Review

Complexity of Coupled Human and Natural Systems

Science  14 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5844, pp. 1513-1516
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144004

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

Integrated studies of coupled human and natural systems reveal new and complex patterns and processes not evident when studied by social or natural scientists separately. Synthesis of six case studies from around the world shows that couplings between human and natural systems vary across space, time, and organizational units. They also exhibit nonlinear dynamics with thresholds, reciprocal feedback loops, time lags, resilience, heterogeneity, and surprises. Furthermore, past couplings have legacy effects on present conditions and future possibilities.

View Full Text

Related Content