Thresholds and Regime Shifts in Ecological and Social-Ecological Systems
A Resilience Alliance / Santa Fe Institute database
ABOUT THIS DATABASE
This is a database of thresholds and regime shifts in ecological and linked social-ecological systems. Examples are included in the database if the threshold mechanism is either described explicitly or is strongly suggested.
For a detailed description of this database and thresholds in ecological and linked social-ecological systems, read the article: Thresholds in ecological and social-ecological systems: a developing database. Walker and Meyers, 2004. Ecology and Society 9(2):3.
WHAT IS A THRESHOLD?
A threshold is defined here as a point between alternate regimes in ecological or social-ecological systems. When a threshold along a controlling variable in a system is passed, the nature and extent of feedbacks change, such that there is a change in the direction in which the system moves. A shift occurs when internal processes of the system (rates of birth, mortality, growth, consumption, decomposition, leaching, etc.) have changed such that the variables that define the state of the system begin to change in a different direction, towards a different attractor. In some cases, crossing the threshold brings about a sudden, large and dramatic change in the responding variables, whilst in other cases the response in the state variables is continuous and more gradual.
HOW TO CITE THE DATABASE
1. To cite the entire database
Resilience Alliance and Santa Fe Institute. 2004. Thresholds and alternate states in ecological and social-ecological systems. Resilience Alliance. (Online.) URL: http://www.resalliance.org/index.php/thresholds_database.
2. To cite a specific record
(Resilience Alliance and SFI, [date])
[in bibliography, for example]
Resilience Alliance and Santa Fe Institute. [date]. Climate change with rooting depth, Amazon, South America. Threshold example in Resilience Alliance and Santa Fe Institute Database. Thresholds and alternate states in ecological and social-ecological systems. (Online.) URL: http://www.resalliance.org/index.php/thresholds_database.
[We have included the author as 'Resilience Alliance and Santa Fe Institute'. as most examples have been summarised from publications by the editor of this site, not by the originator of the study. However, if authors are citing an example which is their original work and which they have entered into the database, then they may use their own name as author.]