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Identifying past social-ecological thresholds to understand long-term temporal dynamics in Spain

Fernando Santos-Martín, Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Blanca González García-Mon, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
José A. González, Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Irene Iniesta-Arandia, Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and Commons Research Group, University of Córdoba; FRACTAL Collective, Madrid, Spain
Marina García-Llorente, Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Department of Applied Research and Agricultural Extension, Madrid Institute for Rural, Agricultural and Food Research and Development (IMIDRA), Madrid, Spain
Carlos Montes, Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Federica Ravera, Chair in Agroecology and Food Systems, Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC), Vic, Spain; FRACTAL Collective, Madrid, Spain
Cesar A López-Santiago, Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Óscar Carpintero, Group of Energy, Economy and Dynamic Systems, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
Javier Benayas, Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Berta Martín-López, Institute for Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research, Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-10734-240210

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Abstract

A thorough understanding of long-term temporal social-ecological dynamics at the national scale helps to explain the current condition of a country’s ecosystems and to support environmental policies to tackle future sustainability challenges. We aimed to develop a methodological approach to understand past long-term (1960-2010) social-ecological dynamics in Spain. First, we developed a methodical framework that allowed us to explore complex social-ecological dynamics among biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being, drivers of change, and institutional responses. Second, we compiled 21 long-term, national-scale indicators and analyzed their temporal relationships through a redundancy analysis. Third, we used a Bayesian change point analysis to detect evidence of past social-ecological thresholds and historical time periods. Our results revealed that Spain has passed through four social-ecological thresholds that define five different time periods of nature and society relationships. Finally, we discussed how the proposed methodological approach helps to reinterpret national-level ecosystem indicators through a new conceptual lens to develop a more systems-based way of understanding long-term social-ecological patterns and dynamics.

Key words

ecosystem service; long-term analysis; social-ecological thresholds; Spain; temporal dynamics

Copyright © 2019 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