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Creators/Authors contains: "Cadenasso, Mary L."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Ecologists who study human-dominated places have adopted a social–ecological systems framework to recognize the coproduced links between ecological and social processes. However, many social scientists are wary of the way ecologists use the systems concept to represent such links. This wariness is sometimes due to a misunderstanding of the contemporary use of the systems concept in ecology. We aim to overcome this misunderstanding by discussing the contemporary systems concept using refinements from biophysical ecology. These refinements allow the systems concept to be used as a bridge rather than a barrier to social–ecological interaction. We then use recent examples of extraordinary fire to illustrate the usefulness and flexibility of the concept for understanding the dynamism of fire as a social–ecological interaction. The systems idea is a useful interdisciplinary abstraction that can be contextualized to account for societally important problems and dynamics.
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Ecologywiththe city is a transdisciplinary pursuit, combining the work of researchers, policy makers, managers, and residents to advance equity and sustainability. This undertaking may be facilitated by understanding the parallels in two kinds of coproduction. First, is how urban systems themselves are places that are jointly constituted or coproduced by biophysical and social processes. Second, is how sustainable planning and policies also join human concerns with biophysical structures and processes. Seeking connections between coproduction of place and the coproduction of knowledge may help improve how urban ecology engageswithdiverse communities and urban interests in service of sustainability.

  5. Many of the world’s major cities have implemented tree planting programs based on assumed environmental and social benefits of urban forests. Recent studies have increasingly tested these assumptions and provide empirical evidence for the contributions of tree planting programs, as well as their feasibility and limits, for solving or mitigating urban environmental and social issues. We propose that current evidence supports local cooling, stormwater absorption, and health benefits of urban trees for local residents. However, the potential for urban trees to appreciably mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution over a wide array of sites and environmental conditions is limited. Consequently, urban trees appear to be more promising for climate and pollution adaptation strategies than mitigation strategies. In large part, this is due to space constraints limiting the extent of urban tree canopies relative to the current magnitude of emissions. The most promising environmental and health impacts of urban trees are those that can be realized with well-stewarded tree planting and localized design interventions at site to municipal scales. Tree planting at these scales has documented benefits on local climate and health, which can be maximized through targeted site design followed by monitoring, adaptive management, and studies of long-term eco-evolutionarymore »dynamics.« less
  6. Abstract The Earth's population will become more than 80% urban during this century. This threshold is often regarded as sufficient justification for pursuing urban ecology. However, pursuit has primarily focused on building empirical richness, and urban ecology theory is rarely discussed. The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) has been grounded in theory since its inception and its two decades of data collection have stimulated progress toward comprehensive urban theory. Emerging urban ecology theory integrates biology, physical sciences, social sciences, and urban design, probes interdisciplinary frontiers while being founded on textbook disciplinary theories, and accommodates surprising empirical results. Theoretical growth in urban ecology has relied on refined frameworks, increased disciplinary scope, and longevity of interdisciplinary interactions. We describe the theories used by BES initially, and trace ongoing theoretical development that increasingly reflects the hybrid biological–physical–social nature of the Baltimore ecosystem. The specific mix of theories used in Baltimore likely will require modification when applied to other urban areas, but the developmental process, and the key results, will continue to benefit other urban social–ecological research projects.