In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

225 Glossary This glossary is based in part on definitions compiled in Alberti 2008, Alberti 2015, and Resilience Alliance 2015. adaptive capacity: A system’s ability to reconfigure itself in the face of change without significant declines in crucial functions such as primary productivity , hydrological cycles, social relations, and economic prosperity (Folke et al. 2002). adaptive cycle: A metaphor used to describe four commonly occurring phases of change in complex systems: exploitation, conservation, creative destruction , and renewal (also referred to as r, K, omega, and alpha) (Holling 1986). agent: An autonomous decision-maker. The word agent is derived from the Greek agein, which means “to drive or lead,” and from Latin agere, which means “to act.” Anthropocene: A proposed geologic and chronological term for the epoch beginning when human activities started to exert a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems (Crutzen 2002). biodiversity: A contraction of biological diversity. The term refers to the­ number, variety, and variability of the living organisms in a physical or temporal space; it may also refer to diversity within a species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), or between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity) (MEA 2005). biotic homogenization: The process by which species invasions and extinctions increase the genetic, taxonomic, or functional similarity of two or more locations over a specified interval of time (Olden 2008). carbon cycle: The biogeochemical cycle in which carbon is exchanged among Earth’s biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere (Falkowski et al. 2000). complex system: A system with properties not fully explained by an under- 226 glossary standing of its component parts. Its behavior is nonlinear, and it exhibits structural and functional characteristics that emerge from the interactions of its constituent parts (Goldenfeld and Kadanoff 1999). coupled human and natural system: A system in which human and natural components interact (Liu et al. 2007a). critical state, critical point: In thermodynamics, the endpoint of a phase ­ equi­ librium curve. cross-scale interactions: The effects exerted, or experienced, by the dynamics of a given system at a given scale on, or due to, the dynamics of the scales that are embedded within that system or that enfold it (Holling, Gunderson , and Peterson 2002). discontinuity hypothesis: Derived from hierarchy theory, this hypothesis predicts weaker interactions among species operating across markedly different scales compared to those among species operating at similar scales (Nash et al. 2014). disturbance: A discrete event in time that causes a temporary change in average environmental conditions. A disturbance may disrupt ecosystems, communities, or population structures, and it may impact resources, substrate availability, or the physical environment (White and Pickett 1985). eco-evolutionary feedbacks: Reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary dynamics on contemporary time scales (Palkovacs and Hendry 2010). ecological niche: The functional role and position of a species in the eco­ system, including the resources it uses and its interactions with other species (Schoener 2009). ecosystem: A subset of the organisms, environments, and interactions among the organisms and environments in a given area that, through flows of energy, lead to clearly defined trophic structures, biotic diversity, and material cycles (e.g., the exchange of materials between living and non­ living parts) (Odum 1971). ecosystem function: The flux of energy, organic matter, or nutrients in an ecosystem, including the flux of biomass associated with trophic interactions . Function is expressed as a rate of change of an ecosystem property (Likens 1992). emergent property: A phenomenon that is not evident in the constituent parts of a system but which appears when those components interact within the overall system (O’Connor and Wong 2015). Great Oxidation Event (GOE): The biologically induced appearance of dioxygen (O2) in Earth’s atmosphere that occurred about 2.3 billion years ago (2.3 Ga). Cyanobacteria, which appeared about 200 million years before glossary 227 the GOE, began producing oxygen by photosynthesis, and the excess free oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere, causing the extinction of anaerobic organisms. Eventually aerobic organisms began to evolve, consuming oxygen and bringing oxygen availability into equilibrium (Sosa Torres, Saucedo-Vázquez, and Kroneck 2015). hierarchy theory: An evolution of general systems theory that has emerged as part of the general science of complexity. Hierarchy theory focuses on levels of organization and scale. These nested levels emerge according to the dominant spatiotemporal scales at which system elements operate, causing them to interact most strongly with other elements of the same type, less strongly with elements that are dissimilar, and more weakly with patterns, processes, and elements operating at disparate scales. Hierarchies...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.