The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Human adaptation to biodiversity change: An adaptation process approach applied to a case study from southern India

Thornton, Thomas F.; Puri, Rajindra K.; Bhagwat, Shonil and Howard, Patricia (2019). Human adaptation to biodiversity change: An adaptation process approach applied to a case study from southern India. Ambio (Early Access).

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (472kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-019-01225-7
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Adaptation to environmental change, including biodiversity change, is both a new imperative in the face of global climate change and the oldest problem in human history. Humans have evolved a wide range of adaptation strategies in response to localised environmental changes, which have contributed strongly to both biological and cultural diversity. The evolving set of locally driven, ‘bottom-up’ responses to environmental change is collectively termed ‘autonomous adaptation,’ while its obverse, ‘planned adaptation,’ refers to ‘top-down’ (from without, e.g. State-driven) responses. After reviewing the dominant vulnerability, risk, and pathway approaches to adaptation, this paper applies an alternative framework for understanding human adaptation processes and responding more robustly to future adaptation needs. This adaptation processes-to-pathways framework is then deployed to consider human responses to biodiversity change caused by an aggressive ‘invasive’ plant, Lantana camara L., in several agri-forest communities of southern India. The results show that a variety of adaptation processes are developing to make Lantana less disruptive and more useable—from avoidance through mobility strategies to utilizing the plant for economic diversification. However, there is currently no clear synergy or policy support to connect them to a successful long-term adaptation pathway. These results are evaluated in relation to broader trends in adaptation analysis and governance to suggest ways of improving our understanding and support for human adaptation to biodiversity change at the household, community, and regional livelisystem levels, especially in societies highly dependent on local biodiversity for their livelihoods.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 0044-7447
Keywords: Adaptation; Biodiversity change; Climate change; Invasive plants; Vulnerability
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 66730
Depositing User: Shonil Bhagwat
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 09:32
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 15:40
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/66730
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU