In Long Term Socio-Ecological Research, the editors propose to bring together several interdisciplinary research traditions and case studies that deal with long term socio-ecological fields of enquiry; for example, social ecology, human ecology, industrial ecology, environmental history, and human geography.
Over the last half century, exceptional changes in the natural environment attributed to human activities have placed renewed importance on the study of society-nature interactions. Around the globe, ever increasing human demands on ecosystems not only harm the environment, but also induce great potential for social conflict. In this sense sustainability problems are not only "ecological" but also "socio-ecological" since the ways societies interact with the environment affects both ecosystems and social systems.
The emerging interdisciplinary field of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) is primarily concerned with questions of global environmental change and sustainability. It aims to conceptualise, observe, analyse, and model changes in coupled socio-ecological (or human-environment) systems over one to several generations. Tracking these dynamics and changes in socio-ecological systems over extended periods is accomplished in research traditions that include social and human ecology, industrial ecology, environmental history, human geography and anthropology.
In recognising research that takes a long-term perspective on society-nature interactions, conceptually and empirically, as well as approaches that engage society in this quest, LTSER aims to provide a knowledge base that helps reorient socio-economic trajectories towards more sustainable pathways. The authors in Long Term Socio-Ecological Research make a case for LTSER's potential in providing insights, knowledge and experience necessary for a sustainability transition.
This expertly edited selection of contributions from Europe and North America reviews the development of LTSER since its inception and assesses its current state, which has evolved to recognize the value of formulating solutions to the host of ecological threats we face. Through many case studies, Long Term Socio-Ecological Research gives the reader a greater sense of where we are and what still needs to be done to engage in and make meaning from long-term, place-based and cross-disciplinary engagements with socio-ecological systems.
1. Introduction. Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research: Scope and History
PART I: LTSER Concepts, Methods and Linkages
2. Sociometabolic Transitions and the Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production: What Promise Do They Hold For LTSER?
3. Integrated Socio-Ecological Modeling: Experiences From European LTSER Platforms
4. Modeling Transport as a Key Constraint to Urbanization in Pre-Industrial Societies
5. The Environmental History of the Danube River Basin as an Issue of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research
6. The Relevance of 'Critical Scales' For LTSER
8. Geographic Approaches to LTSER: Principal Themes And Concepts With a Case Study of Andes-Amazon Watersheds
9. The Contribution of Anthropology To Concepts Guiding LTSER Research
PART II: LTSER Applications Across Ecosystems, Time and Space
10. Viewing the Urban Socio-Ecological System Through a Sustainability Lens: Lessons and Prospects From the Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER Program
11. A City and Its Hinterland: Vienna's Energy Metabolism 1800-2006
12. Sustaining Agricultural Systems in the Old and New Worlds: A Long-Term Socio-Ecological Comparison
13. How Material and Energy Flows Change Human Practices and Environments: The Transformation of Agriculture in the Eisenwurzen Region, 1860-2000
14. The Intimacy of Human-Nature Interactions on Islands
15. Global Socio-Metabolic Transitions
PART III: LTSER Formations and the Transdisciplinary Challenge
16. Building an Urban LTSER: The Case of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and the D.C. / B.C. ULTRA-Ex Project
17. Development of LTSER Platforms in LTER-Europe: Challenges and Experiences in Implementing Place-Based Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research in Selected Regions
18. Developing Socio-Ecological Research in Finland: Challenges and Progress Towards a Thriving LTSER Network
19. The Eisenwurzen LTSER Platform (Austria) - Implementation and Services
20. Fostering Research Into Coupled Long-Term Dynamics of Climate, Land Use, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services in the Central French Alps
21. Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research in Mountain Regions: Perspectives From the Tyrolean Alps
22. Experiences From the Otztal Valley in the Tyrolean High Alps: The Transdisciplinary Challenge