Complex systems

“Complex systems are composed of a large number of active elements whose rich patterns of interactions produce emergent properties that are not easy to predict by analysing the separate parts of the system.” (Elinor Ostrim 1999).

Further reading here

Socio-ecological systems

C.S (Buzz) Holling pioneered the work that forms the basis of the present day research into socio-ecological systems (SESs), i.e. “linked systems of people and nature”. His initial work on non-linear dynamics in ecosystems led to the seminal 1973 paper “Resilience and stability of ecological systems” Holling was the founder of the Resilience Alliance in 1999, a research collaboration focussing on the dynamics of social-ecological systems.

Further reading here

Ecosystem Services

Excerpt from the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment

“Ecosystem services are the benefits peopleobtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food, water, timber, and fiber; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality; cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling. (See Figure A.) The human species, while buffered against environmental changes by culture and technology, is fundamentally dependent on the flow of ecosystem services.”