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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeActor
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeOutcomes (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD
QuestionHow would you rate the adaptive capacity of this actor group with respect to large changes in the availability or concentration of the commons they rely on in this snapshot?
Select Options1 High, 2 Medium, 3 Low
Unit
RoleCommonsUser
ImportanceAdaptive capacity is an important social outcome that reflect the ability of different groups to respond to a variety of disturbances. Without such capacities, many groups will be unable to persist over time.
Definition

Adaptive capacity is an extremely complicated concept, and has been discussed in many different contexts (see Smit and Wandel 2006 for the most popular discussion). In one way or another, however, it boils down to the ability of an actor group to adapt to changing circumstances or disturbances. As the adaptive capacity of an actor group may be different depending on what type of discurbance is being considered, we specify in this variable that the disturbance in question is a large fluctiation in the availability (in terms of natural resources) or concentration (in terms of pollutants) of the commons they rely on within an interaction, and/or the stream of benefits associated with their use of this commons.

High adaptive capacity means that an actor group would have little to no problem maintaining its well-being and important economic goals in the face of a large fluctuation.

Medium adaptive capacity means that an actor group would find it challenging to maintain its well-being and important economic goals in the face of a large fluctuation, but ultimately would be able to persist with more or less the same set of strategies.

Low adaptive capacity means that an actor group would find it highly difficult to almost impossible to maintain its well-being and important economic goals in the face of a large fluctuation.

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Social memory and general resilienceMedium or High
Social diversity and general resilienceHigh
Conditions for general resilienceMedium or High
Feedbacks and general resilienceHigh
Polycentric comanagementHigh
Gilded trapsLow
TranshumanceIncreased

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal Fishers 
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Shrimp FishersMedium (2)Norway accounts for 75-92% of the landings, so not as important to other states.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismMedium (2)The Polar Bear is one of many species that tourists are interested in viewing. However, if the polar bear declines rapidly, likely many other species are in trouble as well.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial Fishers Groups could turn to target other fish stocks. The SBT has already undergone a large decline and the industry remains largely unaffected.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishers Bajau are heavily depdnent on marine resources, but not green turtles. Bajau can migrate to pelagic system, and some evidence of migration to cities, but ultimately they would have very few other options in response to large fluctuations within the system
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Sanctuary Recreational Users 
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish Fishermen Fishermen can access other fisheries, but doing so takes financial support to buy new permits and gear, and often times has substantial relocation costs.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMedium (2)Fishers could instead fish other species or other stocks of toothfish.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic Researchers Researchers adapt projects according to fluctuations.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism Sector 
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersNot Applicable
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersHigh (1)Turtles are now not a major species and pigs have been introduced as an alternative communal meat source
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishers Bajau can migrate to pelagic system, and some evidence of migration to cities, but ultimately hugely dependent on marine resources and would have very few other options in response to large fluctuations within the system.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismHigh (1)Not soley dependent on kittiwakes
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersMissingNO DATA
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic Researchers Researchers adapt projects according to fluctuations.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishers Bajau can migrate to pelagic system, and some evidence of migration to cities, but ultimately hugely dependent on coral reef system, and would have very few other options in response to large fluctuations within the system.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersMedium (2)Due to high dependence on land based farming assume adaptive capacity is higher than for those soley dependent on marine resources, but as fish are used for subsistence assume any changes would have a negative impact.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMedium (2)Groups could turn to other stocks of fish and toothfish.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Artisan Fishermen Fishermen have successfully moved out of the fishing sector into tourism
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersMedium (2)Due to high dependence on land based farming assume adaptive capacity is higher than for those soley dependent on marine resources, but as fish are used for subsistence assume any changes would have a negative impact.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid fishermenHigh (1)Well prepared, strong network, flexible options.
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Arrow Squid FishersHigh (1)Not very sensitive, high learning and collective action, yes exposed but not frequently subject to busts.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersLow (3)Not solely dependent on the coral-reef ecosystem as they also farm, but because they are dependent on the reef system for subsistence, large changes would be likely to have a significant negative impact
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersHigh (1)High education, resources and agency
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Tourism 
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial Fishers Groups could turn to target other fish stocks. The SBT has already undergone a large decline and the industry remains largely unaffected.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersNot Applicable
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersNot Applicable
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersNot Applicable
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian Squid TrawlersHigh (1)Fishermen were able to make changes (points system, ITQ) to ensure economic profit in bad times. System keeps changing with same fundamental structures. Lower since rely primarily on two species.