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  1. Abstract. The ability to adapt to social and environmental change is an increasinglycritical feature of environmental governance. However, an understandingof how specific features of governance systems influence how theyrespond to change is still limited. Here we focus on how system featureslike diversity, heterogeneity, and connectedness impact stability,which indicates a system's capacity to recover fromperturbations. Through a framework that combines agent-basedmodeling with “generalized”dynamical systems modeling, we model the stability of thousandsof governance structures consisting of groups of resource users and non-government organizations interacting strategically with the decision centers that mediate their access to a shared resource. Stabilizing factors include greater effortdedicated to venue shopping and a greater fraction of non-governmentorganizations in the system. Destabilizing factors include greaterheterogeneity among actors, a greater diversity of decision centers,and greater interdependence between actors. The results suggest thatwhile complexity tends to be destabilizing, there are mitigating factorsthat may help balance adaptivity and stability in complex governance. This study demonstrates the potential inapplying the insights of complex systems theory to managing complexand highly uncertain human–natural systems in the face of rapid socialand environmental change. 
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  2. Abstract

    Despite the growing focus on understanding how to build resilience, the interaction between resilience and equity, particularly in the context of power asymmetries like those in communities reliant on resource-based industries, or resource-based communities, is not well understood. Here we present a stylized dynamical systems model of asymmetric resource access and control in resource-based communities that links industrial resource degradation, community well-being, and migration in response to economic and resource conditions. The model reveals a mechanism of collapse due to these dynamics in which over-extraction and resource degradation trigger irreversible population decline. Regulating resource extraction can increase resilience (in the sense of persistence) while also shifting the sustainable equilibrium and the implications for equity. Resilience does not guarantee equity at equilibrium, and this misalignment is more pronounced in the transient interactions between short term equity and long term resilience. The misalignment between resilience and equity demonstrates how equity considerations change the policy design process in important ways.

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