The relevance of socioeconomic interactions for the resilience of protected area networks

Maciejewski, K., and Cumming, G.S. (2015) The relevance of socioeconomic interactions for the resilience of protected area networks. Ecosphere, 6 (9). 145.

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Ecological theory suggests that intermediate connectivity between protected areas will increase their resilience by facilitating dispersal, recolonisation, and genetic mixing. Conversely, over-connectivity may make areas less resilient to contagious perturbations such as pathogen outbreaks. In a similar manner, socioeconomic connectivity should enhance the spread of effective management strategies and the sharing of scarce resources, but over-connectivity carries the risks associated with one-size-fits-all strategies. We used network analysis to examine the topology of management collaborations and related exchanges of information and equipment in two protected area networks in South Africa using the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces as study sites. National protected areas displayed the highest degree of centrality in the Western Cape, while provincial protected areas occupied the central role in the Eastern Cape. Managers in the Western Cape were more concerned about establishing ecological connectivity between protected areas whereas tourism emerged as an important driver in the Eastern Cape protected area network. Our results support the argument that both location and network membership are important for the socioeconomic resilience of protected areas. As with ecological corridors, deliberate fostering of particular socioeconomic corridors may make the protected areas more resilient to perturbations.

Item ID: 40819
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2150-8925
Keywords: conservation; governance; network analysis; social-ecological systems; spatial proximity
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Copyright: © 2015 Maciejewski and Cumming. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, National Research Foundation of South Africa, James S. McDonnell Foundation
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 04:05
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 34%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961308 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas at Regional or Larger Scales @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 34%
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