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Disturbance-recovery experiments to assess resilience of ecosystems along a stress gradient
van Belzen, J.; van de Koppel, J.; Kirwan, M.L.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Disturbance-recovery experiments to assess resilience of ecosystems along a stress gradient . Protocol Exchange June 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/protex.2017.028
In: Protocol Exchange. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2043-0116; e-ISSN 2043-0116, more

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Author keywords
    disturbance; field experiment; recovery; resilience; tipping points

Authors  Top 
  • van Belzen, J., more
  • van de Koppel, J., more
  • Kirwan, M.L.
  • Guntenspergen, G.R.
  • Bouma, T.J., more

Abstract
    Lengthening of the time needed to recover from a disturbance due to an increasing stressor (a phenomenon called “Critical Slowing Down”) has been proposed as an early warning for imminent ecosystem collapse. As this concept is largely developed in the realm of theoretical models, implementing it by e.g. monitoring recovery to assess resilience of real-world ecosystems, is often challenging. Tracing recovery trajectories reliably and non-destructive is not always feasible due to technical or logistical difficulties. Here, a protocol is presented for a disturbance-recovery experiment in which recovery is measured using destructive sampling of the biomass. This methodology circumvents many of the issues of the non-destructive methodologies for measuring recovery.

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