Adaptive Capacity (adaptive + capacity)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Urban,agricultural water appropriation: the Hyderabad, India case

With the urbanisation drive comes steady growth in urban water demand. Although in the past this new demand could often be met by tapping unclaimed water sources, this option is increasingly untenable in many regions where little if any unclaimed water remains. The result is that urban water capture, and the appropriation of associated physical and institutional infrastructure, now often implies conflict with other existing uses and users. While the urbanisation process has been studied in great depth, the processes and, critically, impacts of urban water capture and appropriation are not well researched or understood. This paper undertakes a critical examination of the specific case of Hyderabad, one of India's fastest growing cities, to shed light more generally on the process of water capture by cities and the resultant impacts on pre-existing claims, particularly agriculture. It does this by examining the history and institutional response to Hyderabad's urban,rural water contest; how the results of that contest are reflected in surface and groundwater hydrology; and the eventual impacts on agriculture. The findings show that the magnitude, and sometimes even direction, of impact from urban water transfer vary in space and time and depend on location-specific rainfall patterns, the nature of existing water infrastructure and institutions, and farmers' adaptive capacities and options, notably recourse to groundwater. Broader consideration of the specific findings provides insights into policy mechanisms to reduce the possible negative impacts from the global, and seemingly inexorable, flow of water to the world's growing cities. [source]

Conservation action in a changing climate

T.R. McClanahan
Abstract Climate change will pose new challenges to conserving Earth's natural ecosystems, due to incremental changes in temperature and weather patterns, and to increased frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. Addressing these challenges will require pragmatic conservation actions informed by site-specific understanding of susceptibility to climate change and capacity of societies to cope with and adapt to change. Depending on a location's environmental susceptibility and social adaptive capacity, appropriate conservation actions will require some combination of: (1) large-scale protection of ecosystems; (2) actively transforming and adapting social-ecological systems; (3) building the capacity of communities to cope with change; and (4) government assistance focused on de-coupling communities from dependence on natural resources. We apply a novel analytical framework to examine conservation actions in five western Indian Ocean countries, where climate-mediated disturbance has impacted coral reefs and where adaptive capacity differs markedly. We find that current conservation strategies do not reflect adaptive capacity and are, therefore, ill prepared for climate change. We provide a vision for conservation policies that considers social adaptive capacity that copes with complexities of climate change better than the singular emphasis on government control and the creation of no-take areas. [source]

The evolutionary ecology of Plasmodium

R. E. L. Paul
Abstract Plasmodium, the aetiological agent of malaria, imposes a substantial public health burden on human society and one that is likely to deteriorate. Hitherto, the recent Darwinian medicine movement has promoted the important role evolutionary biology can play in issues of public health. Recasting the malaria parasite two-host life cycle within an evolutionary framework has generated considerable insight into how the parasite has adapted to life within both vertebrate and insect hosts. Coupled with the rapid advances in the molecular basis to host,parasite interactions, exploration of the evolutionary ecology of Plasmodium will enable identification of key steps in the life cycle and highlight fruitful avenues of research for developing malaria control strategies. In addition, elucidating the extent to which Plasmodium can respond to short- and long-term changes in selection pressures, i.e. its adaptive capacity, is even more crucial in predicting how the burden of malaria will alter with our rapidly evolving ecology. [source]

Social Capital, Collective Action, and Adaptation to Climate Change

W. Neil Adger
Abstract: Future changes in climate pose significant challenges for society, not the least of which is how best to adapt to observed and potential future impacts of these changes to which the world is already committed. Adaptation is a dynamic social process: the ability of societies to adapt is determined, in part, by the ability to act collectively. This article reviews emerging perspectives on collective action and social capital and argues that insights from these areas inform the nature of adaptive capacity and normative prescriptions of policies of adaptation. Specifically, social capital is increasingly understood within economics to have public and private elements, both of which are based on trust, reputation, and reciprocal action. The public-good aspects of particular forms of social capital are pertinent elements of adaptive capacity in interacting with natural capital and in relation to the performance of institutions that cope with the risks of changes in climate. Case studies are presented of present-day collective action for coping with extremes in weather in coastal areas in Southeast Asia and of community-based coastal management in the Caribbean. These cases demonstrate the importance of social capital framing both the public and private institutions of resource management that build resilience in the face of the risks of changes in climate. These cases illustrate, by analogy, the nature of adaptation processes and collective action in adapting to future changes in climate. [source]

Strategies of family farms to strengthen their resilience

Ika Darnhofer
Abstract Resilience thinking offers a framework to emphasize dynamics and interdependencies across time, space and domains. It is based on understanding social,ecological systems as complex, and future developments as unpredictable, thus emphasizing adaptive approaches to management. In this paper the four clusters of factors that have been identified as building resilience in large-scale social,ecological systems are applied at the farm level. Suggestions on how these factors could be operationalized at the farm level are derived from workshops held with family farmers in Austria. The results show that farmers understand change as unpredictable and unfolding, have a number of strategies to ensure the flexibility and adaptability of their farm and build extensive networks to diversify information and income sources. However, these strategies, while ensuring adaptability and transformability, compete for scarce resources. The farmers thus face trade-offs between strategies that ensure the adaptive capacity of their farm over the long term and those ensuring profitability over the short term. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Governing long-term social,ecological change: what can the adaptive management and transition management approaches learn from each other?

Timothy J. Foxon
Abstract Maintaining social welfare and opportunity in the face of severe ecological pressures requires frameworks for managing and governing long-term social,ecological change. In this paper we analyse two recent frameworks, adaptive management and transition management, outlining what they could learn from each other. Though usually applied in different domains, the two conceptual frameworks aim to integrate bottom-up and top-down approaches, and share a focus on the ability of systems to learn and develop adaptive capacity whilst facing external shocks and long-term pressures. Both also emphasize learning from experimentation in complex systems, but transition management focuses more on the ability to steer long-term changes in system functions, whilst adaptive management emphasizes the maintenance of system functions in the face of external change. The combination of iterative learning and stakeholder participation from adaptive management has the potential to incorporate vital feedbacks into transition management, which in turn offers a longer-term perspective from which to learn about and manage socio-technical and social,ecological change. It is argued that by combining insights from both frameworks it may be possible to foster more robust and resilient governance of social,ecological systems than could be achieved by either approach alone. The paper concludes by critically reflecting upon the challenges and benefits of combining elements of each approach, as has been attempted in the methodology of a research project investigating social,ecological change in UK uplands. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Functional behaviour of bone around dental implants,

Clark M. Stanford
Achieving a long-term stable implant interface is a significant clinical issue when there is insufficient cortical bone stabilisation at implant placement. Clinical outcomes studies suggest that the higher risk implants are those placed in compromised cortical bone (thin, porous, etc.) in anatomical sites with minimal existing trabecular bone (characterised as type IV bone). In establishing and maintaining an implant interface in such an environment, one needs to consider the impact of masticatory forces, the response of bone to these forces and the impact of age on the adaptive capacity of bone. These forces, in turn, have the potential to create localised changes in interfacial stiffness through viscoelastic changes at the interface. Changes in bone as a function of age (e.g. localised hypermineralised osteopetrosis and localised areas of osteopenia) will alter the communication between osteocytes and osteoblasts creating the potential for differences in response of osteoblastic cells in the older population. A key to understanding the biomechanical and functional behaviour of implants in the older population is to control the anticipated modelling and remodelling behaviour through implant design that takes into account how tissues respond to the mechanically active environment. [source]

Comparison of suitable drought indices for climate change impacts assessment over Australia towards resource management

F. Mpelasoka
Abstract Droughts have significant environmental and socio-economic impacts in Australia. This emphasizes Australia's vulnerability to climate variability and limitations of adaptive capacity. Two drought indices are compared for their potential utility in resource management. The Rainfall Deciles-based Drought Index is a measure of rainfall deficiency while the Soil-Moisture Deciles-based Drought Index is a measure of soil-moisture deficiency attributed to rainfall and potential evaporation. Both indices were used to assess future drought events over Australia under global warming attributed to low and high greenhouse gas emission scenarios (SRES B1 and A1F1 respectively) for 30-year periods centred on 2030 and 2070. Projected consequential changes in rainfall and potential evaporation were based on results from the CCCma1 and Mk2 climate models, developed by the Canadian Climate Center and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) respectively. A general increase in drought frequency associated with global warming was demonstrated by both indices for both climate models, except for the western part of Australia. Increases in the frequency of soil-moisture-based droughts are greater than increases in meteorological drought frequency. By 2030, soil-moisture-based drought frequency increases 20,40% over most of Australia with respect to 1975,2004 and up to 80% over the Indian Ocean and southeast coast catchments by 2070. Such increases in drought frequency would have major implications for natural resource management, water security planning, water demand management strategies, and drought relief payments. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Radial growth responses to drought of Pinus sylvestris and Quercus pubescens in an inner-Alpine dry valley

Pascale Weber
Abstract Question: Lower montane treeline ecotones such as the inner Alpine dry valleys are regarded as sensitive to climate change. In the dry Valais valley (Switzerland) the composition of the widespread, low altitude Pinus forests is shifting towards a mixed deciduous state. The sub-boreal P. sylvestris shows high mortality rates, whereas the deciduous sub-mediterranean Quercus pubescens is spreading. These species may act as early indicators of climate change. We evaluate this hypothesis by focusing on their differences in drought tolerance, which are hardly known, but are likely to be crucial in the current forest shift and also for future forest development. Methods: We used dendroecological methods to detect species-specific patterns in the growth response to drought. The relationship between radial growth of 401 trees from 15 mixed stands and drought was analysed by calculating response functions using yearly tree-ring indices and monthly drought indices. PCA was applied to the response ratios to discover spatial patterns of drought response. Results: A species-specific response to moisture as well as a sub-regional differentiation of the response patterns were found. While Quercus showed a response mainly to the conditions of the previous autumn and those of current spring, Pinus did not start responding before May, but showed responses throughout the whole summer. Quercus may restrict physiological activity to moist periods; growth of Pinus was much more dependent on prior growth. Conclusions: Given that the climate is changing towards (1) longer summer drought periods, (2) higher mean temperatures and (3) shifted seasonally of moisture availability, Quercus may benefit from adapting better to drier conditions. Pinus may increasingly face problems related to drought stress as it depends on summer moisture and has a smaller adaptive capacity due to its long-lived photosynthetic tissue. [source]

Hispanic Farmers and Farmworkers: Social Networks, Institutional Exclusion, and Climate Vulnerability in Southeastern Arizona

Marcela Vásquez-León
ABSTRACT In the U.S. Southwest, prolonged drought may force those most dependent on water to abandon their livelihoods. By focusing on Hispanic farmers and farmworkers, in this article I examine how ethnicity and other factors compound risk and create highly vulnerable groups. I use the concept of "social capital" to understand how the critically vulnerable access resources embedded in informal social networks of mutual aid to reduce their vulnerability. By contrasting their situation to that of Anglo farmers, I explore how social networks emerge as a result of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic contexts. Under a more permanent scenario of increased aridity, a better understanding of the risk management mechanisms deployed by vulnerable groups sheds light on how collective approaches build resilience and on the role of policy in promoting or inhibiting these approaches. I seek to contribute to discussions about the importance of sociocultural dynamics and policy decisions to improving society's adaptive capacity. [source]

Contractile properties of human motor units in health, aging, and disease

MUSCLE AND NERVE, Issue 9 2001
FRCPC, K. Ming Chan MD
Abstract The primary function of skeletal muscle is to produce force for postural control and movement. Although the contractile properties of the whole muscle are useful functional indicators, they do not accurately reflect the heterogeneity of the constituent motor units (MUs) and their changes in health and disease. However, data on the contractile properties of human MUs, in comparison to other animal species, are relatively sparse. This, in part, is due to greater methodological challenges of in vivo studies of MUs in the human. The purpose of this review is to critically appraise the methods used in humans; to describe the normative data from different muscle groups; to discuss differences between data from healthy humans and other animal species; and, last, to characterize changes of the MU contractile properties in aging, disease, and in response to intervention. Because the spike-triggered averaging technique can only be used to study the twitch properties, other methods were subsequently developed to measure a wider range of contractile properties. Although there is general agreement between human data and those from other animal species, major differences do exist. Potential reasons for these discrepancies include true biological differences, but differences in the techniques used may also be responsible. Although limited, measurement of MU contractile properties in humans has provided insight into the changes associated with aging and motoneuronal diseases and provides a means of gauging their adaptive capacity for training and immobilization. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 24: 1113,1133 [source]

Coping with variability and change: Floods and droughts

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz
Floods and droughts are natural phenomena for which the risks of occurrence are likely to continue to grow. Increasing levels of exposure and insufficient adaptive capacity are among the factors responsible for the rising vulnerability. The former is conditioned by anthropopressure (e.g., economic development of flood,prone areas) and adverse effects of climate change; scenarios for future climates indicate the possibility of amplified water,related extremes. This article presents the current situation of coping with extreme hydrological events within the pressure,state,response framework. Among promising response strategies, the role of forecast and warning, and of watershed management are reviewed. Sample success stories and lessons learnt related to hydrological extremes are given and policy implications discussed. [source]