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Inferring ecosystem states and quantifying their resilience: linking theories to ecological data
Group: Wageningen University, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Promotor: Prof.dr. M. Scheffer
Co-promotors: Dr.ir. E.H. van Nes
The core of my thesis concerns addressing the ecosystem resilience in a data-driven manner. In this direction, I have tried to make a bridge between advanced mathematical models and existing ecological data. I could come up with some quantitative measures of resilience and applied them to some ecological field and experimental data. These measures are more exact compared with the classical measures mentioned by Holling. I show that Holling measures are just two extremes of the measure I introduced and they do not necessarily capture the notion of resilience. Furthermore, I could also address the resilience of low-resolution tropical satellite data across the tropics (South America, Africa, south east Asia and, Australia). Besides, my thesis also sheds more light on the concept of ‘alternative stable states’ which is an important concept in ecology. I argue that advanced ‘system reconstruction’ approaches should be applied first, from where one can better justify weather or not an ecosystem has alternative stable states.
By September we will present an overview of SENSE dissertations on this page, with links to the full texts of the dissertations.