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Disproportionality as a Framework for Linking Social and Biophysical Systems

Disproportionality as a Framework for Linking Social and Biophysical Systems Interdisciplinary research is capable of investigating questions that no single or independent collection of disciplines can address. This interdisciplinary approach was used to investigate why nonpoint source pollution to a lake had not changed even though the often cited social drivers of this situation had changed significantly. The concept of disproportionality was adapted to examine social and biophysical interactions at different spatial and temporal scales to address this situation. Rather than using social and biophysical variable as contextual or additive relative to each other, we examined their interactive or multiplicative effects at coarse and fine spatial and temporal scales. Limited occurrence of inappropriate behaviors in vulnerable biophysical settings resulted in disproportionate environmental impacts. The concept of disproportionality implies that the environmental meaning placed on any social behavior requires accounting for where and when it occurs in a biophysical setting, and that a few outliers can determine system performance and outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Natural Resources Taylor & Francis

Disproportionality as a Framework for Linking Social and Biophysical Systems

21 pages

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References (61)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1521-0723
eISSN
0894-1920
DOI
10.1080/08941920500394816
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Interdisciplinary research is capable of investigating questions that no single or independent collection of disciplines can address. This interdisciplinary approach was used to investigate why nonpoint source pollution to a lake had not changed even though the often cited social drivers of this situation had changed significantly. The concept of disproportionality was adapted to examine social and biophysical interactions at different spatial and temporal scales to address this situation. Rather than using social and biophysical variable as contextual or additive relative to each other, we examined their interactive or multiplicative effects at coarse and fine spatial and temporal scales. Limited occurrence of inappropriate behaviors in vulnerable biophysical settings resulted in disproportionate environmental impacts. The concept of disproportionality implies that the environmental meaning placed on any social behavior requires accounting for where and when it occurs in a biophysical setting, and that a few outliers can determine system performance and outcomes.

Journal

Society & Natural ResourcesTaylor & Francis

Published: Feb 1, 2006

Keywords: agriculture; cross-scale; development; disproportionality; eutrophication; interdisciplinary; nonpoint source pollution; space and time

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