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The concept of resilience: retrospect and prospect

    • Published online: 30 March 2001

The modern study of stability in ecology can be said to have begun with the appearance of ‘Fluctuations of Animal Populations and a Measure of Community Stability’, by R.H. MacArthur in 1955. Since the publication of this influential paper, ecologists have investigated the properties of a number of different stability and stability-related concepts; the concepts of persistence, resilience, resistance, and variability readily come to mind. Of these various concepts, the concept of resilience itself appears to have been rather resilient. Indeed, as Neubert and Caswell (1997) and others have noted, today there is a vast literature on resilience. However, it is important to note that this literatur—to the best of my knowledge—has been primarily ecological in nature. In other words, the concept of resilience originated in ecology, and this concept has been applied and studied primarily in the context of ecosystems.

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Environment and Development Economics
  • ISSN: 1355-770X
  • EISSN: 1469-4395
  • URL: /core/journals/environment-and-development-economics
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