Linking Resilience Theory and Diffusion of Innovations Theory to Understand the Potential for Perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt

dc.contributor.author Atwell, Ryan
dc.contributor.author Schulte, Lisa
dc.contributor.author Schulte-Moore, Lisa
dc.contributor.author Westphal, Lynne
dc.contributor.department Natural Resource Ecology and Management
dc.date 2018-02-13T11:10:08.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T06:13:55Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T06:13:55Z
dc.date.copyright Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009
dc.date.embargo 2013-05-23
dc.date.issued 2009-01-01
dc.description.abstract <p>In the last 200 yr, more than 80% of the land in the U.S. Corn Belt agro-ecosystem has been converted from natural perennial vegetation to intensive agricultural production of row crops. Despite research showing how re-integration of perennial vegetation, e.g., cover crops, pasture, riparian buffers, and restored wetlands, at strategic landscape positions can bolster declining regional ecosystem functions, the amount of land area devoted to row crop production in the Corn Belt continues to increase. As this region enters a time of fast-paced and uncertain reorganization driven by the emerging bioeconomy, changes in land use will continue to take place that will impact the resilience of the Corn Belt’s linked social and ecological systems for years to come. Both resilience theory and the diffusion of innovations theory investigate how change is brought about in systems through the adaptation and innovation of social actors. In this paper, we integrate these two frameworks in the analysis of 33 in-depth interviews to improve our understanding of how rural Corn Belt stakeholders make conservation decisions in the midst of an uncertain future. Interview data indicate that the adoption of conservation practices is based not only on immediate profitability but also on the interplay between contextual factors at three distinct levels of the system: compatibility with farm priorities, profitability, practices, and technologies; community-level reinforcement through local social networks, norms, and support structures; and consistent, straightforward, flexible, and well-targeted incentives and regulations issuing from regional institutions. Interviewees suggest that the multiscale drivers that currently support the continued expansion of row crop production could be realigned with conservation objectives in landscapes of the future. Adaptation of social actors through collaborative learning at the community level may be instrumental in brokering the sort of multiscale system change that would lead to more widespread adoption of perennial cover types in the Corn Belt.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is from <em>Ecology and Society </em>14, no. 1 (2009): <a href="http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art30/" target="_blank">30</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/8/
dc.identifier.articleid 1010
dc.identifier.contextkey 4168883
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath nrem_pubs/8
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/56426
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/8/2009_AtwellRC_LinkingResilienceTheory.pdf|||Sat Jan 15 01:57:32 UTC 2022
dc.subject.disciplines Agriculture
dc.subject.disciplines Forest Sciences
dc.subject.disciplines Natural Resources Management and Policy
dc.subject.keywords adaptive co-management
dc.subject.keywords agriculture
dc.subject.keywords Iowa
dc.subject.keywords learning
dc.subject.keywords nonpoint source pollution
dc.subject.keywords restoration
dc.subject.keywords social-ecological systems
dc.subject.keywords row crops
dc.subject.keywords Corn Belt
dc.title Linking Resilience Theory and Diffusion of Innovations Theory to Understand the Potential for Perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 54a6b538-1698-4d40-9c1a-cca3b5108bef
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication e87b7b9d-30ea-4978-9fb9-def61b4010ae
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