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Sustainability, Stability, and Resilience

Don Ludwig, University of British Columbia
Brian Walker, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
C. S. Holling, University of Florida

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-00012-010107

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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to define and refine the concepts of stability and resilience and to demonstrate their value in understanding the behavior of exploited systems. Some ecological systems display several possible stable states. They may also show a hysteresis effect in which, even after a long time, the state of the system may be partly determined by its history. The concept of resilience depends upon our objectives, the types of disturbances that we anticipate, control measures that are available, and the time scale of interest.

Key words

bifurcation; multiple stable states; resilience; stability.

Copyright © 1997 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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