Browsing by Subject "resilience"

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  • Hakala, Emma; Lähde, Ville; Majava, Antti; Toivanen, Tero; Váden, Tere; Järvensivu, Paavo; Eronen, Jussi T. (2019)
    Despite an increasing recognition that environmental change may have implications for security, there only are few policies to address the issue. This article will look at environmental security policies in Finland and Sweden and propose ways to develop more effective measures. It relies on a three-level framework that aims to enable the identification of environmental security impacts by categorising them into local, geopolitical and structural ones. The article will examine present environmental security strategies and policies in Finland and Sweden, consider their efficacy for addressing various kinds of impacts and point out approaches that are currently missing. Based on the discussion, it argues that a comprehensive policy approach is needed to tackle environmental security impacts. This requires closer coordination and interchange between sectors as well as strategic intent. In addition, further research is needed on the structural impacts of mitigating and adapting to environmental change.
  • Shin, Bokyong; Rask, Mikko (2021)
    Online deliberation research has recently developed automated indicators to assess the deliberative quality of much user-generated online data. While most previous studies have developed indicators based on content analysis and network analysis, time-series data and associated methods have been studied less thoroughly. This article contributes to the literature by proposing indicators based on a combination of network analysis and time-series analysis, arguing that it will help monitor how online deliberation evolves. Based on Habermasian deliberative criteria, we develop six throughput indicators and demonstrate their applications in the OmaStadi participatory budgeting project in Helsinki, Finland. The study results show that these indicators consist of intuitive figures and visualizations that will facilitate collective intelligence on ongoing processes and ways to solve problems promptly.
  • Sydänmaa, Birgitta Nicola (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Previous research has shown that colonization had profound impacts on precolonial Indigenous communities in North America. From the first contact, the explorers’ perception was colored by Eurocentric ideas rooted in European social systems, religion, cultures, and values, which called into question the moral worth and very humanity of Indigenous peoples. In Canada, colonialism introduced Indigenous peoples with a new social order, including new political, social, cultural, and economic structures, as well as a new stigmatized Indigenous identity, which became foundational for subsequent laws, policies, and institutional practices that aimed to erase those very elements deemed problematic. In Canada, Indigenous people have since colonization persistently suffered from poorer health compared to settler and more recent immigrant populations. Research points to both proximal and distal determinants behind the disparities documented in Indigenous health, and suggests that along with contemporary socioeconomic conditions, the distal factors of colonialism, virgin soil epidemics, and policies of subjugation and assimilation have been traumatic and have contributed negatively to the contemporary Indigenous population’s health. This research thesis is located in the field of medical anthropology and examines health, illness, and healing as culturally shaped, personal, embodied, and shared experiences, meanings, and illness realities. The theory used this thesis rests on an embodied meaning-centered approach of illness, which suggests that elements from the psychobiological, sociocultural, symbolic, political, and historical experiential realms blend to form a network of meanings for a sufferer, an embodied experience of an illness world that is shared as part of a community. Situated in the context of colonial history and present health disparities, the research questions of this thesis center on discovering major themes of embodied experiences and meanings of health, illness, and healing in an urban Indigenous community. Altogether eight weeks of daily ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in an Indigenous urban community in Vancouver, Canada, in the spring of 2017. The data for this thesis consisted of fieldnotes, ten individual interviews and one group interview, taped public speeches, photographs, and videos. A thematic analysis identified six significant categories of embodied meanings and experiences of health, illness, and healing in community narratives: colonization and colonialisms, colonization traumas, structural violence, survivance and resilience, reconciliation, and healing with culture. This thesis establishes that colonization and various colonialisms with policies of subjugation and assimilation are seen by community members as profoundly traumatic events with negative impacts on health that persist intergenerationally to this day. Collective memories of colonization and colonialisms inform what it once meant to be healthy, how communities became sick, and how they can become healthy again. Due to contemporary experiences of structural violence and racism, Indigenous community members continue to experience Canada as an enduring colonial space. Healing for community members is achieved by decolonizing minds from the once stigmatized identities introduced by colonization and by reindigenizing their world through reintroducing the original cultures and cultural identities back into their daily practices and healing their perceptions of the self.
  • Iso-Markku, Paula; Kaprio, Jaakko; Lindgren, Noora; Rinne, Juha O.; Vuoksimaa, Eero (2022)
    Background higher educational attainment and less midlife cardiovascular risk factors are related to better old-age cognition. Whether education moderates the association between cardiovascular risk factors and late-life cognition is not known. We studied if higher education provides resilience against the deteriorative effects of higher middle-age body mass index (BMI) and a combination of midlife cardiovascular risk factors on old-age cognition. Methods the study population is the older Finnish Twin Cohort (n = 4,051, mean age [standard deviation, SD] = 45.5 years [6.5]). Cardiovascular risk factors and education were studied at baseline with questionnaires in 1975, 1981 and/or 1990 (participation rates of 89, 84 and 77%, respectively). Cognition was evaluated with telephone interviews (participation rate 67%, mean age [SD] =73.4 [2.9] years, mean follow-up [SD] = 27.8 [6.0] years) in 1999-2017. We studied the main and interactive effects of education and BMI/dementia risk score on late-life cognition with linear regression analysis. The study design was formulated before the pre-defined analyses. Results years of education moderated the association between BMI with old-age cognition (among less educated persons, BMI-cognition association was stronger [B = -0.24 points per BMI unit, 95% CI -0.31, -0.18] than among more educated persons [B = -0.06 points per BMI unit, 95% CI -0.16, 0.03], P-interaction < 0.01). There was a similar moderating effect of education on dementia risk score consisting of cardiovascular risk factors (P < 0.001). Conclusions our results support the cognitive reserve hypothesis. Those with higher education may tolerate the deteriorative effects of midlife cardiovascular risk factors on old-age cognition better than those with lower education.
  • Jokinen, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this thesis I focus on a novel disaster response and preparedness mechanism called forecast-based financing. The mechanism is linked to the changing paradigm of humanitarian response that calls for more localized and more resilience building solutions to addressing and preventing humanitarian crisis. It is also in the core of the anticipation agenda which argues that waiting for disasters to happen is not a sustainable option and that forecast data and pre-agreed triggers and actions should be used in order to prevent both loss of lives and mitigate the cost and impact of disasters. Main hypothesis is that climate related hazards to livelihoods and food security seems to be the sector where forecast-based financing could have most potential for increasing resilience and sustainability. Slow onset crises with long lead-time allow for better targeting and more variety of actions. As the lifetime of the action is longer, there is less chance of action which is in vain. Furthermore, the actions which are more localized, for example direct support to farmers, can decrease their vulnerabilities. I aim at taking a critical approach to assessing this potentiality associated with the forecast-based financing mechanism through case study. The three cases (Mongolia, Kenya, Zimbabwe) were selected from pilots implemented by the main actors: the Red Cross, World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Start Network. This thesis uses a combination of evaluative and heuristic approach to qualitative case study analysis. To answer the first research question, 1) is the forecast-based financing mechanism successful in prioritization of actions in a way that best address the needs and resources of vulnerable populations, I aim at finding out if mechanism is effective (or potentially effective) in delivering impact. For the second research question, 2) are the actions sustainable and do they bring socio-economic benefits that go beyond meeting acute humanitarian needs, I will see if new pathways are found for confirming the defined hypothesis. I am using heuristic approach in terms of finding new links e.g. between actions and needs of either donors, actors or beneficiaries. I asses and analyse available reports and evaluations (secondary data) of the selected operations. I conducted eleven (11) semi-structured key informant interviews (primary data) using practitioner’s perspective for retrieving qualitative data, for further understanding and for triangulation. All key informants were affiliated to the cases. My analysis show that the potentiality for development impacts and long-term transformation of the forecast-based financing is there but it is not utilized in the cases reviewed nor is it perceived in a same way across practitioners of different backgrounds. Currently the mechanism is used more for effective response, not for addressing the root causes of vulnerability. In general, the entitlement or empowering of a person who is affected by disaster currently does not go beyond securing bridge over lean season, avoiding negative coping mechanisms or e.g. better yield or survival of livestock. Sustainability potential of the forecast-based financing seems to be currently underutilized and international funding envelopes do not offer an alternative to the humanitarian funding launched case-by-case. Most of the practitioners interviewed were clearly in favour of linking and using forecast-based financing in some way to long-term programming, thinking outside of the framework of humanitarian response, extending lead time significantly and adding positive reinforcement inputs. I argue that with a lead time that goes long in advance, towards development actions, the mechanism needs to be reframed for the donors and the sources of funding might need to be reconsidered. To implement meaningful resilience actions in slow onset cases, triggers need to be early enough and actions in two phases: 1) anticipatory and benefiting from forecast and 2) early response. At beneficiary level the actions should be geared up to better address underlying socio-economic vulnerabilities and take advantage of the long lead time.
  • Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Salpeteur, Matthieu; Howard, Patricia L.; Reyes-García, Victoria (2016)
    Local medical systems are key elements of social-ecological systems as they provide culturally appropriate and locally accessible health care options, especially for populations with scarce access to biomedicine. The adaptive capacity of local medical systems generally rests on two pillars: species diversity and a robust local knowledge system, both threatened by local and global environmental change. We first present a conceptual framework to guide the assessment of knowledge diversity and redundancy in local medicinal knowledge systems through a gender lens. Then, we apply this conceptual framework to our research on the local medicinal plant knowledge of the Tsimane’ Amerindians. Our results suggest that Tsimane’ medicinal plant knowledge is gendered and that the frequency of reported ailments and the redundancy of knowledge used to treat them are positively associated. We discuss the implications of knowledge diversity and redundancy for local knowledge systems’ adaptive capacity, resilience, and health sovereignty.
  • Cosens, Barbara; Ruhl, J. B.; Soininen, Niko; Gunderson, Lance; Belinskij, Antti; Blenckner, Thorsten; Camacho, Alejandro E.; Chaffin, Brian C.; Craig, Robin Kundis; Doremus, Holly; Glicksman, Robert; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Larson, Rhett; Similä, Jukka (National Academy of Sciences, 2021)
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2021, 118 (36) e2102798118
    The speed and uncertainty of environmental change in the Anthropocene challenge the capacity of coevolving social–ecological–technological systems (SETs) to adapt or transform to these changes. Formal government and legal structures further constrain the adaptive capacity of our SETs. However, new, self-organized forms of adaptive governance are emerging at multiple scales in natural resource-based SETs. Adaptive governance involves the private and public sectors as well as formal and informal institutions, self-organized to fill governance gaps in the traditional roles of states. While new governance forms are emerging, they are not yet doing so rapidly enough to match the pace of environmental change. Furthermore, they do not yet possess the legitimacy or capacity needed to address disparities between the winners and losers from change. These emergent forms of adaptive governance appear to be particularly effective in managing complexity. We explore governance and SETs as coevolving complex systems, focusing on legal systems to understand the potential pathways and obstacles to equitable adaptation. We explore how governments may facilitate the emergence of adaptive governance and promote legitimacy in both the process of governance despite the involvement of nonstate actors, and its adherence to democratic values of equity and justice. To manage the contextual nature of the results of change in complex systems, we propose the establishment of long-term study initiatives for the coproduction of knowledge, to accelerate learning and synergize interactions between science and governance and to foster public science and epistemic communities dedicated to navigating transitions to more just, sustainable, and resilient futures.
  • Honkasalo, Marja-Liisa (2019)
    This introduction provides an analytical back ground for the notion of vulnerability as it is currently perceived mainly in social sciences, ethics, philosophy, queer studies and governmentality. Used both as descriptive and normative term, vulnerability, along with resilience and policy management, has acquired political dimensions, which are distant from those given by the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. In present day social and political discussions vulnerability has gained enormous popularity and seems to be a genuine 'sticky concept', an adhesive cluster of heterogeneous conceptual elements.
  • Gladstone-Gallagher, Rebecca V.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.; Brustolin, Marco C.; Villnäs, Anna; Valanko, Sebastian; Norkko, Alf (2021)
    Despite a long history of disturbance–recovery research, we still lack a generalizable understanding of the attributes that drive community recovery potential in seafloor ecosystems. Marine soft‐sediment ecosystems encompass a range of heterogeneity from simple low‐diversity habitats with limited biogenic structure, to species‐rich systems with complex biogenic habitat structure. These differences in biological heterogeneity are a product of natural conditions and disturbance regimes. To search for unifying attributes, we explore whether a set of simple traits can characterize community disturbance–recovery potential using seafloor patch‐disturbance experiments conducted in two different soft‐sediment landscapes. The two landscapes represent two ends of a spectrum of landscape biotic heterogeneity in order to consider multi‐scale disturbance–recovery processes. We consider traits at different levels of biological organization, from the biological traits of individual species, to the traits of species at the landscape scale associated with their occurrence across the landscape and their ability to be dominant. We show that in a biotically heterogeneous landscape (Kawau Bay, New Zealand), seafloor community recovery is stochastic, there is high species turnover, and the landscape‐scale traits are good predictors of recovery. In contrast, in a biotically homogeneous landscape (Baltic Sea), the options for recovery are constrained, the recovery pathway is thus more deterministic and the scale of recovery traits important for determining recovery switches to the individual species biological traits within the disturbed patch. Our results imply that these simple, yet sophisticated, traits can be effectively used to characterize community recovery potential and highlight the role of landscapes in providing resilience to patch‐scale disturbances.
  • Parker, Kim; De Vos, Alta; Clements, Hayley S.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Reinette (2020)
    Private land conservation areas (PLCAs) have become critical for achieving global conservation goals, but we lack understanding of how and when these areas respond to global pressures and opportunities. In southern Africa, where many PLCAs rely on trophy hunting as an income-generating strategy, a potential ban on trophy hunting locally or abroad holds unknown consequences for the future conservation of these lands. In this study, we investigate the consequences of a potential trophy hunting ban in PLCAs in two biodiversity hotspots in South Africa's Eastern and Western Cape provinces. We used semistructured interviews with PLCA managers and owners to elicit perceived impacts of an internationally imposed trophy hunting ban on conservation activities in PLCAs, and to probe alternative viable land uses. The majority of interviewees believed that both the economic viability of their PLCA and biodiversity would be lost following a hunting ban. Owners would primarily consider transitioning to ecotourism or livestock farming, but these options were constrained by the social-ecological context of their PLCA (e.g., competition with other PLCAs, ecological viability of farming). Our results suggest that a trophy hunting ban may have many unintended consequences for biodiversity conservation, national economies, and the livelihoods of PLCA owners and employees. Along with similar social-ecological studies in other areas and contexts, our work can inform policy decisions around global trophy hunting regulation.
  • Salomaa, Anna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    We have not succeeded to halt biodiversity loss despite international agreements. Conserving ecological connectivity is crucial when conserving biodiversity in the long run. This thesis studies policy instruments that promote ecological connectivity and conserve ecological processes. The aim of this study is to find out how Finnish environmental policy should be developed in order to promote ecological connectivity and biodiversity conservation. The research questions are: 1) How current nature conservation policy instruments promote ecological connectivity? 2) How policy instruments could promote ecological connectivity better? 3) Could green infrastructure approach help to conserve biodiversity? Ecological connectivity affects the biodiversity especially trough species dispersal. The environment is governed by different policy instruments, which have various effects on ecological connectivity. The green infrastructure is a new policy approach that underlines holistic planning. The green infrastructure is ecologically connected network of green and blue spaces that produces ecosystem services. The data comes from a SCALES project survey on Securing the Conservation of Biodiversity Across Administrative Levels and Spatial, Ecological and Temporal Scales. A link to the web-based questionnaire was sent to 214 Finnish experts of ecological connectivity and 47 persons answered to the questions. The data was analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The main analysis methods were repeated measures ANOVA and cluster analysis. Content analysis was done from qualitative data. The experts thought that ecological connectivity is more important than the current consideration shows. The policy instruments that promote ecological connectivity in the best way are the instruments, which have a wide spatial cover and urban and small-scale instruments are considered worse. The potential of policy instruments to promote ecological connectivity is higher than the current implementation demonstrates. The integration of biodiversity conservation to the other sector policies is considered important. Nature conservation was thought to be more important aspect than ecosystem services in implementation of green infrastructure. The respondent believed that green infrastructure has could have potential of enhancing nature conservation.
  • Heino, Jani; Alahuhta, Janne; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Cai, Yongjiu; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Hellsten, Seppo; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kotamaki, Niina; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Vihervaara, Petteri; Vilmi, Annika; Angeler, David G. (Wiley & Sons, 2021)
    Biological Reviews 96(1), 89-106
    The Anthropocene presents formidable threats to freshwater ecosystems. Lakes are especially vulnerable and important at the same time. They cover only a small area worldwide but harbour high levels of biodiversity and contribute disproportionately to ecosystem services. Lakes differ with respect to their general type (e.g. land-locked, drainage, floodplain and large lakes) and position in the landscape (e.g. highland versus lowland lakes), which contribute to the dynamics of these systems. Lakes should be generally viewed as ‘meta-systems’, whereby biodiversity is strongly affected by species dispersal, and ecosystem dynamics are contributed by the flow of matter and substances among locations in a broader waterscape context. Lake connectivity in the waterscape and position in the landscape determine the degree to which a lake is prone to invasion by non-native species and accumulation of harmful substances. Highly connected lakes low in the landscape accumulate nutrients and pollutants originating from ecosystems higher in the landscape. The monitoring and restoration of lake biodiversity and ecosystem services should consider the fact that a high degree of dynamism is present at local, regional and global scales. However, local and regional monitoring may be plagued by the unpredictability of ecological phenomena, hindering adaptive management of lakes. Although monitoring data are increasingly becoming available to study responses of lakes to global change, we still lack suitable integration of models for entire waterscapes. Research across disciplinary boundaries is needed to address the challenges that lakes face in the Anthropocene because they may play an increasingly important role in harbouring unique aquatic biota as well as providing ecosystem goods and services in the future.
  • Ringsmuth, Andrew K.; Otto, Ilona M.; van den Hurk, Bart; Lahn, Glada; Reyer, Christopher P.O.; Carter, Timothy R.; Magnuszewski, Piotr; Monasterolo, Irene; Aerts, Jeroen C.J.H.; Benzie, Magnus; Campiglio, Emanuele; Fronzek, Stefan; Gaupp, Franziska; Jarzabek, Lukasz; Klein, Richard J.T.; Knaepen, Hanne; Mechler, Reinhard; Mysiak, Jaroslav; Sillmann, Jana; Stuparu, Dana; West, Chris (Elsevier B.V., 2022)
    Climate risk management
    COVID-19 has revealed how challenging it is to manage global, systemic and compounding crises. Like COVID-19, climate change impacts, and maladaptive responses to them, have potential to disrupt societies at multiple scales via networks of trade, finance, mobility and communication, and to impact hardest on the most vulnerable. However, these complex systems can also facilitate resilience if managed effectively. This review aims to distil lessons related to the transboundary management of systemic risks from the COVID-19 experience, to inform climate change policy and resilience building. Evidence from diverse fields is synthesised to illustrate the nature of systemic risks and our evolving understanding of resilience. We describe research methods that aim to capture systemic complexity to inform better management practices and increase resilience to crises. Finally, we recommend specific, practical actions for improving transboundary climate risk management and resilience building. These include mapping the direct, cross-border and cross-sectoral impacts of potential climate extremes, adopting adaptive risk management strategies that embrace heterogenous decision-making and uncertainty, and taking a broader approach to resilience which elevates human wellbeing, including societal and ecological resilience.
  • Nurminen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This Master’s thesis analyzes humanitarian action in a complex and protracted setting and introduces the underlying humanitarian aid paradigm. Particularly, the research focuses on the dynamics that have contributed towards the integration of humanitarianism and a wider set of political goals, namely the convergence of humanitarian, development and peace agendas, and elaborate how humanitarian actors are turning ‘triple nexus’ into doable practice. I have focused my attention especially on the meanings humanitarian actors have given to nexus-centered thinking and how they are operationalizing it in practice. A broader aim for the study is to connect these dynamic changes to the larger discussion on the future of humanitarianism and effects on humanitarian action. The primary data consists of interviews conducted with humanitarian aid professionals as well as a selection of policy documents. I have used discourse and documentary analysis to focus on discursive changes. My core argument is that the triple nexus as an aid policy reflect a larger shift in the humanitarian paradigm as a result of the politicisation of the operational environment of humanitarian action.
  • Ikonen, Anne-Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study assesses the key factors affecting the resilience of young single mothers in Arusha region, Tanzania. The average age of childbearing in Tanzania remains low. Many socioeconomic difficulties such as poverty, lack of education and sexual- and reproductive services have an impact why many Tanzanian girls give birth during adolescence. Young single mothers often face many challenges in coping with pregnancy and motherhood due to the discrimination they face. This research is based on 22 semi-structured interviews that were conducted with young single mothers, who had given birth between 15 and 20 years old in Arusha region, Tanzania. The data was collected during one month visit to Meru at the end of 2017. The interviews were conducted in two locations. Half of the interviews were conducted in the villages of south-east of Meru and half in two women´s shelters in Arusha town. The interviews were supported by participant observation and informal conversations. The data was transcribed and analysed through qualitative content analysis. This study focuses on assessing the main factors that affect the resilience of young mothers during pregnancy and motherhood. Resilience is assessed through reproductive resilience framework. The meaning of resources (capitals) in the lives of single mothers was also assessed. Moreover, the social discourses regarding gender, sexuality and motherhood were examined in order to gain understanding of how they impact the experience of young single mothers. The findings show that social support operates as a protective factor in building resilience for the young single mothers. However, the findings show that young single mothers struggle to receive support during pregnancy. This is mainly because the negative social discourses regarding girl’s sexuality and pregnancy outside wedlock in Tanzania. The results show that young mothers face strong discrimination during pregnancy, both from their families, friends and community, which operated as a constraining factor for resilience. The discrimination had profound impact on of the resilience of the young mothers during pregnancy, as it often disrupted family relations and sometimes led to separation of the girl from her family. The shame of unmarried pregnancy diminished the support networks the young mothers had. Furthermore, the findings show that young mothers are able to receive more support during motherhood from their families and communities. Young mothers would no longer receive discrimination or verbal abuse in their communities. The findings show that the role of motherhood in the community is highly respect and therefore the young mothers were accepted in the community as any mothers. Motherhood itself operated as both protective and constraining factor for resilience. Becoming mother decreased the shame of unmarried pregnancy and raised the young mothers in highly valued positions of mothers in their societies. Some young mothers had managed to renegotiate their place in the family after the pregnancy experience and were again accepted in their families. Regardless of the financial challenges that young motherhood brought to the informants the mothers who had managed to keep their social support relations were showing positive adjustment to motherhood. Most young mothers embraced their roles as mothers, because it brought them value and made them acceptable members in their communities after the negative pregnancy experiences.
  • Hakala, Emma; Lähde, Ville; Majava, Antti; Toivanen, Tero; Váden, Tere; Järvensivu, Paavo; Eronen, Jussi T. (2019)
    As the literature on environmental security has evolved and widened, knowledge of the full range of potential consequences of environmental change for different societies remains scattered. This article contributes to a more comprehensive approach to the implications of environmental change by providing a three-level framework of the security impacts. In particular, it will address gaps in knowledge by pointing out the relevance of geopolitical and structural factors behind environmental security impacts. The article will focus on the cases of two countries, Finland and Sweden—both seen as stable, high-income democracies that are well equipped to adapt to climate risks. Yet even under these conditions, preparedness to threat-prevention will not follow without a recognition of the full range of risks, including ones that are linked to socio-economic and geopolitical factors. On the basis of the Finnish and Swedish cases, the article proposes an analytical framework of three categories of environmental security impacts: local, geopolitical and structural.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Pöyry, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Valkama, Jari (2014)
  • Alibakhshi, Sara; Groen, Thomas A.; Rautiainen, Miina; Naimi, Babak (2017)
    The response of an ecosystem to external drivers may not always be gradual and reversible. Discontinuous and sometimes irreversible changes, called 'regime shifts' or 'Critical transitions', can occur. The likelihood of such shifts is expected to increase for a variety of ecosystems, and it is difficult to predict how close an ecosystem is to a critical transition. Recent modelling studies identified indicators of impending regime shifts that can be used to provide early warning signals of a critical transition. The identification of such transitions crucially depends on the ability to monitor key ecosystem variables, and their success may be limited by lack of appropriate data. Moreover, empirical demonstrations of the actual functioning of these indicators in real-world ecosystems are rare. This paper presents the first study which uses remote sensing data to identify a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem. In this study, we argue that a time series of remote sensing data can help to characterize and determine the timing of a critical transition. This can enhance our abilities to detect and anticipate them. We explored the potentials of remotely sensed vegetation (NDVI), water (MNDWI), and vegetation- water (VWR) indices, obtained from time series of MODIS satellite images to characterize the stability of a wetland ecosystem, Dorge Sangi, near the lake Urmia, Iran, that experienced a regime shift recently. In addition, as a control case, we applied the same methods to another wetland ecosystem in Lake Arpi, Armenia which did not experience a regime shift. We propose a new composite index (MVWR) based on combining vegetation and water indices, which can improve the ability to anticipate a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem. Our results revealed that MVWR in combination with autocorrelation at-lag-1 could successfully provide early warning signals for a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem, and showed a significantly improved performance compared to either vegetation (NDVI) or water (MNDWI) indices alone.
  • Hyvämäki, Vera (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Objective. Reform schools (RSs) in Finland are child welfare institutions for adolescents with severe conduct problems. RS adolescents have generally been studied in terms of their disadvantages while factors related to positive adulthood outcomes remain unknown. Cognitive abilities have been associated with resilience, which embodies personal qualities that enable individuals to overcome adversity. This study aimed to investigate cognitive performance and resilience among former RS residents with good adult-age outcomes, and to see whether cognitive abilities were a predictor of their resilience. Methods. The sample consisted of 30 former RS residents who had no criminal record or diagnosed mental illness. Cognitive performance was measured with WAIS-IV subtests Matrix Reasoning, Vocabulary, Coding and a measure of verbal fluency. Resilience was measured with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Linear regression was used to identify the association between cognitive performance and resilience. Results. The participants’ cognitive performance and resilience were lower compared to general population standards. None of the cognitive measures were significantly correlated with resilience. Among all the measures, verbal fluency predicted resilience the most. Conclusions. Cognitive deficits appear to be common among the whole RS population. Future research should conduct comparisons within the RS population for more clinically relevant conclusions. The participants’ lower resilience was likely due to an unfitting comparison group. In future work, it might be fruitful to investigate the connection between resilience and skills related to executive functioning and emotional intelligence. This study raised important methodological considerations and it provides a valuable starting point for future strength-based RS studies.