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Developing Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability Challenges: The Need to Model Socio-Environmental Systems in the Longue Durée

Silva, Fabio; Coward, Fiona; Davies, Kimberley; Elliott, Sarah; Jenkins, Emma; Newton, Adrian C.; Riris, Philip; Vander Linden, Marc; Bates, Jennifer; Cantarello, Elena; Contreras, Daniel A.; Crabtree, Stefani A.; Crema, Enrico R.; Edwards, Mary; Filatova, Tatiana; Fitzhugh, Ben; Fluck, Hannah; Freeman, Jacob; Klein Goldewijk, Kees; Krzyzanska, Marta; Lawrence, Dan; Mackay, Helen; Madella, Marco; Maezumi, Shira Yoshi; Marchant, Rob; Monsarrat, Sophie; Morrison, Kathleen D.; Rabett, Ryan; Roberts, Patrick; Saqalli, Mehdi; Stafford, Rick; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Whithouse, Nicki J.; Williams, Alice

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Authors

Fabio Silva

Fiona Coward

Kimberley Davies

Sarah Elliott

Emma Jenkins

Adrian C. Newton

Philip Riris

Marc Vander Linden

Jennifer Bates

Elena Cantarello

Daniel A. Contreras

Stefani A. Crabtree

Enrico R. Crema

Mary Edwards

Tatiana Filatova

Ben Fitzhugh

Hannah Fluck

Jacob Freeman

Kees Klein Goldewijk

Marta Krzyzanska

Marco Madella

Shira Yoshi Maezumi

Rob Marchant

Sophie Monsarrat

Kathleen D. Morrison

Ryan Rabett

Patrick Roberts

Mehdi Saqalli

Rick Stafford

Jens-Christian Svenning

Nicki J. Whithouse

Alice Williams



Abstract

Human beings are an active component of every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Although our local impact on the evolution of these ecosystems has been undeniable and extensively documented, it remains unclear precisely how our activities are altering them, in part because ecosystems are dynamic systems structured by complex, non-linear feedback processes and cascading effects. We argue that it is only by studying human–environment interactions over timescales that greatly exceed the lifespan of any individual human (i.e., the deep past or longue durée), we can hope to fully understand such processes and their implications. In this article, we identify some of the key challenges faced in integrating long-term datasets with those of other areas of sustainability science, and suggest some useful ways forward. Specifically, we (a) highlight the potential of the historical sciences for sustainability science, (b) stress the need to integrate theoretical frameworks wherein humans are seen as inherently entangled with the environment, and (c) propose formal computational modelling as the ideal platform to overcome the challenges of transdisciplinary work across large, and multiple, geographical and temporal scales. Our goal is to provide a manifesto for an integrated scientific approach to the study of socio-ecological systems over the long term.

Citation

Silva, F., Coward, F., Davies, K., Elliott, S., Jenkins, E., Newton, A. C., …Williams, A. (2022). Developing Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability Challenges: The Need to Model Socio-Environmental Systems in the Longue Durée. Sustainability, 14(16), Article 10234. https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610234

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2022
Publication Date Aug 2, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 13, 2022
Journal Sustainability
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 16
Article Number 10234
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610234
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1194194

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
© 2022 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY) license (https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/
4.0/).






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