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.
General news | 2023-11-28
Putting resilience at the heart of COP28
Stockholm Resilience Centre will host and join a range of activities at COP28. The participation is done in close collaboration with the Global Resilience Partnership and our development programme SwedBio
General news | 2023-11-27
First Swedish national citizen assembly on climate could show the way to transformation
Can a citizen assembly come up with ideas on how Sweden could live up to the Paris Agreement? This will be tested in a new collaboration of Swedish universities, which Stockholm Resilience Centre is a part of
General news | 2023-11-15
Researchers from the Centre listed among the world’s most cited
Four researchers associated with Stockholm Resilience Centre made it onto the 2023 Clarivate Analytics overview, a ranking of the most cited scientists in the world
Research news | 2023-11-14
Norms must change in order for academia to walk the talk on sustainability, new paper argues
Sustainability research is rarely sustainable, neither for the planet nor for academics, argues a new paper. In it, researchers call for a rethink of current norms and practices
Research news | 2023-11-13
New research maps 14 potential evolutionary dead ends for humanity and ways to avoid them
Humankind risks getting stuck in 14 evolutionary dead ends, ranging from global climate tipping points to misaligned artificial intelligence, chemical pollution, and accelerating infectious diseases
Research news | 2023-11-10
The bumpy road towards a global plastics treaty
Plastic pollution needs to end. While most countries agree on this, negotiations for a legally binding UN plastics treaty are going slowly. Centre researcher Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez explains why.