Special Issue "Through the Lens of Telecoupling: New Perspectives for Global Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jianguo Liu
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University
Interests: telecoupling; sustainability; conservation; coupled human-natural systems; China’s environment; household-environment interactions; systems integration and modeling
Dr. Yue Dou
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University
Interests: telecoupling; sustainability; coupled human-natural systems; smallholders; poverty; resilience; land use changes; agent-based modeling
Ms. Anna Herzberger
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University
Interests: telecoupling; sustainability; China’s environment; household-environment interactions; global trade; network analysis
Ms. Ciara Hovis
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University
Interests: telecoupling; landscape ecology; biodiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The integrated framework of telecoupling (socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances) has proven to be an effective tool to study various distant interactions across the world (e.g., trade, migration, species invasion, investment, payment for ecosystem services, water transfer, technology transfer). The framework was first put forth in an award-winning paper in Ecology and Society entitled “Framing Sustainability in a Telecoupled World” (Liu et al. 2013). Though the concept of telecoupling is relatively new, it has made a substantial impact in sustainability science and many other fields. This Special Issue calls for papers that employ the telecoupling concept and framework, with a focus on a broad range of topics such as sustainability issues, socio-ecological impacts caused by telecoupling, telecoupled agents and flows across systems and scales, as well as current progresses, opportunities and challenges to telecoupling research. It may include papers that revisit the fundamental points of the foundational paper, report innovative studies using the framework, and address the challenges and questions that have emerged to lay the groundwork for future research. A variety of paper formats (e.g., original research, reviews, short communications) are welcomed. The Special Issue will include several papers presented in sessions at the 2018 GLP-Asia conference and the outcomes from a workshop and a symposium on telecoupling held at the annual meeting of 2018 US-IALE (US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology). The Special Issue is also open to additional papers.

Prof. Dr. Jianguo Liu
Dr. Yue Dou
Ms. Anna Herzberger
Ms. Ciara Hovis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Telecoupling
  • Sustainability
  • Coupled human-natural systems
  • Food security
  • Biodiversity
  • Livelihoods
  • Governance
  • Land use/cover change

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Metacoupled Tourism and Wildlife Translocations Affect Synergies and Trade-Offs among Sustainable Development Goals across Spillover Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7677; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187677 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Synergies and trade-offs among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been hotly debated. Although the world is increasingly metacoupled (socioeconomic-environmental interactions within and across adjacent or distant systems), there is little understanding of the impacts of globally widespread and important flows [...] Read more.
Synergies and trade-offs among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been hotly debated. Although the world is increasingly metacoupled (socioeconomic-environmental interactions within and across adjacent or distant systems), there is little understanding of the impacts of globally widespread and important flows on enhancing or compromising sustainability in different systems. Here, we used a new integrated framework to guide SDG synergy and trade-off analysis within and across systems, as influenced by cross-boundary tourism and wildlife translocations. The world’s terrestrial protected areas alone receive approximately 8 billion visits per year, generating a direct economic impact of US $600 billion. Globally, more than 5000 animal species and 29,000 plant species are traded across country borders, and the wildlife trade has arguably contributed to zoonotic disease worldwide, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We synthesized 22 cases of tourism and wildlife translocations across six continents and found 33 synergies and 14 trade-offs among 10 SDGs within focal systems and across spillover systems. Our study provides an empirical demonstration of SDG interactions across spillover systems and insights for holistic sustainability governance, contributing to fostering synergies and reducing trade-offs to achieve global sustainable development in the metacoupled Anthropocene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Global Marine Fishing across Space and Time
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4714; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114714 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Human health and livelihoods are threatened by declining marine fisheries catches, causing substantial interest in the sources and dynamics of fishing. Catch analyses in individual exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the high seas are abundant, and research across multiple EEZs is growing. However, [...] Read more.
Human health and livelihoods are threatened by declining marine fisheries catches, causing substantial interest in the sources and dynamics of fishing. Catch analyses in individual exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the high seas are abundant, and research across multiple EEZs is growing. However, no previous studies have systematically compared catches, intranational versus international fish flows, and fishing nations within all of the world’s EEZs and across adjacent and distant EEZs and the high seas to inform “metacoupled” fisheries management. We use the metacoupling framework—a new approach for evaluating human–nature interactions within and across adjacent and distant systems (metacouplings)—to illustrate how fisheries catches were locally, regionally, and globally interconnected in 1950–2014, totaling 5.8 billion metric tons and increasing by 298% (tonnage) and 431% (monetary value) over this time period. Catches by nations in their own EEZs (largest in Peru) and adjacent EEZs (largest in Indonesia) constituted 86% of worldwide catches, growing in 1950–1996 but declining in 1997–2014. In contrast, catches in distant EEZs and the high seas—largest in Morocco, Mauritania, and Canada—peaked in 1973 and have since represented 9–21% of annual catches. Our 65-year, local–regional–global analysis illustrates how metacoupled fisheries governance—holistic management of multiscalar catches, flows, and tradeoffs within and among fisheries—can improve food and nutrition security, livelihood resilience, and biodiversity conservation across the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Metacoupling Framework for Exploring Transboundary Watershed Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051879 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Water is crucial for ecosystem health and socioeconomic development, but water scarcity is becoming a global concern. Management of transboundary watersheds is inherently challenging and has the potential to lead to conflict over the allocation of water resources. The metacoupling framework, which explores [...] Read more.
Water is crucial for ecosystem health and socioeconomic development, but water scarcity is becoming a global concern. Management of transboundary watersheds is inherently challenging and has the potential to lead to conflict over the allocation of water resources. The metacoupling framework, which explores the relationships between coupled human and natural systems that are nested within multiple different scales, has been proposed to inform more holistic management of transboundary watersheds. This paper provides the first attempt to apply a metacoupling framework to a transboundary watershed for an improved integrated understanding of this complex system at multiple spatial scales. It does so with the transnational Limpopo River watershed in Southern Africa, which covers 1.3% of the continent and supports the livelihoods of 18.8 million people living in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a growing gap between water availability and demand; the primary drivers are population growth and agriculture expansion. The novelty of the paper is outlining the importance of applying a metacoupling framework to transboundary watersheds, identifying the limitations to this application, and providing a detailed assessment of the steps needed to complete this application. We also identify directions for future research including application of a metacoupling framework to other transboundary watersheds and exploration of spillover effects and externalities within this and other transboundary watersheds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Telecoupling of the Trade of Donkey-Hides between Botswana and China: Challenges and Opportunities
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051730 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
International trade has become a major threat to biodiversity in the telecoupled world. The literature on biodiversity loss mostly concentrates on wild species; however, the increasing loss of and demand for domesticated species are overlooked. Donkeys are decreasing in many countries because of [...] Read more.
International trade has become a major threat to biodiversity in the telecoupled world. The literature on biodiversity loss mostly concentrates on wild species; however, the increasing loss of and demand for domesticated species are overlooked. Donkeys are decreasing in many countries because of economic development, urbanization, and increased demand for donkey hides in China. The donkey population in Africa has rapidly declined recently due to supplying China with donkey hides for the production of highly demanded and legalized traditional medicine, ejiao. As a result, some African countries, including Botswana, banned the export of donkey hides. Animal protection and media continuously reported threats over the extinction of donkeys and exacerbated rural livelihood in developing countries, however, limited literature has investigated the causes and effects of donkey-hide trade and its policy interventions. This paper applies the telecoupling framework and uses the data extracted from the media reports and FAO, to understand the scale and impacts of donkey-hide trade from Botswana to China. We also explore the challenges and opportunities of donkey-hide trade for Botswana, highlighting the mechanisms need to be established to regulate the donkey-hide trade, and also to harness available opportunities if the trade ban is lifted in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Synthesis of Opportunities for Applying the Telecoupling Framework to Marine Protected Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4450; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164450 - 17 Aug 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The world’s oceans face unprecedented anthropogenic threats in the globalized era that originate from all over the world, including climate change, global trade and transportation, and pollution. Marine protected areas (MPAs) serve important roles in conservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, but [...] Read more.
The world’s oceans face unprecedented anthropogenic threats in the globalized era that originate from all over the world, including climate change, global trade and transportation, and pollution. Marine protected areas (MPAs) serve important roles in conservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, but their success is increasingly challenged in the face of such large-scale threats. Here, we illustrate the utility of adopting the interdisciplinary telecoupling framework to better understand effects that originate from distant places and cross MPA boundaries (e.g., polluted water circulation, anthropogenic noise transport, human and animal migration). We review evidence of distal processes affecting MPAs and the cutting-edge approaches currently used to investigate these processes. We then introduce the umbrella framework of telecoupling and explain how it can help address knowledge gaps that exist due to limitations of past approaches that are centered within individual disciplines. We then synthesize five examples from the recent telecoupling literature to explore how the telecoupling framework can be used for MPA research. These examples include the spatial subsidies approach, adapted social network analysis, telecoupled qualitative analysis, telecoupled supply chain analysis, and decision support tools for telecoupling. Our work highlights the potential for the telecoupling framework to better understand and address the mounting and interconnected socioeconomic and environmental sustainability challenges faced by the growing number of MPAs around the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Telecoupled Food Trade Affects Pericoupled Trade and Intracoupled Production
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2908; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102908 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Technology, transportation and global appetites have transformed trade relationships between near and distant countries. The impact of distant food demand on local agricultural production and trade has attracted considerable scientific scrutiny, yet little is known about how distant trade affects trade relationships and [...] Read more.
Technology, transportation and global appetites have transformed trade relationships between near and distant countries. The impact of distant food demand on local agricultural production and trade has attracted considerable scientific scrutiny, yet little is known about how distant trade affects trade relationships and production between adjacent countries. In this paper, we explore this important issue by examining international food trade and agriculture production, which represent how distant places are connected through trade networks. By analyzing patterns of soybean, corn and wheat trading between 1991–2016 under the framework of metacoupling (human-nature interactions within, as well as between adjacent and distant systems), this study provides new insights into the spatio-temporal dynamics of trade flows. Results reveal that telecoupled (between distant countries) trade interacts with the geo-political landscape to enhance or offset intracoupled (within country) production and pericoupled (between neighboring countries) trade. Evidence from the literature and the results of autoregressive integrated moving average models indicate that when restrictions are placed on distant export routes, pericoupled trade increased. The extent to which the telecoupled food trade affected the pericoupled trade and intracoupled processes holds implications for the true extent of production driven by distant demands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Citizen Science in Conservation under the Telecoupling Framework
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041108 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Citizen science is increasingly utilized to empower people to participate in conservation work and research. Despite the profusion of citizen science projects in conservation, many lacked a coherent analytical framework for understanding broad-scale transnational human–species interactions. The telecoupling framework provides a means to [...] Read more.
Citizen science is increasingly utilized to empower people to participate in conservation work and research. Despite the profusion of citizen science projects in conservation, many lacked a coherent analytical framework for understanding broad-scale transnational human–species interactions. The telecoupling framework provides a means to overcome this limitation. In this study, we use the monarch butterfly, a migratory species of high conservation value, to illustrate how citizen science data can be utilized in telecoupling research to help inform conservation decisions. We also address the challenges and limitations of this approach and provide recommendations on the future direction of citizen-based projects to overcome these challenges. The integration of citizen-based science and the telecoupling framework can become the new frontier in conservation because the applications of citizen science data in distant human–environment relationships have rarely been explored, especially from coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Competition under Telecoupling: Distant Actors’ Environmental versus Economic Claims on Land in North-Eastern Madagascar
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030851 - 06 Feb 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
In north-eastern Madagascar, maintenance of biodiversity competes with expansion of land for agriculture and mining. The concept of “telecoupling” provides a framework for analysis of distant actors and institutions that influence local land use decisions. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding [...] Read more.
In north-eastern Madagascar, maintenance of biodiversity competes with expansion of land for agriculture and mining. The concept of “telecoupling” provides a framework for analysis of distant actors and institutions that influence local land use decisions. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the extent of telecoupling of land governance in north-eastern Madagascar and a lack of evidence regarding its role in driving land use change and land competition. Using a descriptive Social Network Analysis, we disentangled distant interactions between actors in terms of flows and institutions. Our findings show that the domains of economic and environmental interactions are dominated by actors from different sectors that have claims on the same land but generally do not interact. Distant influences occurring via remote flows of goods, money, and institutions serve to reinforce local land competition. Balancing economic and environmental land claims for more sustainable regional development in north-eastern Madagascar requires collaboration between actors across sectors, scales, and domains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Complex Interrelationships between Ecosystem Services Supply and Tourism Demand: General Framework and Evidence from the Origin of Three Asian Rivers
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124576 - 04 Dec 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
Over the past two decades, the demands of nature-based tourism have been rapidly growing worldwide, yet it is not clear how tourist demands for water, food, and infrastructure influence the ecosystem services (ES), which are often the bedrock of an area’s economic, cultural, [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, the demands of nature-based tourism have been rapidly growing worldwide, yet it is not clear how tourist demands for water, food, and infrastructure influence the ecosystem services (ES), which are often the bedrock of an area’s economic, cultural, and natural wealth. With a general conceptual model that applies the telecoupling framework, this study identifies complex interrelationships between the demand for nature-based tourism, which is a type of cultural ES, ES supply, and the economy simultaneously, using China’s Qinghai Province as a demonstration site. The province is the origin of three rivers, making it crucial for water retention and prime for tourism. The results indicate that there is a strong spatial interaction between the number of tourism attractions and water retention. The southern Qinghai region’s natural resources are protected by the Sanjiangyuan (three rivers headwater) National Park. From 2010–2014, tourists in the Sanjiangyuan region spent more money than those in the northern Qinghai region, which has accelerated the development of tourism infrastructures. The Sanjiangyuan region may face the unexpected degradation of its natural habitats due to rapid tourism development. Our findings suggest that new management plans are needed to minimize the negative impacts from the demands of distant tourists, and preserve the region that supports both the environment and the economy. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Understanding How Smallholders Integrated into Pericoupled and Telecoupled Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041596 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Increasing connections and influences from near to far have changed social structures, access to natural resources, and essential livelihoods of smallholders (i.e., those with incomes generated primarily from natural resources on small rural properties). However, the potential benefits and negative impacts from these [...] Read more.
Increasing connections and influences from near to far have changed social structures, access to natural resources, and essential livelihoods of smallholders (i.e., those with incomes generated primarily from natural resources on small rural properties). However, the potential benefits and negative impacts from these connections to smallholders’ livelihoods and social-ecological effects remain understudied. In this paper, we applied the frameworks of pericoupling and telecoupling (human-nature interactions between adjacent and distant systems, respectively) to systematically investigate how the flows linking smallholder systems to other systems affect their livelihoods, and causing varying economic, social, and environmental effects from case to case. We synthesized 12 cases of smallholder systems around the world that are linked to adjacent and distant systems through flows of goods, people, resources, and/or information. In each case, we summarized smallholders’ agency, i.e., capability on the formation or operation of these flows, and the changes on livelihoods on the economic, social, and environment effects. Results suggest that strong smallholder agency is associated more with positive than negative effects. Smallholders with medium to high agency have greater overall well-being within the area of interest. Smallholders integrated in pericoupled systems often have strong agency. Being spillover systems in an intercoupled system (e.g., large-scale agricultural investments) can often cause negative outcomes unless smallholders have additional pericoupling flows. Our findings suggest one potential approach to ending poverty and increasing well-being for smallholders is creating and increasing pericoupling flows to empower smallholders for desired livelihood and social-ecological outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Evolution of an Estuarine Island in the Anthropocene: Complex Dynamics of Chongming Island, Shanghai, P.R. China
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246921 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Islands are known to be vulnerable to many natural and anthropogenic hazards, especially estuarine islands, which are affected at rates and intensities above those found elsewhere around the globe. The sustainable development of estuarine islands has been a part of their evolution, which [...] Read more.
Islands are known to be vulnerable to many natural and anthropogenic hazards, especially estuarine islands, which are affected at rates and intensities above those found elsewhere around the globe. The sustainable development of estuarine islands has been a part of their evolution, which has been a continuous integration of human impact and response to natural processes. This study reviews the complex dynamics of Chongming Island, an estuarine island in Shanghai, with an emphasis on the nature of human intervention. We conclude that the island is an example of a coupled human-environment system, as it has been throughout its formation and evolution, which is integrated at the local (intracoupled), regional (pericoupled), and global (telecoupled) scale. This conceptual framework reveals Chongming Island to be an exemplar of—and indeed a test-case for—China’s vision of eco-civilization development, in which it is reimagined as an ‘eco-island’. Accordingly, we argue that islands are benchmarks for building sustainability in the Anthropocene, and a more complete understanding of their dynamics, and the factors that influence them in a metacoupled world, is critical for future development. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Methods to Assess the Impacts and Indirect Land Use Change Caused by Telecoupled Agricultural Supply Chains: A Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041162 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2354
Abstract
The increasing international trade of agricultural products has contributed to a larger diversity of food at low prices and represents an important economic value. However, such trade can also cause social, environmental and economic impacts beyond the limits of the countries directly involved [...] Read more.
The increasing international trade of agricultural products has contributed to a larger diversity of food at low prices and represents an important economic value. However, such trade can also cause social, environmental and economic impacts beyond the limits of the countries directly involved in the exchange. Agricultural systems are telecoupled because the impacts caused by trade can generate important feedback loops, spillovers, rebound effects, time lags and non-linearities across multiple geographical and temporal scales that make these impacts more difficult to identify and mitigate. We make a comparative review of current impact assessment methods to analyze their suitability to assess the impacts of telecoupled agricultural supply chains. Given the large impacts caused by agricultural production on land systems, we focus on the capacity of methods to account for and spatially allocate direct and indirect land use change. Our analysis identifies trade-offs between methods with respect to the elements of the telecoupled system they address. Hybrid methods are a promising field to navigate these trade-offs. Knowledge gaps in assessing indirect land use change should be overcome in order to improve the accuracy of assessments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Telecoupling Research: The First Five Years
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041033 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3033
Abstract
In an increasingly interconnected world, human–environment interactions involving flows of people, organisms, goods, information, and energy are expanding in magnitude and extent, often over long distances. As a universal paradigm for examining these interactions, the telecoupling framework (published in 2013) has been broadly [...] Read more.
In an increasingly interconnected world, human–environment interactions involving flows of people, organisms, goods, information, and energy are expanding in magnitude and extent, often over long distances. As a universal paradigm for examining these interactions, the telecoupling framework (published in 2013) has been broadly implemented across the world by researchers from diverse disciplines. We conducted a systematic review of the first five years of telecoupling research to evaluate the state of telecoupling science and identify strengths, areas to be improved, and promising avenues for future study. We identified 89 studies using any derivation of the term telecoupling. These works emphasize trade flows, information transfer, and species dispersal at international, national, and regional scales involving one or a few countries, with China, Brazil, and the United States being the most frequently studied countries. Our review showed a rising trend in publications and citations on telecoupling, with 63% of identified telecoupling studies using the framework’s specific language (e.g., “flows”, “agents”). This result suggests that future telecoupling studies could apply the standardized telecoupling language and terminology to better coordinate, synthesize, and operationalize interdisciplinary research. Compelling topics for future research include operationalization of the telecoupling framework, commonalities among telecouplings, telecoupling mechanisms and causality, and telecoupled systems governance. Overall, the first five years of telecoupling research have improved our understanding of human–environment interactions, laying a promising foundation for future social–ecological research in a telecoupled world. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Toward Rigorous Telecoupling Causal Attribution: A Systematic Review and Typology
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4426; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124426 - 27 Nov 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
Telecoupled flows of people, organisms, goods, information, and energy are expanding across the globe. Causes are integral components of the telecoupling framework, yet the rigor with which they have been identified and evaluated to date is unknown. We address this knowledge gap by [...] Read more.
Telecoupled flows of people, organisms, goods, information, and energy are expanding across the globe. Causes are integral components of the telecoupling framework, yet the rigor with which they have been identified and evaluated to date is unknown. We address this knowledge gap by systematically reviewing causal attribution in the telecoupling literature (n = 89 studies) and developing a standardized causal terminology and typology for consistent use in telecoupling research. Causes are defined based on six criteria: sector (e.g., environmental, economic), system of origin (i.e., sending, receiving, spillover), agent, distance, response time (i.e., time lapse between cause and effect), and direction (i.e., producing positive or negative effects). Using case studies from the telecoupling literature, we demonstrate the need to enhance the rigor of telecoupling causal attribution by combining qualitative and quantitative methods via process-tracing, counterfactual analysis, and related approaches. Rigorous qualitative-quantitative causal attribution is critical for accurately assessing the social-ecological causes and consequences of telecouplings and thereby identifying leverage points for informed management and governance of telecoupled systems. Full article
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