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Adaptive Management Fitness of Watersheds

Ignacio Porzecanski, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida.
Lynn V. Saunders, H. T. Odum Center for Wetlands Phelps Lab, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Mark T. Brown, H. T. Odum Center for Wetlands Phelps Lab, University of Florida

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05061-170329

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Abstract

Adaptive management (AM) promises to improve our ability to cope with the inherent uncertainties of managing complex dynamic systems such as watersheds. However, despite the increasing adherence and attempts at implementation, the AM approach is rarely successful in practice. A one-size-fits-all AM strategy fails because some watersheds are better positioned at the outset to succeed at AM than others. We introduce a diagnostic tool called the Index of Management Condition (IMC) and apply it to twelve diverse watersheds in order to determine their AM “fitness”; that is, the degree to which favorable adaptive management conditions are in place in a watershed.

Key words

Adaptive Management; decision-making; environmental condition; indicators; management prescriptions; watersheds
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087