Drivers, "slow" variables, "fast" variables, shocks, and resilience


Different uses of the terms "drivers," "variables," and "shocks" cause confusion in the literature and in discussions on the dynamics of ecosystems and social—ecological systems. Three main sources of confusion are unclear definition of the system, unclear definition of the role of people, and confusion between variables and drivers. As a contribution to resolving some of the confusion, we offer one interpretation of how the terms might be used.


Publication info: Walker, B.H., Carpenter, S.R., Rockstrom, J., Crépin, A-S., Peterson, G.D. 2012. Drivers, "slow" variables, "fast" variables, shocks, and resilience. Ecology and Society 17(3), 30