Regime shifts in social-ecological systems

Regime shifts are sudden, long-lasting changes in the structure and function of social-ecological systems that may have profound effects on human economies and societies. Regime shifts have been documented in a variety of systems, including coral reefs, freshwater lakes, marine systems and savanna rangelands, as well as in human behavior, economies and political systems. Accounting for potential regime shifts is key to achieving sustainable development, reducing poverty and halting biodiversity loss, due to their substantial impacts on ecosystem services and human wellbeing.