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Natural systems are dynamic, complex, and interdependent. Ecological resilience describes the amount of change such a system can undergo and still remain within the same state. This definition is also referred to as engineering resilience, since it concentrates on stability at a presumed point of equilibrium, resistance to a disturbance, and the speed of return to equilibrium.

As applied to ecosystems, or to integrated systems of people and the natural environment, ecological resilience therefore has three defining characteristics: the amount of change a system can undergo and still retain the same controls on function and structure, the degree to which a system is capable of self-organization, and the ability to build and increase the capacity for learning.

The key concepts to explain ecological resilience are nonlinearity, adaptive ...

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