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Adaptive Management Fitness of Watersheds

Ignacio Porzecanski, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida.
Lynn V. Saunders, H. T. Odum Center for Wetlands Phelps Lab, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Mark T. Brown, H. T. Odum Center for Wetlands Phelps Lab, University of Florida


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Adaptive management (AM) promises to improve our ability to cope with the inherent uncertainties of managing complex dynamic systems such as watersheds. However, despite the increasing adherence and attempts at implementation, the AM approach is rarely successful in practice. A one-size-fits-all AM strategy fails because some watersheds are better positioned at the outset to succeed at AM than others. We introduce a diagnostic tool called the Index of Management Condition (IMC) and apply it to twelve diverse watersheds in order to determine their AM “fitness”; that is, the degree to which favorable adaptive management conditions are in place in a watershed.

Key words

Adaptive Management; decision-making; environmental condition; indicators; management prescriptions; watersheds

Copyright © 2012 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