Resilience and regime shift
Undoubtedly, the greatest challenge for the future is incorporating the dynamics of tipping points and alternate states into global governance of the environment, food, and energy. A major unifying goal of this theme will be to increase knowledge of the dynamics and resilience of ecosystems (i.e. their capacity to absorb recurrent disturbances and adapt to change without tipping into an alternate, degraded state), and to incorporate these research findings into ecosystem management. Research will focus on quantifying the effect of multiple drivers of change on critical feedbacks that stabilize or destabilize ecosystems, generating threshold dynamics, hysteresis and alternate stable states. Key issues are developing new approaches that can detect and anticipate regime shifts, especially those that unfold smoothly and imperceptibly, and understanding the contribution of (acute) pulse and (chronic) press disturbances in precipitating unexpected regime-shifts. We will develop new metrics to measure and quantify ecosystem resilience in lake social-ecological systems.