Disturbance, Response, and Persistence in Self-Organized Forested Communities: Over-Time Analysis of Five Communities in Southern Indiana

"In this paper we utilize Ostrom's (2007) diagnostic framework for socio-ecological systems to examine the factors that contribute to social responses to disturbances in a set of five Indiana, USA intentional communities over a fifteen year time frame. We argue that the concept of robustness is useful in understanding designed aspects of socio-ecological systems because it emphasizes the trade-offs between achieving different goals, but is difficult to measure over long time-frames and across criteria. We thus introduce the concept of persistence as an empirically observable metric for long-enduring socio-ecological systems. We find that Communities with strong collective choice processes that reflect shared value are more able to respond adaptively to disturbances, and therefore have a higher probability of persisting over long time-frames."
social behavior, resilience, collective action, human ecology