Response diversity as a sustainability strategy

Brian Walker, Anne Sophie Crépin, Magnus Nyström, John M. Anderies, Erik Andersson, Thomas Elmqvist, Cibele Queiroz, Scott Barrett, Elena Bennett, Juan Camilo Cardenas, Stephen R. Carpenter, F. Stuart Chapin, Aart de Zeeuw, Joern Fischer, Carl Folke, Simon Levin, Karine Nyborg, Stephen Polasky, Kathleen Segerson, Karen C. SetoMarten Scheffer, Jason F. Shogren, Alessandro Tavoni, Jeroen van den Bergh, Elke U. Weber, Jeffrey R. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Financial advisers recommend a diverse portfolio to respond to market fluctuations across sectors. Similarly, nature has evolved a diverse portfolio of species to maintain ecosystem function amid environmental fluctuations. In urban planning, public health, transport and communications, food production, and other domains, however, this feature often seems ignored. As we enter an era of unprecedented turbulence at the planetary level, we argue that ample responses to this new reality — that is, response diversity — can no longer be taken for granted and must be actively designed and managed. We describe here what response diversity is, how it is expressed and how it can be enhanced and lost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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