Ecosystem antifragility: beyond integrity and resilience

TitleEcosystem antifragility: beyond integrity and resilience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEquihua, M, Aldama, MEspinosa, Gershenson, C, López-Corona, O, Munguía, M, Pérez-Maqueo, O, Ramírez-Carrillo, E
KeywordsAntifragility, Complexity, Ecosystem integrity, Resilience

We review the concept of ecosystem resilience in its relation to ecosystem integrity from an information theory approach. We summarize the literature on the subject identifying three main narratives: ecosystem properties that enable them to be more resilient; ecosystem response to perturbations; and complexity. We also include original ideas with theoretical and quantitative developments with application examples. The main contribution is a new way to rethink resilience, that is mathematically formal and easy to evaluate heuristically in real-world applications: ecosystem antifragility. An ecosystem is antifragile if it benefits from environmental variability. Antifragility therefore goes beyond robustness or resilience because while resilient/robust systems are merely perturbation-resistant, antifragile structures not only withstand stress but also benefit from it.