What is Ecosystem Adaptability?

Ecosystem Adaptability is the capacity of individual organisms and ecosystems to maintain their functions and services, despite external disturbance from climate change or other anthropogenic impacts, through resilience of the system’s various biological components (including biological interaction, landscape structure, and temporal variation) and its evolvability (or capacity for adaptive evolution).

At present, human societies heavily depend on non-renewable resources, making us vulnerable to steep increases in the price of these resources. Technology based on ecosystem adaptability can provide promising solutions. For example, a constructed wetland ecosystem can be used to treat wastewater with very little energy input.

The concept and technology of ecosystem adaptability should play pivotal roles in ecosystem management, disaster control, energy consumption, and material cycling, thereby enhancing the adaptability of human societies to disturbance.

Ecosystem Adaptability Science is an interdisciplinary field involving the social sciences. In order to broadly apply the concept, it is necessary to precisely evaluate the causal relationship between the effect an ecosystem adaptability technique might have on an ecosystem and its subsequent effect on social systems. Once a positive relationship has been established, the social and political frameworks needed to facilitate application must be put in place.