Peter R. Hobson

Peter R. Hobson
Writtle University College · School for Sustainable Environments & Design

Professor

About

46
Publications
28,550
Reads
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1,393
Citations
Introduction
1. using proxy indicators of ecosystem thermodynamics to assess functional status of natural and modified ecosystems with a focus on forests and arable systems. 2. systems-based analysis and ecosystem-based adaptive management in biosphere reserves and mixed cultural landscapes

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence—synthesized in this paper—shows that economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss via greater resource consumption and higher emissions. Nonetheless, a review of international biodiversity and sustainability policies shows that the majority advocate economic growth. Since improvements in resource use efficiency have so far n...
Article
Full-text available
The global nature-climate crisis along with a fundamental shift in world population towards cities and towns has sharpened the focus on the role of urban green infrastructure. Green infrastructure has the potential to deliver cost-effective, nature-based solutions to help mitigate problems of climate change as well as provide improved human well-be...
Article
From a systemic perspective, evolution and natural succession promote the creation of efficient biological structures and processes that capture and dissipate the solar energy, maximizing the entropy production. This ecological complexification results in better ecosystem thermodynamic performance indicated by lower temperature. In a brief period o...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence—synthesized in this paper—shows that economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss via greater resource consumption and higher emissions. Nonetheless, a review of international biodiversity and sustainability policies shows that the majority advocate economic growth. Since improvements in resource use efficiency have so far n...
Article
Full-text available
Background Over the last 25 years, the prominent forest certification system established by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has used by many companies worldwide for claiming responsible forest management. The objectives of the Russian National FSC standard to decrease the size of clearcuts and the retention of forest elements such as residual...
Preprint
Full-text available
eLetter responding to Preventing European forest diebacks by Thorn et al. 2019 (Science 27 Sep 2019: Vol. 365, Issue 6460, pp. 1388, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz3476) [https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6460/1388.2/tab-e-letters]
Article
A whole systems thinking approach to conservation has spawned new approaches in adaptive management planning that require a crucial understanding of what is essential for the functionality of ecosystems and the biodiversity they embrace. In this context, the key ecological attributes (KEA) have been introduced as aspects of a conservation target's...
Article
Global urbanization leads to the loss of periurban farming land and increases dependency on distant agriculture systems. This provokes greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation and storage while disconnecting nutrient cycles, as urban organic waste is not recycled into the agricultural system. Urban food production based on composted...
Article
Full-text available
Growing levels of uncertainty and vulnerability generated by land use conversion and climate change set demands on local communities and national institutions to build synergies between the diverse array of knowledge systems in order to provide policy makers and practitioners with the best available information to decide what urgent actions must be...
Article
Full-text available
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a voluntary sustainability standard with global reach that has been developed to encourage responsible and sustainable forest management. Despite its broad appeal, there is little scientific assessment to substantiate the effectiveness of FSC in the boreal zone. In this study, an ecosystem-based and participa...
Conference Paper
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Vast tropical rainforests of SE-Asia have increasingly been converted into oil palm plantations driven by consumption of plant oils replacing fossil fuels. Sustainability certification is expected to safeguard ecosystem-friendly biomass production. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil with RED requirements (RSPO-RED) and the International Sustain...
Article
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Targeting the maintenance of functional ecosystems that provide the significant basis for human wellbeing is an integral part of an ecosystem-based sustainable development. Underlying causes of ecosystem degradation such as global climate change and ever-growing human demands that rapidly shift socioeconomic and political baselines are often unmana...
Article
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Roads fragment landscapes and trigger human colonization and degradation of ecosystems, to the detriment of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The planet’s remaining large and ecologically important tracts of roadless areas sustain key refugia for biodiversity and provide globally relevant ecosystem services. Applying a 1-kilometer buffer to all...
Technical Report
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Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) share similar goals but originate from different conceptual frameworks. They differ in other ways, namely, in the terminology used, tools and methods, and the audience targeted to carry out the planning and implementation of practices. In its current form, the independent development...
Article
Full-text available
A small plot study of Chalara infestation was carried out in a recently established stand of natural secondary woodland on an abandoned field in Suffolk. The aim was to determine the pattern of disease spread in relation to the structure of young ash stands. Wind-dispersed colonisation by ash was typically patchy but clustered along the eastern edg...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Decision making under uncertainty is frequently discussed in literature, but rarely considers other forms of non-knowledge. Literature on non-knowledge does not provide practical classifications for decision unknowns. This research seeks to find patterns in decision related unknowns. These patterns shall serve to derive elements and principles of a...
Book
Full-text available
The MARISCO method has been successfully used in a wide range of situations including conservation projects involving mapping complex situations for the purpose of informing management of conservation sites. It has also been applied in the fi eld of development cooperation and applied conservation research, and as an aid to teaching students about...
Book
Full-text available
The Altai countries cover one of the most pristine hotspots of diversity in terms of ecosystems, landscapes and biological diversity on earth. They share a long culture and tradition of nomadic tribes that lived and still live in close relation with nature. For many decades during the 20th century the four Altai countries were ruled in close cooper...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A central tenet in ecosystem theory is that functional integrity and resilience in ecosystems are maintained by conserving energy dissipative structures in the form of biomass, networks, and information. Human activities that degrade these properties can result in ecosystem functional impairment as well as losses in resilience and adaptive capacity...
Article
Full-text available
In December 2013, the European Union (EU) enacted the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014–2020, allocating almost 40% of the EU's budget and influencing management of half of its terrestrial area. Many EU politicians are announcing the new CAP as “greener,” but the new environmental prescriptions are so diluted that they are unlikely...
Book
Full-text available
MARISCO is a method for adaptive management at any site where biodiversity conservation and ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change are regarded as integral and indispensable elements of sustainable development. The method was developed and tested in a series of projects in Latin America, Europe and Asia, across different cultures and biomes....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Thermodynamic theory has been applied to ecological studies to help understand and describe the complexities of ecosystem function and resilience. Ecosystems are efficient when they exhibit optimum conditions in three principal functional characteristics; biomass; information; and networks. The synergistic properties of complex structures, higher b...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of roads, and the subse-quent changes to the surrounding landscape not only lead to landscape fragmentation but also have been shown to be a key driver of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. Local declines of species abundance as well as changes in animal behaviour have drawn attention to wider ecosystem effects including alt...
Article
Veteran trees not only have an intrinsic interest in themselves; they also provide information about climatic conditions and masting over periods equal to many human generations. This paper endeavours to highlight existing records of veteran populations of Fagus sylvatica L. in Europe, especially in Sweden, and also provides fresh information regar...
Article
Full-text available
The limited resources available for the conservation of biodiversity and eco-system services call for prioritisation schemes. For instance, in the process of systematic conservation planning site selection is partly determined by efficiency gains. In this paper we present an alternative method for global spatial priority-setting based on ecological...
Article
Full-text available
The functionality of ecosystems is important for energy dissipation, ecosystem service provisioning, resilience to global change and adaptive capacity. Ecosystem complexity and ultimately functionality depend on higher levels of biodiversity, biomass, heterogeneity and evolutionary potential, such as genes. These characteristics are also likely to...
Article
Full-text available
1. Resilient and functional landscapes are essential for climate change adaptation. Thermodynamic theory has been applied increasingly to ecological studies to understand ecosystem resilience and integrity. Resilient ecosystems have complex structure and greater levels of biomass and functional diversity, which act to enhance the degradation of sol...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter 1 (Ibisch & Hobson) provides a general introduction to non-knowledge in the context of sustainability and global change management. It questions if effective global change and sustainability management can ever be evidencebased, and it postulates that non-knowledge illiteracy paradoxically is a major challenge to the knowledge society and e...
Chapter
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Chapter 9 (Hobson & Ibisch) introduces the concept that knowledge (management) is actually found in all natural systems contributing to an intelligence that is a critical factor of system sustainability. This econical approach integrates systemics, vulnerability and adaptation science and calls for acknowledging the advantages of heuristic decision...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter 6 (Ibisch, Kreft & Hobson) specifically addresses how principles of adaptive cycle and complex system science can be applied to nature conservation, taking the European Natura 2000 protected area network as an example. It concludes that an adaptive and dynamic metasystemic management that does not overemphasize the study and steering of ind...
Conference Paper
Background / Purpose: Nature and society are nested in a complex system and constantly interacting although patterns and processes of these systems are still comparably unexplored.The Ecopolitical Units (EPU 9000), a combination of ecoregional and national state borders, are introduced as a more appropriate scale for statistical analysis of the s...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper proposes the use of the more than 9000 Ecopolitical Units (EPU 9000), a combination of all national state and ecoregional borders, as means of carrying out a detailed statistical assessment of the interdependencies and linkages between biodiversity, human development and global change. To determine general linkages between the social and...
Technical Report
The conventional view held by many scientists was that a thorough understanding of nature in all its diversity and complexity could best be achieved by an ever increasing detailed analysis of its single pieces, in other words, adopting an atomistic approach to the study of the individual components within a system, and by observing cause-effect beh...
Article
How destructive or beneficial are forest fires to wildlife? Should we be trying to reduce or increase the amount of fire in forests? How are forest fires controlled, and why does this sometimes fail? What effect will climate change have? These and many other questions are answered in this richly illustrated book, written in non-technical language....
Article
NATURE CONSERVATION AND THE HISTORICAL LEGACY: The conservation strategy for nature reserves in modified landscapes in the United Kingdom is essentially based on the “historical principle” (Peterken 1996) which maintains the argument that wildlife will be best served by continuing the historic form of land use practice in those ancient seminatural...

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