Complex effects of natural disasters on protected areas through altered telecouplings

Author(s):

Zhang, Jindong, Thomas Connor, Hongbo Yang, Zhiyun Ouyang, Shuxin Li, Jianguo Liu

Journal or Book Title: Ecology and Society

Volume/Issue: 23/3

Page Number(s): 17

Year Published: 2018

Abstract:

Increasingly, protected areas have been connected with the rest of the world through telecouplings (socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances) that are essential for their structures and functions. Unfortunately, many of the Earth’s protected areas are located in regions with frequent natural disasters that can profoundly affect telecouplings. Although there have been many studies evaluating socioeconomic or ecological effects of natural disasters separately, systematic evaluations of socioeconomic and ecological effects of natural disasters by altering multiple telecouplings have remained rare. With long-term data collected in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas (Wolong), we applied the telecoupling framework to assess the effects of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake on telecouplings that link Wolong with the rest of the world, as well as their subsequent effects on coupled human and natural systems in Wolong. Our results show that the earthquake altered all major components of multiple telecouplings and generated complex socioeconomic and ecological effects in Wolong. Based on these understood effects, we provide suggestions to enhance environmental sustainability and human well-being in Wolong and beyond.

Type of Publication: Journal Article

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