Does (property) diversity beget (landscape) sustainability?

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Brower, A. & Page, J. (2012). Does (property) diversity beget (landscape) sustainability? In P. Martin, L. Zhiping, Q. Tianbao, A. du Plesis, & Y. le Bouthillier (Eds.). Environmental Governance and Sustainability (pp. 24-45). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR codes: 180124; 180111

© Copyright The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, 2012




Streams of scholarship as diverse as ecology and political science suggest that a more diverse system is a more stable system. The pluralist school of interest group politics observed that diverse and vibrant interest groups are the core of a policy system (for example, Truman, 1951), and it is well accepted that diverse interest group activity is vital to a stable democracy. Community ecologists (MacArthur, 1955; Odum, 1963) have long hypothesised that 'diversity begets stability' (Tilman et al, 1994), through the hypothesised that 'diversity begets stability' (Tilman et al, 1994), though the hypothesis has its critics (May, 1973) and is far from proven (Givnish, 1994). But ecologists report 'high confidence' in the cumulative finding that a broad range and variety of species that respond differently to disturbance can stabilise ecological systems after a shock, such as a hurricane, fire, or biological invasion (Hooper et al, 2005). As such, more biological diversity in ecosystem function is associated with systems that are more resistant to change and more resilient after a change.

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