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08: How resilient are ecosystem services to disturbances?

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In 1973, C.S. Holling introduced the concept of resilience in ecology. He described resilience as the persistence of natural systems against perturbations introduced by natural or anthropogenic factors. Today, the capacity of ecosystems to respond to a disturbance and to recover quickly is the most common definition of resilience. Perturbations can be caused by natural disasters like floodings, storms, fires or pest invasions, or human disturbances such as deforestation, introduction of non-native species, and agrochemicals, to name but a few. If the perturbations are of a significant nature, the ecosystem may be forced into a new status in which other processes and factors than before predominate. The resilience of an ecosystem is determined by several factors, like hydrology, soil fertility and stability, climate, and biodiversity of plants, animals and microbes. This seminar explores the advantages and disadvantages of biodiversity for resilience, mainly focussing on terrestrial ecosystems.


Deputy Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development - ICIMOD, Kathmandu Chair

Seminar Week

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