Colorado mountains

Steve Lansing - Abstract

Steve Lansing

The Balinese would like a word: implications of alternate steady states in lakes and rice paddies

On the Indonesian island of Bali, a thousand hectares of ancient rice paddies are lost each year, and the Balinese fear that a tipping point may be close. Rice paddies are shallow artificial lakes, a coupled social-ecological system sustained by networks of water temples that span whole watersheds.

The danger of a critical transition prompted UNESCO to declare this system a World Heritage in June. Are the ecological dynamics of the paddies qualitatively different from those of natural lakes?

And is there an attractor basin for the Goddess of the Lakes?

Background Photo by: Nicole Hansen - Jornada (JRN) LTER