Social-ecological connections across land, water, and sea demand a reprioritization of environmental management

Rebecca V. Gladstone-Gallagher*, Jason M. Tylianakis, Johanna Yletyinen, Vasilis Dakos, Emily J. Douglas, Suzie Greenhalgh, Judi E. Hewitt, Daniel Hikuroa, Steven J. Lade, Richard Le Heron, Alf Norkko, George L.W. Perry, Conrad A. Pilditch, David Schiel, Ewa Siwicka, Helen Warburton, Simon F. Thrush

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite many sectors of society striving for sustainability in environmental management, humans often fail to identify and act on the connections and processes responsible for social-ecological tipping points. Part of the problem is the fracturing of environmental management and social-ecological research into ecosystem domains (land, freshwater, and sea), each with different scales and resolution of data acquisition and distinct management approaches. We present a perspective on the social-ecological connections across ecosystem domains that emphasize the need for management reprioritization to effectively connect these domains.We identify critical nexus points related to the drivers of tipping points, scales of governance, and the spatial and temporal dimensions of social-ecological processes.We combine real-world examples and a simple dynamic model to illustrate the implications of slow management responses to environmental impacts that traverse ecosystem domains. We end with guidance on management and research opportunities that arise from this cross-domain lens to foster greater opportunity to achieve environmental and sustainability goals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number10
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


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