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Social Ecological Dynamics of Catchment Resilience

Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert L. Wilby, Harriet Orr and Nigel Watson
Water 2021, 13(3), 349;
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 19 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 30 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on River Catchment Resilience)
Catchment resilience is the capacity of a combined social ecological system, comprised of water, land, ecological resources and communities in a river basin, to deal with sudden shocks and gradual changes, and to adapt and self-organize for progressive change and transform itself for sustainability. This paper proposes that analysis of catchments as social ecological systems can provide key insights into how social and ecological dynamics interact and how some of the negative consequences of unsustainable resource use or environmental degradation can be ameliorated. This requires recognition of the potential for community resilience as a core element of catchment resilience, and moves beyond more structural approaches to emphasize social dynamics. The proposals are based on a review of social ecological systems research, on methods for analyzing community resilience, and a review of social science and action research that suggest ways of generating resilience through community engagement. These methods and approaches maximize insights into the social dynamics of catchments as complex adaptive systems to inform science and practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: community resilience; social ecological systems; institutional fit; governance; social processes community resilience; social ecological systems; institutional fit; governance; social processes
MDPI and ACS Style

Adger, W.N.; Brown, K.; Butler, C.; Quinn, T. Social Ecological Dynamics of Catchment Resilience. Water 2021, 13, 349.

AMA Style

Adger WN, Brown K, Butler C, Quinn T. Social Ecological Dynamics of Catchment Resilience. Water. 2021; 13(3):349.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adger, W. N., Katrina Brown, Catherine Butler, and Tara Quinn. 2021. "Social Ecological Dynamics of Catchment Resilience" Water 13, no. 3: 349.

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