CHANS : Florida red tides and coastal populations as a coupled nature-human system
Ullmann, Steven G.
Fleming, Lora E.
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Coupled nature-human (CNH) systems are now the focus of a growing number of inter-disciplinary research programs worldwide. As implied by the term “coupled,” these systems in-volve interactions between humans and nature, often affecting the dynamic characteristics of each component. Both natural and social scientists are engaged in developing a deeper un-derstanding of these dynamics, focusing on the linkages and feedbacks affecting the trajectories of coupled system behavior. Several researchers have begun to identify the generic aspects of nature-human couplings. Many of these aspects have been adapted from the field of ecology, where the dynamic characteristics of ecological systems have been studied for decades. These aspects include system heterogeneity, time lags, reciprocal feedbacks, thresholds, surprises, legacies, and resilience. The presence of such aspects has implications for the stability and persistence of particular ecosystem states, leading potentially to further implications for human heath and welfare. This talk reviews a specific type of natural hazard-human coupling that relates to coastal blooms of toxic marine algae, drawing examples primarily from human interactions with blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis from the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This talk introduces a set of HAB Symposium “speed” presentations relating to different aspects of an ongoing multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary research project that examines Florida red tides as a type of CNH system. We present examples of the generic aspects of CNH systems in the context of Florida red tides, and we discuss also some of the challenges involved in compiling relevant data to support our analytical efforts.
Presented at the Seventh Symposium on Harmful Algae in the U.S., Sarasota, FL, 27-31 October 2013.
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