Reserves, resilience and dynamic landscapes 20 years later

Journal Article

Abstract: In a world increasingly modified by human activities, the conservation of biodiversity is essential as insurance to maintain resilient ecosystems and ensure a sustainable flow of ecosystem goods and services to society. However, existing reserves and national parks are unlikely to incorporate the long-term and large-scale dynamics of ecosystems. Hence, conservation strategies have to actively incorporate the large areas of land that are managed for human use. For ecosystems to reorganize after large-scale natural and human-induced disturbances, spatial resilience in the form of ecological memory is a prerequisite. The ecological memory is composed of the species, interactions and structures that make ecosystem reorganization possible, and its components may be found within disturbed patches as well in the surrounding landscape. Present static reserves should be complemented with dynamic reserves, such as ecological fallows and dynamic successional reserves, that are part of ecosystem management mimicking natural disturbance regimes at the landscape level.

Citation: Bengtsson, J., P. Angelstam, T. Elmqvist, U. Emanuelsson, C. Folke, M. Ihse, F. Moberg and M. Nyström 2021. Reserves, resilience and dynamic landscapes 20 years later. Ambio 50(5):962-966.