Capturing change in ecosystem service delivery from coral reefs
Ecosystems around the world are changing due to interacting local and global stressors. These changes are likely to affect ecosystem services - the benefits that ecosystems contribute to human wellbeing - but the complexity of social-ecological processes underpinning these services limits our understanding change. In this thesis, I examine changes in ecosystem services associated with climate-impacted tropical coral reefs and implications for the wellbeing of coastal communities. I draw on empirical data from the Seychelles, where two mass bleaching events (1998, 2016) have affected benthic and fish community composition. I first provide an overview of coral reef ecosystem services research and use empirical interview data from tourism and fishery key informants to understand the social-ecological aspects of services at the level of the service provider. This reveals the complexity of service providers underpinning locally valued services and benefits, but also the advantages of dis-aggregating service providers and their traits to understand how services are likely to respond to environmental change.
Shifting from conceptualisations of change to lived experiences of change, I then explore how changes in ecosystem services are perceived by coral reef fishers. Changes have been perceived, though perceptions differ according to fishers’ characteristics, and have implications for the material, relational and subjective dimensions of fishers’ wellbeing. Finally, I draw on a social wellbeing approach to examine how the marine environment, and changes therein, affect fishers’ understanding of and ability to live well. This reveals tensions in fishers’ ability to pursue wellbeing, shaped by the social-ecological context in which changes to nearshore environments occur. These findings have implications for how changes in ecosystem services are investigated and highlight the need for multiple disciplinary perspectives to better understand the consequences of environmental change for human wellbeing.
Research news | 2023-05-25
AI could create a perfect storm of climate misinformation
The speed and the way misinformation about climate change and sustainability issues moves around the world is rapidly changing. Now, the Centre presents a new synthesis on AI and climate misinformation in connection to the Nobel Prize Summit 2023, "Truth, Trust and Hope"
Research news | 2023-05-22
Financial actors and academia join forces to build back biodiversity
Today is International Biodiversity Day! This year with the theme “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity”, and for us, that is a good reason to highlight the potential of the finance sector in reviving biodiversity
General news | 2023-05-17
Maria Tengö appointed special professor at Wageningen University
Maria Tengö is the most recently appointed professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre
Research news | 2023-05-16
Grasping food supply risks: how self-sufficient and resilient are nations?
Lack of self-sufficiency and diversity in crop production remain main risks to national food supply, new study finds
Research news | 2023-05-12
The cognition of the commons
The ability to monitor, evaluate and share our own cognitive processes can improve group decisions and enable more sustainable use of common-pool resources
Research news | 2023-05-11
Building back better: Resilience means more than bouncing back
Adapting, transforming and creating new ways of functioning as a society: This is how reshaping a resilient future in the aftermath of a shock should look like, argue researchers