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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Geographic variations in anthropogenic drivers that influence the vulnerability and resilience of social-ecological systems

Forbes BC, Fresco N, Shvidenko A, Danell K, Chapin FS


Across the circumpolar North large disparities in the distribution of renewable and nonrenewable resources, human population density, capital investments, and basic residential and transportation infrastructure combine to create recognizable hotspots of recent and foreseeable change. Northern Fennoscandia exemplifies a relatively benign situation due to its current economic and political stability. Northern Russia is experiencing rapid, mostly negative changes reflecting the general state of crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union. North America enjoys a relatively stable regulatory structure to mitigate environmental degradation associated with industry, but is on the verge of approving massive new development schemes that would significantly expand the spatial extent of potentially affected social-ecological systems. Institutional or regulatory context influences the extent to which ecosystem services are buffered against environmental change. With or without a warming climate, certain geographic areas appear especially vulnerable to damages that may threaten their ability to supply goods and services in the near future. Climate change may exacerbate this situation in some places but may offer opportunities to enhance resilience in the long term

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2004, Volume: 33, number: 6, pages: 377-382

      SLU Authors

    • Danell, Kjell

      • Department of Animal Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)