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Application of a coupled human natural system framework to organize and frame challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation on private lands.

John E. Quinn, Furman University, Greenville, SC
Jesse M. Wood, The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville, NC; Furman University, Greenville, SC


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Conservation science addresses the complementary goals of preventing future biodiversity loss while sustaining critical human foundations. In this paper we use two case studies focused on land management to discuss how private lands conservation can be more effective by considering how planning and decision making reflects a coupled human and natural system (CHANS). The first case study focuses on conservation easements in the temperate forests of eastern United States; the second focuses on conservation opportunities in Midwestern agroecosystems, in particular the value of agroforestry. For each case study we discuss the natural and human subsystems, how elements and interactions within and between subsystems (as organized by elements of CHANS) create challenges and opportunities for conservation, and the importance of considering relevant scales of subsystems. Review of these case studies demonstrates that additional insight gained by using a CHANS perspective, particularly given how the subsystems interact at different scales, improves identification of important points of social and ecological overlap, ultimately enhancing conservation research, planning, and practice.

Key words

agriculture; avian; Blue Ridge; conservation easements; Midwest; Piedmont; scale

Copyright © 2017 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087