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Resilience

  • By: Narcisa Gabriela Pricope
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term resilience, as applied outside the discipline of physics, was originally developed as an ecological concept by Crawford Holling to describe the capacity of a system to maintain itself despite disturbances. He specifically used the term as a measure of an ecosystem's ability to absorb change and still persist, contrasting it with the concept of stability of an ecosystem, defined as the ability to return to a state of equilibrium after a temporary disturbance. Hence, an initial clear distinction needs to be made between two meanings of resilience: (1) a system's dynamics when the system is close to equilibrium (termed by Crawford Holling engineering resilience and relatively identical to the stability property of systems); and (2) the dynamics of a system when it ...

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