Social-ecological alignment and ecological conditions in coral reefs

Barnes, Michele L., Bodin, Örjan, McClanahan, Tim R., Kittinger, John N., Hoey, Andrew S., Gaoue, Orou G., and Graham, Nicholas A. J. (2019) Social-ecological alignment and ecological conditions in coral reefs. Nature Communications, 10. 2039.

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Abstract

Complex social-ecological interactions underpin many environmental problems. To help capture this complexity, we advance an interdisciplinary network modeling framework to identify important relationships between people and nature that can influence environmental conditions. Drawing on comprehensive social and ecological data from five coral reef fishing communities in Kenya; including interviews with 648 fishers, underwater visual census data of reef ecosystem condition, and time-series landings data; we show that positive ecological conditions are associated with 'social-ecological network closure' - i.e., fully linked and thus closed network structures between social actors and ecological resources. Our results suggest that when fishers facing common dilemmas form cooperative communication ties with direct resource competitors, they may achieve positive gains in reef fish biomass and functional richness. Our work provides key empirical insight to a growing body of research on social-ecological alignment, and helps to advance an integrative framework that can be applied empirically in different social-ecological contexts.

Item ID: 58342
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC by 4.0) International License.
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, National Science Foundation (USA), Darwin Initiative for the Survival of the Species (DISS), Marine Science for Management Program (MASMA)
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.25903/5c89d99f5d654
Date Deposited: 22 May 2019 07:38
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 20%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 30%
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