A new paper in Sustainability Science looks at how transnational socio-ecological land systems highlight the influence of institutions under different governance regimes in defining the spatial configuration and ecological properties of regions. Land systems' asymmetries are mediated by the primary production of the ecosystems, agriculture aptitude and by contrasting perceptions and valuation of the same ecoregion across national borders. In addition, the land-use history, legacies and cultural heritage can promote land systems’ asymmetries depending on complex interactions and feedbacks of socio-ecological systems.
Understanding the pathways of alternative forest transition involves the integration of land science, forest succession theory and invasion ecology. Land science explains the availability of sites to be reforested. The species composition of new forests depends on the availability of propagules, dispersal agents and competitive relationships between species (forest succession theory). Invasion ecology explains the role of introduction areas (which are often associated with residential use) of exotic species in the successional process.
SSC Member Ricardo Grau and colleagues published an article in Elementa about the complexity of outcomes resulting from livestock diminishing density, and provide a framework to understand and optimize processes of large herbivore rewilding according to different social-ecological contexts.
News on forest cover change in Latin America typically refer to the dramatic deforestation in the Amazon or the Chaco. However, many regions in the world are experiencing the opposite pattern of forest expansion due to agriculture abandonment or disintensification. Two new analyses led by the Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER, CONICET–UNT) of Argentina and the department of Biology of the University of Puerto Rico, document these trends in Latin America. Nodal Office Coordinator Ricardo Grau was a co-author on both.