Fig. 4. The stability domains and landscape of the historic and current forest landscape in the Driftless Area of the Midwest, as portrayed through a ball and cup heuristic (adapted from Nowacki and Abrams 2008). The state of the system is the ball and the stability domains are represented as the cups (i.e., oak and maple). The stability landscape is composed of one or more domains. The transition between domains occurs where the conditions in the system reach a critical level or the system threshold (T). Overall system resilience, or ability of the system to retain the same structure and function, is influenced by: system resistance (R) to change; system latitude (L), or the maximum amount that the system can change before reaching a threshold, or system latitude; and the precariousness (P), or nearness to a threshold. The current oak system has decreased overall resilience to change because of a combination of ecological, economic, and social drivers, with a potential shift to a stability landscape dominated by maple or uncertain and novel stability domains.

Fig. 4