Craig Reece Allen

Craig Reece Allen
University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · School of Natural Resources

About

248
Publications
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10,265
Citations

Publications

Publications (248)
Article
Full-text available
Roadsides can be vectors for tree invasion within rangelands by bisecting landscapes and facilitating propagule spread to interior habitat. Current invasive tree management in North America’s Great Plains focuses on reducing on-site (i.e., interior habitat) vulnerability through on-site prevention and eradication, but invasive tree management of su...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of adaptive capacity has received significant attention within social-ecological and environmental change research. Within both the resilience and vulnerability literatures specifically, adaptive capacity has emerged as a fundamental concept for assessing the ability of social-ecological systems to adapt to environmental change. Althoug...
Article
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Non-technical summary Our analysis shows that the framing of social vulnerability is shaped by a narrow definition of resilience, focusing on post-disaster return and recovery responses. This perspective does not account for the dynamism and non-stationarity of social-ecological systems (SES) which is becoming increasingly important in the face of...
Article
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Spatial regimes (the spatial extents of ecological states) exhibit strong spatiotemporal order as they expand or contract in response to retreating or encroaching adjacent spatial regimes (e.g., woody plant invasion of grasslands) and human management (e.g., fire treatments). New methods enable tracking spatial regime boundaries via vegetation land...
Article
Adaptive capacity is a critical component of building resilience in healthcare. Adaptive capacity comprises the ability of a system to cope with and adapt to disturbances. However, "shocks", such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, can potentially exceed critical adaptation thresholds and lead to systemic collapse. To effectively manage healthcare sy...
Chapter
Many alternative agricultural approaches have been developed as a response to the social and ecological costs of modern industrialized agriculture. These include diversified, organic, sustainably intensified, and ecologically intensified farming systems, each of which addresses different aspects of agriculture as a social-ecological system. However...
Article
Bats provide a number of ecosystem services in agricultural areas, including the predation of night-flying insects, for which they are estimated to save agricultural industries billions of dollars per year. Intensive agriculture has many negative effects on biodiversity, and it is important to understand how wildlife exploit available habitats to a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Roadsides can be vectors for tree invasion within grasslands by bisecting landscapes and facilitating propagule spread to interior habitat. Current invasive tree management in North America’s Great Plains focuses on reducing on-site (i.e., interior habitat) vulnerability through on-site prevention and eradication, but invasive tree management of su...
Article
Full-text available
Managing social-ecological systems toward desirable regimes requires learning about the system being managed while preparing for many possible futures. Adaptive management (AM) and scenario planning (SP) are two systems management approaches that separately use learning to reduce uncertainties and employ planning to manage irreducible uncertainties...
Article
A key challenge of the Anthropocene is to confront the dynamic complexity of systems of people and nature to guide robust interventions and adaptations across spatiotemporal scales. Panarchy, a concept rooted in resilience theory, accounts for this complexity, having at its core multiscale organization, interconnectedness of scales, and dynamic sys...
Article
A key pursuit in contemporary ecology is to differentiate regime shifts that are truly irreversible from those that are hysteretic. Many ecological regime shifts have been labeled as irreversible without exploring the full range of variability in stabilizing feedbacks that have the potential to drive an ecological regime shift back towards a desira...
Article
An unmanned aerial vehicle ( UAV ) can be configured for fire suppression and ignition . In some examples , the UAV includes an aerial propulsion system , an ignition system , and a control system . The ignition system includes a container of delayed - ignition balls and a dropper configured , by virtue of one or more motors , to actuate and drop t...
Article
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The identity of an ecological regime is central to modern resilience theory and our understanding of how systems collapse and reorganize following disturbance. However, resilience-based models used in ecosystem management have been criticized for their failure to integrate disturbance outcomes into regime identity. Assessments are needed to underst...
Article
Bats are important bio-indicators of ecosystem health and provide a number of ecosystem services. White-nose Syndrome and habitat loss have led to the decline of many bat species in eastern North America, including the federally threatened northern long-eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis. White-nose Syndrome was only recently found in Nebraska, whic...
Article
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Woody encroachment is a global driver of grassland loss and management to counteract encroachment represents one of the most expensive conservation practices implemented in grasslands. Yet, outcomes of these practices are often unknown at large scales and this constrains practitioner's ability to advance conservation. Here, we use new monitoring da...
Article
In rangelands, monitoring spatial regime boundaries (i.e., boundaries between ecological states) could provide early warnings of state transitions, elucidate the spatial nature of state transitions, and quantify management outcomes. Here, we test the ability of established regime shift detection methods and traditional, local-scale rangeland monito...
Article
Addressing unexpected events and uncertainty represents one of the grand challenges of the Anthropocene, yet ecosystem management is constrained by existing policy and laws that were not formulated to deal with today's accelerating rates of environmental change. In many cases, managing for simple regulatory standards has resulted in adverse outcome...
Article
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Wildfires are ecosystem-level drivers of structure and function in many vegetated biomes. While numerous studies have emphasized the benefits of fire to ecosystems, large wildfires have also been associated with the loss of ecosystem services and shifts in vegetation abundance. The size and number of wildfires are increasing across a number of regi...
Article
Species conservation requires monitoring and management that extends beyond the local population, yet studies evaluating population trends and management outcomes across the spatial range of a species remain rare. We conducted the first range-wide assessment of population trends for the iconic Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensi...
Article
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Assessing the ecological and economic impacts of non-native species is crucial to providing managers and policymakers with the information necessary to respond effectively. Most non-native species have minimal impacts on the environment in which they are introduced, but a small fraction are highly deleterious. The definition of ‘damaging’ or ‘high-...
Article
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Investigation of economies as complex adaptive systems may provide a deeper understanding of their behavior and response to perturbation. We use methodologies from ecology to test whether the global economy has discontinuous size distributions, a signature of multi-scale processes in complex adaptive systems, and we contrast the theoretical assumpt...
Article
Globally, savanna ecosystems are shifting outside of “safe operating spaces” due to removal of their primary self-reinforcing feedback—fire—and subsequent erosion of disturbance legacies. Restoring savannas will require reinstating fire feedbacks. But knowledge gaps in the nature of historic fire regimes and how mechanisms such as time-since-fire a...
Article
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Management frequently creates system conditions that poorly mimic the conditions of a desirable self-organizing regime. Such management is ubiquitous across complex systems of people and nature and will likely intensify as these systems face rapid change. However, it is highly uncertain whether the costs (unintended consequences, including negative...
Article
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Rapidly changing ecological and social systems currently pose significant societal challenges. Navigating the complexity of social‐ecological change requires approaches able to cope with, and potentially solve, both foreseen and unforeseen societal challenges. The emergent field of convergence addresses the intricacies of such challenges, and is th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human activity causes biome shifts that alter biodiversity and spatial resilience patterns, ultimately challenging conservation. Rare species, often considered vulnerable to change and endangered, can be a critical element of resilience by providing adaptive capacity in response to disturbances. However, little is known about changes in rarity and...
Chapter
This 381-paged book covers the biology, ecology, impact and management of 34 common alien invasive species, with reviews on the history and context of avian introductions and invasions in five major regions (Oceania, Africa, Europe (including the Middle East, Asia and South America)), as well as management challenges and the potential of citizen sc...
Article
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Abstract A long‐standing goal of invasion biology is to identify factors driving highly variable impacts of non‐native species. Although hypotheses exist that emphasize the role of evolutionary history (e.g., enemy release hypothesis & defense‐free space hypothesis), predicting the impact of non‐native herbivorous insects has eluded scientists for...
Article
Resilience scholarship continues to inspire opaque discourse and competing frameworks often inconsistent with the complexity inherent in social–ecological systems. We contend that competing conceptualizations of resilience are reconcilable, and that the core theory is useful for navigating sustainability challenges.
Article
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Screening is a strategy for detecting undesirable change prior to manifestation of symptoms or adverse effects. Although the well-recognized utility of screening makes it commonplace in medicine, it has yet to be implemented in ecosystem management. Ecosystem management is in an era of diagnosis and treatment of undesirable change, and as a result,...
Article
Significance International and national law have not stemmed the tide of rapidly accelerating environmental change. In response to this challenge, we highlight examples from the United States and the European Union of the untapped capacity of existing laws to enhance social-ecological resilience to these continual changes. The recommendations we ad...
Article
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The adaptive cycle and its extension to panarchy (nested adaptive cycles) has been a useful metaphor and conceptual model for understanding long-term dynamics of change in ecological and social–ecological systems. We argue that adaptive cycles are ubiquitous in complex adaptive systems because they reflect endogenously generated dynamics as a resul...
Article
The concept of ecological resilience (the amount of disturbance a system can absorb before collapsing and reorganizing) holds potential for predicting community change and collapse—increasingly common issues in the Anthropocene. Yet neither the predictions nor metrics of resilience have received rigorous testing. The cross-scale resilience model, a...
Article
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Recreational fisheries are complex adaptive systems that are inherently difficult to manage because of heterogeneous user groups (consumptive vs. nonconsumptive) that use patchily distributed resources on the landscape (lakes, rivers, coastlines). There is a need to identify which system components can effectively predict and be used to manage nonl...
Article
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In the present era of rapid global change, development of early warnings of ecological regime shifts is a major focus in ecology. Identifying and tracking shifts in spatial regimes is a new approach with potential to enhance understanding of ecological responses to global change. Here, we show strong directional non-stationarity of spatial regimes...
Article
Mechanisms underlying the loss of ecological resilience and a shift to an alternate regime with lower ecosystem service provisioning continues to be a leading debate in ecology, particularly in cases where evidence points to human actions and decision-making as the primary drivers of resilience loss and regime change. In this paper, we introduce th...
Article
Mechanisms underlying the loss of ecological resilience and a shift to an alternate regime with lower ecosystem service provisioning continues to be a leading debate in ecology, particularly in cases where evidence points to human actions and decision-making as the primary drivers of resilience loss and regime change. In this paper, we introduce th...
Article
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Phytoplankton develops recurring spring and summer blooms, a well-recognized model in plankton succession theory. We used a 5-year (2007-2011) plankton data set and utilized discontinuity analysis to assess the cross-scale biomass (carbon content) structure in the sampled plankton data, a surrogate of ecological resilience and regime shifts. We hyp...
Article
Understanding the capacity of ecosystems to adapt and to cope (i.e. adaptive capacity) with change is crucial to their management. However, definitions of adaptive capacity are often unclear and confusing, making application of this concept difficult. In this paper, we revisit definitions of adaptive capacity and operationalize the concept. We defi...
Article
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Disturbance legacies structure communities and ecological memory, but due to increasing changes in disturbance regimes, it is becoming more difficult to characterize disturbance legacies or determine how long they persist. We sought to quantify the characteristics and persistence of material legacies (e.g., biotic residuals of disturbance) that ari...
Article
Historically, eastern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests were described as sparse patches of old-growth trees maintained by frequent, low-severity fires; however, in recent decades, there have been a number of large mixed-severity wildfires throughout the range of these forests. Wildlife responses to severe fire disturbance in eastern pondero...
Article
Harnessing energy for cooking, heating, eating, and travel is a fundamental human requirement and, prior to fossil fuel adoption, much energy was derived from local landscapes. In the North American Great Plains, the nineteenth century was a period of rapid social-ecological change, and adaptive fuel procurement was at its core. Here, we review nin...
Article
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Different resilience concepts have different assumptions about system dynamics, which has implications for resilience-based environmental risk and impact assessment. Engineering resilience (recovery) dominates in the risk assessment literature but this definition does not account for the possibility of ecosystems to exist in multiple regimes. In th...
Article
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This study investigates the influence of climate change on groundwater availability, and thereby, irrigation across political boundaries within the US High Plains aquifer. A regression model is developed to predict changes in irrigation according to predicted changes in precipitation and temperature from a downscaled dataset of 32 general circulati...
Research
The current lack of consensus about how to define sustainability in irrigated watersheds poses a challenge to policy and decision makers who are trying to address water demands efficiently while maximizing food production. Technologic developments and improved water management practices have sustained the intensification of agriculture in the past...
Article
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The distribution of pattern across scales has predictive power in the analysis of complex systems. Discontinuity approaches remain a fruitful avenue of research in the quest for quantitative measures of resilience because discontinuity analysis provides an objective means of identifying scales in complex systems and facilitates delineation of hiera...
Article
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Afforestation is often viewed as the purposeful planting of trees in historically nonforested grasslands, but an unintended consequence is woody encroachment, which should be considered part of the afforestation process. In North America's temperate grassland biome, Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) is a native species used in tree plantin...
Article
The cross‐scale resilience model suggests that system level ecological resilience emerges from the distribution of species’ functions within and across the spatial and temporal scales of a system. It has provided a quantitative method for calculating the resilience of a given system, and so has been a valuable contribution to a largely qualitative...
Article
Full-text available
New concepts have emerged in theoretical ecology with the intent to quantify complexities in ecological change that are unaccounted for in state-and-transition models and to provide applied ecologists with statistical early warning metrics able to predict and prevent state transitions. With its rich history of furthering ecological theory and its r...
Article
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The Chinese mystery snail, Bellamya chinensis (Gray, 1834) is a gastropod native to East Asia and is considered an invasive species in North America where its impacts on native species and ecosystems are not well understood. Scientific literature describing its biology and life history are sparse. Thermal tolerance limits, or the maximum and minimu...
Article
Full-text available
Regulatory agencies have long adopted a three‐tier framework for risk assessment. We build on this structure to propose a tiered approach for resilience assessment that can be integrated into the existing regulatory processes. Comprehensive approaches to assessing resilience at appropriate and operational scales, reconciling analytical complexity a...
Chapter
One of the goals of adaptive governance is to increase management flexibility in the face of a changing social-ecological system. In contrast, one of the key functions of governance systems is to provide stability, predictability, and security for the people subject to that system. This chapter explores this adaptive governance paradox, focusing on...
Chapter
Full-text available
A characteristic of the Anthropocene is an acceleration in the rate of change of many global environmental resources, including loss of biodiversity and increased freshwater use. However, societal response to accelerated environmental change often does little to prevent the undesirable and sudden social-ecological system changes that occur in respo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Several frameworks have been developed to assess the resilience of social-ecological systems, but most are time consuming and require substantial time and technical expertise. Stakeholders and practitioners often lack the resources for such intensive efforts. Furthermore, most resilience assessments end with problem framing and fail to explicitly a...
Article
Full-text available
Mismatches between invasive species management policies and ecological knowledge can lead to profound societal consequences. For this reason, natural resource agencies have adopted the scientifically-based density-impact invasive species curve to guide invasive species management. We use the density-impact model to evaluate how well management poli...
Article
Full-text available
Many cities are experiencing long-term declines in population and economic activity. As a result, frameworks for urban sustainability need to address the unique challenges and opportunities of such shrinking cities. Shrinking, particularly in the U.S., has led to extensive vacant land. The abundance of vacant land reflects a loss of traditional urb...
Article
Full-text available
Several frameworks have been developed to assess the resilience of social-ecological systems, but most require substantial data inputs, time, and technical expertise. Stakeholders and practitioners often lack the resources for such intensive efforts. Furthermore, most end with problem framing and fail to explicitly address trade-offs and uncertaint...
Article
Scholars from many different intellectual disciplines have attempted to measure, estimate, or quantify resilience. However, there is growing concern that lack of clarity on the operationalization of the concept will limit its application. In this paper, we discuss the theory, research development and quantitative approaches in ecological and commun...
Article
Full-text available
A modern challenge for conservation biology is to assess the consequences of policies that adhere to assumptions of stationarity (e.g., historic norms) in an era of global environmental change. Such policies may result in unexpected and surprising levels of mitigation given future climate-change trajectories, especially as agriculture looks to prot...
Article
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Background: The term resilience describes stress-response patterns of subjects across scientific disciplines. In ecology, advances have been made to clearly distinguish resilience definitions based on underlying mechanistic assumptions. Engineering resilience (rebound) is used for describing the ability of subjects to recover from adverse conditio...
Article
The river otter (Lontra canadensis) was extirpated from Nebraska, USA, in the early 1900s and reintroduced starting in 1986. Information is needed regarding the distribution of river otters in Nebraska before decisions can be made regarding its conservation status. Understanding distribution of a species is critically important for effective manage...
Article
Regulatory agencies have long adopted a three-tier framework for risk assessment. We build on this structure to propose a tiered approach for resilience assessment that can be integrated into the existing regulatory processes. Comprehensive approaches to assessing resilience at appropriate and operational scales, reconciling analytical complexity a...
Chapter
Resilience analysis and thinking serve as emerging conceptual frameworks relevant for applications assessing risk. Connections between the domains of resilience and risk assessment include vulnerability. Infrastructure, social, economic, and ecological systems (and combined social-ecological systems) are vulnerable to exogenous global change, and o...