and short-term climatic shocks, temporal dynamics profoundly influence ecosystems and societies. In low income contexts in the Tropics, where both exposure and vulnerability to climatic fluctuations is high, the frequency, duration, and trends in these fluctuations are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. In this paper, the dynamics of six diverse socio-ecological systems (SES) across the Tropics – ranging from agricultural and horticultural systems in Africa and Oceania to managed forests in South East Asia and coastal systems in South America – are examined in relation to the 2015–16 El Niño, and the longer context of climatic variability in which this short-term ‘event’ occurred. In each case, details of the socio-ecological characteristics of the systems and the climate phenomena experienced during the El Niño event are described and reflections on the observed impacts of, and responses to it are presented. Drawing on these cases, we argue that SES resilience (or lack of) is, in part, a product of both long-term historical trends, as well as short-term shocks within this history. Political and economic lock-ins and dependencies, and the memory and social learning that originates from past experience, all contribute to contemporary system resilience. We propose that the experiences of climate shocks can provide a window of insight into future ecosystem responses and, when combined with historical perspectives and learning from multiple contexts and cases, can be an important foundation for efforts to build appropriate long-term resilience strategies to mediate impacts of changing and uncertain climates.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 January 2019
Published date: March 2019

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Local EPrints ID: 427676
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427676
ISSN: 0959-3780
PURE UUID: 274f1e6a-3938-4651-98c5-3a0c4124f8bd
ORCID for Jasmin Godbold: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5558-8188
ORCID for Rebecca J Morris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0020-5327
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574

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Date deposited: 25 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:14

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Contributors

Author: Stephen Whitfield
Author: Emilie Beauchamp
Author: Doreen S. Boyd
Author: David F.R.P. Burslem
Author: Anja Byg
Author: Francis Colledge
Author: Mark Cutler
Author: Mengitsu Didena
Author: Andrew Dougill
Author: Giles Foody
Author: Jasmin Godbold ORCID iD
Author: Mirjam Hazenbosch
Author: Mark Hirons
Author: Chinwe Ifejika Speranza
Author: Eleanor Jew
Author: Carmen Lacambra
Author: David Mkwambisi
Author: Awdenegest Moges
Author: Alexandra Morel
Author: Paula Novo
Author: Mario Enrique Rueda Hernandez
Author: Harriet Smith
Author: Martin Solan ORCID iD
Author: Thomas Spencer
Author: Ann Thornton
Author: Julia Touza
Author: Piran C.L. White

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