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Early warning signals of recovery in complex systems

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Clements, CF, McCarthy, MA and Blanchard, JL ORCID: 0000-0003-0532-4824 2019 , 'Early warning signals of recovery in complex systems' , Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1 , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09684-y.

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Abstract

Early warning signals (EWSs) offer the hope that patterns observed in data can predict the future states of ecological systems. While a large body of research identifies such signals prior to the collapse of populations, the prediction that such signals should also be present before a system’s recovery has thus far been overlooked. We assess whether EWSs are present prior to the recovery of overexploited marine systems using a trait-based ecological model and analysis of real-world fisheries data. We show that both abundance and trait-based signals are independently detectable prior to the recovery of stocks, but that combining these two signals provides the best predictions of recovery. This work suggests that the efficacy of conservation interventions aimed at restoring systems which have collapsed may be predicted prior to the recovery of the system, with direct relevance for conservation planning and policy.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Clements, CF and McCarthy, MA and Blanchard, JL
Keywords: early warning signals, tipping points, marine fish populations
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41467-019-09684-y
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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