Cascading Events in Linked Ecological and Socio-Economic Systems

TitleCascading Events in Linked Ecological and Socio-Economic Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPeters DC, Sala O.E, Allen C.D., Covich A., Brunson M.
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Date PublishedMay 2007
Accession NumberJRN00469
ARIS Log Number194830
Keywordsecological, nonlinearly, socio economic

Cascading events that start at small spatial scales and propagate nonlinearly through time to influence larger areas often have major impacts on ecosystem goods and services. These events, such as wildfires and hurricanes, are increasing in frequency and magnitude as systems become increasingly connected through globalization processes. We need to improve our understanding of these events in order to predict their occurrence, to minimize potential impacts, and to allow for strategic recovery. In this workshop held during the ESA meeting in Merida, Mexico on 2006 January 11, we synthesized information about cascading events for systems located throughout the Americas. Our discussions included diverse examples of cascading events that share a common feature: linked ecological and human processes across scales often drive these events. In this era of globalization, we recommend studies that explicitly examine connections across scales, and the role of connectivity among non-contiguous areas as well as contiguous areas.