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Regime shifts in a social-ecological system

Author

Listed:
  • Steven J. Lade
  • Alessandro Tavoni
  • Simon A. Levin
  • Maja Schl�ter

Abstract

Ecological regime shifts are rarely purely ecological. Not only is the regime shift frequently triggered by human activity, but the responses of relevant actors to ecological dynamics are often crucial to the development and even existence of the regime shift. Here,we show that the dynamics of human behaviour in response to ecological changes can be crucial in determining the overall dynamics of the system. We find a social-ecological regime shift in a model of harvesters of a common-pool resource who avoid over-exploitation of the resource by social ostracism of non-complying harvesters. The regime shift, which can be triggered by several different drivers individually or also in combination, consists of a breakdown of the social norm, sudden collapse of co-operation and an over-exploitation of the resource. We use the approach of generalised modelling to study the robustness of the regime shift to uncertainty over the specific forms of model components such as the ostracism norm and the resource dynamics. Importantly, the regime shift in our model does not occur if the dynamics of harvester behaviour are not included in the model. Finally, we sketch some possible early warning signals for the social-ecological regime shifts we observe in the models.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Lade & Alessandro Tavoni & Simon A. Levin & Maja Schl�ter, 2013. "Regime shifts in a social-ecological system," GRI Working Papers 105, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp105
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    File URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/WP105-regime-shifts-socio-ecological-system.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tarui, Nori & Mason, Charles F. & Polasky, Stephen & Ellis, Greg, 2008. "Cooperation in the commons with unobservable actions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 37-51, January.
    2. Polasky, Stephen & de Zeeuw, Aart & Wagener, Florian, 2011. "Optimal management with potential regime shifts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 229-240, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Richter, Andries & Dakos, Vasilis, 2015. "Profit fluctuations signal eroding resilience of natural resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 12-21.
    2. Currarini, Sergio & Marchiori, Carmen & Tavoni, Alessandro, 2016. "Network economics and the environment: insights and perspectives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 63951, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Doruk Iris & Alessandro Tavoni, 2016. "Tipping Points and Loss Aversion in International Environmental Agreements," Working Papers 1603, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    4. Maja Schl�ter & Alessandro Tavoni & Simon Levin, 2014. "Robustness of norm-driven cooperation in the commons to environmental variability," GRI Working Papers 146, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Astrid Dannenberg & Andreas Löschel & Gabriele Paolacci & Christiane Reif & Alessandro Tavoni, 2015. "On the Provision of Public Goods with Probabilistic and Ambiguous Thresholds," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 365-383, July.
    6. Naranjo-Madrigal, Helven & van Putten, Ingrid & Norman-López, Ana, 2015. "Understanding socio-ecological drivers of spatial allocation choice in a multi-species artisanal fishery: A Bayesian network modeling approach," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 102-115.
    7. Runyan, Christiane W. & D'Odorico, Paolo & Shobe, William, 2015. "The economic impacts of positive feedbacks resulting from deforestation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 93-99.
    8. Tavoni, Alessandro & Levin, Simon, 2014. "Managing the climate commons at the nexus of ecology, behaviour and economics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60823, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Sergio Currarini & Carmen Marchiori & Alessandro Tavoni, 2016. "Network Economics and the Environment: Insights and Perspectives," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(1), pages 159-189, September.
    10. Lee, Joung Hun & Kakinuma, Kaoru & Okuro, Toshiya & Iwasa, Yoh, 2015. "Coupled social and ecological dynamics of herders in Mongolian rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 208-217.

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