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Interacting effects of change in climate, human population, land use, and water use on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Bodil Elmhagen, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology
Georgia Destouni, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography; Stockholm University, Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research
Anders Angerbjörn, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology
Sara Borgström, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Emily Boyd, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre; University of Reading, School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences
Sara A. O. Cousins, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography
Love Dalén, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics
Johan Ehrlén, Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Matti Ermold, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography
Peter A. Hambäck, Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Johanna Hedlund, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology
Kristoffer Hylander, Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Fernando Jaramillo, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography
Vendela K Lagerholm, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology; Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics
Steve W Lyon, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography; Stockholm University, Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research
Helen Moor, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Björn Nykvist, Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre; Stockholm Environment Institute
Marianne Pasanen-Mortensen, Stockholm University, Department of Zoology
Jan Plue, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography
Carmen Prieto, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography
Ype van der Velde, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography; Wageningen University, Department of Soil Geography and Landscape
Regina Lindborg, Stockholm University, Department of Physical Geography

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07145-200123

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Abstract

Human population growth and resource use, mediated by changes in climate, land use, and water use, increasingly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. However, impacts of these drivers on biodiversity and ecosystem services are rarely analyzed simultaneously and remain largely unknown. An emerging question is how science can improve the understanding of change in biodiversity and ecosystem service delivery and of potential feedback mechanisms of adaptive governance. We analyzed past and future change in drivers in south-central Sweden. We used the analysis to identify main research challenges and outline important research tasks. Since the 19th century, our study area has experienced substantial and interlinked changes; a 1.6°C temperature increase, rapid population growth, urbanization, and massive changes in land use and water use. Considerable future changes are also projected until the mid-21st century. However, little is known about the impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services so far, and this in turn hampers future projections of such effects. Therefore, we urge scientists to explore interdisciplinary approaches designed to investigate change in multiple drivers, underlying mechanisms, and interactions over time, including assessment and analysis of matching-scale data from several disciplines. Such a perspective is needed for science to contribute to adaptive governance by constantly improving the understanding of linked change complexities and their impacts.

Key words

governance; historical ecology; landscape management; scale mismatch; social-ecological systems

Copyright © 2015 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