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Title

Translating Ecological Integrity terms into operational language to inform societies

Authorsde Juan, Silvia CSIC ORCID ; Hewitt, J.; Subida, María Dulce; Thrush, S.F.
KeywordsEnvironmental assessment
Socio-ecological systems
DPSIR
Ecological indicators
Ecosystem health
Issue DateDec-2018
PublisherAcademic Press
CitationJournal of Environmental Management 228: 319-327 (2018)
AbstractIt is crucial that societies are informed on the risks of impoverished ecosystem health for their well-being. For this purpose, Ecological Integrity (EI) is a useful concept that seeks to capture the complex nature of ecosystems and their interaction with social welfare. But the challenge remains to measure EI and translate scientific terminology into operational language to inform society. We propose an approach that simplifies marine ecosystem complexity by applying scientific knowledge to identify which components reflect the state or state change of ecosystems. It follows a bottom-up structure that identifies, based on expert knowledge, biological components related with past and present changing conditions. It is structured in 5 stages that interact in an adaptive way: stage 1, in situ observations suggest changes could be happening; stage 2 explores available data that represent EI; stage 3, experts' workshops target the identification of the minimum set of variables needed to define EI, or the risk of losing EI; an optative stage 4, where deviance from EI, or risk of deviance, is statistically assessed; stage 5, findings are communicated to society. We demonstrate the framework effectiveness in three case studies, including a data poor situation, an area where lack of reference sites hampers the identification of historical changes, and an area where diffuse sources of stress make it difficult to identify simple relationships with of ecological responses. The future challenge is to operationalise the approach and trigger desirable society actions to strengthen a social-nature link
Description9 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, supplementary data https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.034
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.034
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/172931
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.034
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.034
issn: 0301-4797
e-issn: 1095-8630
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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