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Integrating sense of place into ecosystem restoration: a novel approach to achieve synergistic social-ecological impact

Kelly M. Kibler, Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida
Geoffrey S. Cook, Department of Biology and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida
Lisa G. Chambers, Department of Biology and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida
Melinda Donnelly, Department of Biology, University of Central Florida
Timothy L. Hawthorne, Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida
Fernando I. Rivera, Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida
Linda Walters, Department of Biology and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-10542-230425

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Abstract

It is often a challenge to predict the impact of ecosystem restoration because many critical relationships and feedbacks between natural and human systems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we introduce a novel framework to characterize restoration dynamics within coupled human-natural systems. Because dynamics surrounding restoration are complex, we investigate the potential for sense of place, i.e., emotional attachment to place, to elucidate relationships between human and natural systems during times of change, such as restoration. Integrating sense of place with ecological metrics, a typology of restoration scenarios that exemplify complex relationships between social and ecological drivers emerges. We propose an identify-visualize-create framework for parsing restoration objectives and curating sense of place around the functional ecosystem state. Achieving coupled human-natural objectives thus requires evaluation of baseline sense of place early in the restoration process and active pursuit of opportunities that build stakeholder attachment over the long term.

Key words

coupled human-natural systems; ecosystem services; identify-visualize-create; resilience; restoration success; stakeholders

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087