CIE Spotlight: Vive la résistance: reviving resistance for 21st century conservation

Dale N. and Shaun C.

Title: Vive la résistance: reviving resistance for 21st century conservation

Authors: Nimmo, D. G.; Mac Nally, R.; Cunningham, S. C.; Haslem, A.; Bennett, A. F.

Source: TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 30 (9):516-523, SEP 2015

Brief summary of the paper: Confronted with increasing anthropogenic change, conservation in the 21st century requires a sound understanding of how ecological systems change during disturbance.

We highlight the benefits of recognizing two distinct components of change in an ecological unit (i.e., ecosystem, community, population): ‘resistance’, the ability to withstand disturbance; and ‘resilience’, the capacity to recover following disturbance.

By adopting a ‘resistance-resilience’ framework, important insights for conservation can be gained into: (i) the key role of resistance in response to persistent disturbance, (ii) the intrinsic attributes of an ecological unit associated with resistance and resilience, (iii) the extrinsic environmental factors that influence resistance and resilience, (iv) mechanisms that confer resistance and resilience, (v) the post-disturbance status of an ecological unit, (vi) the nature of long-term ecological changes, and (vii) policy-relevant ways of communicating the ecological impacts of disturbance processes.