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TP-BAR // Towards - a comprehensive - Process-Based Assessment of (Ecological) Resilience

Much of confusion has surrounded the concept of resilience and its application from the management perspective. Despite being a popular term and a catchy word for grant agreements, the ecological meaning of resilience became blur and misinterpreted over the last decades. We urge a clear, practical and applicable framework that translates Ecological Resilience as the capability of an ecosystem to sustain its actual state despite a given perturbation (Holling, 1973). In practical terms, it means a way to assess how much perturbation our ecosystems can hold before the collapse. Understanding, in fact, the underlying processes sustaining ecological resilience allows us to better predict if an ecosystem is close or far from a tipping-point (with consequent loss of function and value). This project embraces scientific, economical and societal gain by delivering a practical framework capable to improve best practices for sustainable management of natural resources. We aim for a GLOBAL CROSS-LAKE EXPERIMENT, using different starting communities from different backgrounds to (initially) assess successional patterns of biological process towards the collapse aquatic communities. For that, we will use eutrophication as a driving force due to its predicted growing importance over the next decades. In a nutshell we ask: 

  • Can we observe general patterns on ecological response to eutrophication, using a Cross-Lake experimental setup?

>> Community dynamics towards the tipping-point and recovery from perturbation>> Resilience of whom, to what, compared to when? 

  • What can we learn from step-wise changes in plankton community under pressure to better predict proximity to regime shifts?

>> Process-based proxies for assessing ecological-resilience (relying on traits)>> ?? Generic ecological processes using different starting communities??  REQUIREMENTS (…to date)

  • Lab with light and temperature control
  • 16x 1L becker
  • Ph_meter
  • Healthy lake community
  • Couple of vials for fixing samples (i.e. falcons)
  • Time for Sampling (+-30min/day)
  • Time for Maintenance (+-2h/week)
  • ~ 90 days

The success of the experiment may allow multiple papers addressing different perspectives over resilience and community dynamics.  

2019-03-01 to 2020-12-23
Project Working Group: 

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