Table 3. Example questions for further research on telecouplings and sustainability.

Telecoupling components
Systems What properties of a given system make it more probable to become a sending, receiving, or spillover system for a given telecoupling? How do spatial relationships between systems impact their status as sending, receiving, or spillover system and the strength of the telecoupling?
Flows How do telecoupling flows evolve over time and change across space? How do telecoupling flows interact (enhance and offset) with each other? What are similarities and differences among different telecoupling flows?
Agents How do agents change over time and across space? How do agents interact with each other? How do agents change their behavior in response to telecoupling effects and dynamics? How do social networks form among agents and how are they maintained over time?
Causes What are major factors affecting telecoupling dynamics and intensity of the interactions? What is the relative importance of various factors affecting the formation and dissolution of telecouplings? How do these factors interact and change over time?
Effects How do telecouplings shape socioeconomic and environmental sustainability across local to global levels? What is the relative importance of telecouplings versus local couplings for sustainability? What are the cascading effects of telecouplings on sustainability? How are time lags and legacy effects produced? What are the feedbacks among sending, receiving, and spillover systems? How do telecoupling effects alter resilience and vulnerability of telecoupled systems?
For scientific research How do telecouplings emerge, evolve, and dissolve? How do telecouplings compromise or enhance sustainability in sending, receiving, and spillover systems? Can sustainability be achieved in sending, receiving, and spillover systems simultaneously? How do telecouplings vary across space and over time? How do telecouplings amplify or offset other forces behind sustainability? Can the gain in one system be offset by another system? How can local and telecoupling forces work together? How can experts in different disciplines collaborate to better understand complex telecoupled human and natural systems? How can the sustainability science community advance telecoupling research effectively and efficiently? How can spillover systems be better detected and accounted for in sustainability models?
For policy, management, and governance How can knowledge about telecouplings inform policy making and governance of sustainability from local to global levels? How can institutions enhance positive effects of telecouplings and reduce negative effects of telecouplings for sustainability? How can various coupled systems be managed and governed as a telecoupled system? What new policies are needed to effectively regulate telecouplings for sustainability?