Complexity and Resilience
Urbanizing ecosystems are emergent phenomena that evolve over time and space as the outcome of dynamic interactions between socio-economic and biophysical processes operating simultaneously over multiple spatial and temporal scales.
Individual choices and actions affect ecosystem processes and ecological conditions, which in turn affect human decisions. Understanding the dynamics of urbanizing ecosystems thus requires an integrated framework that simultaneously considers the reciprocal interactions between human and biophysical patterns, processes, and functions.
Our research on coupled human-natural systems examines the dynamics of urban ecosystems to test hypotheses about how human-dominated ecosystems evolve through these complex interactions. We have used GIS analysis of remotely sensed data, empirical field measurements, modeling, and and scenario planning to explore the complex dynamics of urban ecosystems.
Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter S., Alberti, M., Folke, C, Redman, C., Schneider, S., Ostrom, E., Pell, A., Lubchenco, J., Taylor, W., Ouyang, Z., Deadman, P., Kratz, T., and W. Provencher. 2007. Complexity of coupled human and natural systems. Science 317(5844): 1513 – 1516.
Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter S., Folke, C., Alberti, M., Redman, C., Schneider, S., Ostrom, E., Pell, A., Lubchenco, J., Taylor, W., Ouyang, Z., Deadman, P., Kratz, T., and W. Provencher. 2007. Coupled human and natural systems.Ambio. 36(8): 639-649.
Alberti, M., C. Redman, J. Wu, J. Marzluff, M. Handcock, J. Anderies, P. Waddell, D. Fox, H. Kautz, J. Hepinstall. 2006. Urban landscape patterns and global environmental change (REC): Complex dynamics and emergent properties. International Human Dimension of Global Climate Change. Spring.
Alberti, M. 2005. The effects of urban patterns on ecosystem function. International Regional Science Review. 28(2):169-192.
Alberti, M. and J. Marzluff. 2004. Ecological resilience in urban ecosystems: Linking urban patterns to human and ecological functions. Urban Ecosystems 7:241-265.
Alberti, M., Marzluff. J. Shulenberger, E., Bradley, G. Ryan, C. and C. Zumbrunnen. 2003. Integrating Humans Into Ecology: Opportunities And Challenges For Urban Ecology. BioScience. Vol. 53, No.12.
Alberti, M 1999. Modeling the urban ecosystem: A conceptual framework. Environment and Planning B. Vol. 26: 605-630.