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Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Resilience theory and coerced resilience in agriculture

Sundstrom, Shana M.; Angeler, David G.; Allen, Craig R.


There is uncertainty regarding the resilience of modern intensive agricultural systems, given that they have been developed recently in history (post-WWII). Historically, agricultural sciences have focused on scales from the molecular and plant to plot and field. Innovation in this space has led to increased efficiency in agricultural production at local scales, but it remains a challenge to scale up such knowledge to explain dynamics in soil, water, nutrients, and biodiversity at larger spatial and temporal scales, or to account for complex interactions and feedbacks. We present agricultural systems as coerced regimes, and then discuss three underutilized resil-ience concepts relevant for investigations of agricultural systems as multi-scaled complex adaptive systems (CASs): scales, uncertainty, and regime shifts. Framing agricultural systems as coerced regimes situates them according to their degree of self-organization, the impact on resilience, and the possibility of alternative regimes. Collectively, these resilience concepts offer a path forward for evaluating the resilience of modern agriculture systems and expanding agroecological principles to scales beyond that of the field or farm because they explicitly account for agricultural systems as multi-scaled complex adaptive systems. This knowledge base has immediate management implications from the farm to continental scale, as climate and land use change force challenging decisions regarding the ability of modern agriculture to persist as is, adapt, or transform in order to avoid un-desirable regime shifts.


Coercion; Self -organization; Regime shifts; Scales; Uncertainty; Complex adaptive systems

Publicerad i

Agricultural Systems
2023, Volym: 206, artikelnummer: 103612

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