Her research interests looks at how resilience thinking can enable better management of natural resources. Her work ranges from the global to the local (mainly sub-Saharan Africa) scale.
She is currently involved in three main research areas:
1. Resilience of smallholder agriculture in dryland sub-Saharan Africa
Dryland sub-Saharan Africa is challenged by extreme inter- and intra-annual rainfall variability. Improving water management in rainfed agriculture seems to be a key feature of building resilience in these landscapes. This work involves fieldwork in southern Niger, Kwa-ZuluNatal (South Africa) and the Pangani River (Tanzania).
2. Assessments of bundles of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes
Agriculture increases food production, but often at on the expense of other ecosystem services. In this research field, Gordon aims to increase the empirical and conceptual knowledge of how ecosystem services interact with each other, in order to improve management so as to that can take advantage of synergies among ecosystem services and minimize unfavorable trade-offs. She also analyzes the relationship between regulating ecosystem services and ecosystem resilience. Fieldwork is conducted in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
3. Agriculture, climate change, hydrology and regime shifts
Agriculture and climate change alter terrestrial and aquatic hydrology and affect ecosystem resilience. Gordon is particularly interested in global-scale mapping of regions that are vulnerable to agriculture and water-driven ecosystem regime shifts.
Another project, on climate, hydrology and socio-ecological resilience in the Arctic, seeks understanding of the vulnerability of various regions in the Arcticare to hydrologically driven regime shifts.
Line Gordon did her PhD in Natural Resources Management at the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University. She spent her post doc at the International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka within the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. She also served as a coordinating lead-author for the Ecosystem Chapter.
Truly interested in transdisciplinary research as well as in the interface of science and society, Gordon is an associate member of the Resilience Alliance, a subject editor of the journal Ecology and Society and on the editorial board of Water International.
She also serves on the Scientific Program Committee of the World Water Week and serves on the board of Albaeco, an institute devoted to the communication of sustainability science to the general public.
Research news | 2016-11-10
New method based on social-ecologically defined patches assess ecosystem services’ role for livelihoods in poor rural areas
Research news | 2016-08-29
Why global agriculture must become key contributor to sustainable development rather than largest driver of environmental change
Research news | 2016-03-23
Why landscapes that regulate downwind rainfall are key producers of ecosystem services
Research news | 2014-03-22
New book introduces new framework for water governance and management
2016 - Journal / article
Most methods to assess ecosystem services have been developed on large scales and depend on secondary data. Such data is scarce in rural areas with widespread poverty. Nevertheless, the population in these areas strongly depends on local ecosystem services for their livelihoods. These regions are in focus for substantial landscape investments that aim to alleviate poverty, but current methods fail to capture the vast range of ...
2015 - Book chapter
Many social-ecological systems can exist in different self-organizing configurations or 'regimes'. Each of these configurations produces a different set of ecosystem services, with different consequences for different users. Changes in controlling slow variables can cause a system to shift from one regime to another if certain thresholds are exceeded and there is a change in dominat feedback processes in the social-ecological ...
2015 - Journal / article
Investment in woody vegetation to counter land degradation and improve livelihoods is increasing, primarily revitalized by efforts to enhance carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation. Sudano-Sahelian West Africa is in focus for several interventions to increase woody vegetation for improved livelihoods. However, the knowledge on how woody vegetation maintains landscape productivity and contributes to livelihoods is w...
2015 - Journal / article
Tremendous progress in ecosystem service mapping across the world has moved the concept of ecosystem services forward towards an increasingly useful tool for policy and decision making. There is a pressing need to analyse the various spatial approaches used for the mapping studies. We reviewed ecosystem services mapping literature in respect to spatial scale, world distribution, and types of ecosystem services considered. We...