Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems

@article{Scheffer2001CatastrophicSI,
  title={Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems},
  author={Marten Scheffer and Stephen R. Carpenter and Jonathan A. Foley and Carl Folke and Brian Walker},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2001},
  volume={413},
  pages={591-596}
}
All ecosystems are exposed to gradual changes in climate, nutrient loading, habitat fragmentation or biotic exploitation. Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However, studies on lakes, coral reefs, oceans, forests and arid lands have shown that smooth change can be interrupted by sudden drastic switches to a contrasting state. Although diverse events can trigger such shifts, recent studies show that a loss of resilience usually paves the way for a switch to… 

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