Recently, the idea of resilience has started to dominate thinking about all sorts of biological and social systems. It is, in fact, quite an old idea, first introduced in 1973 by C.S. Holling, an ecologist himself. Based on his first seminal paper, Holling and others later extended the concept of resilience to a wide range of systems that include aspects of social and ecological sciences. But what is resilience? And how does it differ from stability?
Holling distinguishes resilience and stability as two opposite characteristics of ecological systems. Stability is the ability of a system to return to the same equilibrium state after a temporary disturbance. “Resilience, on the other hand, is the ability of systems to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables.”
Since last year, when European Forest Institute’s office was set up in Bonn, the team has been growing fast. From just two scientists, it has now reached a number of 21 people, all passionate about forests.
One of the latest additions to the team were Ewa and Michele from the EUFORGEN Secretariat, who moved to Bonn from Rome in June. You can read more about them here and why they moved here.
Our Office Manager Heike Kruse has decided to only work part-time as of October, so we are looking for an addition to our team.
There is still time to submit an abstract to present at this year’s two satellite events during the European Forest Institute annual conference taking place in September on the second biggest island of Italy – Sardinia.
Both events touch upon the aspect of biodiversity at the level of genes. In fact, a rich genetic diversity of forest trees is like a resilience insurance: in the face of a climate change and pests and diseases, some trees will have genes that are resistant to these disturbances, thusenabling the forest to recover after some time.
However, the two scientific seminars go beyond resilience and genetic diversity.