Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Exit time as a measure of ecological resilience

List of Authors: Arani Babak M.S., Carpenter Stephen R., Lahti Leo, Van Nes Egbert H., Scheffer Marten

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Science

Journal name in source: Science

Volume number: 372

Issue number: 6547

eISSN: 1095-9203


Self-archived copy’s web address:



Ecological resilience is the magnitude of the largest perturbation from which a system can still recover to its original state. However, a transition into another state may often be invoked by a series of minor synergistic perturbations rather than a single big one. We show how resilience can be estimated in terms of average life expectancy, accounting for this natural regime of variability. We use time series to fit a model that captures the stochastic as well as the deterministic components. The model is then used to estimate the mean exit time from the basin of attraction. This approach offers a fresh angle to anticipating the chance of a critical transition at a time when high-resolution time series are becoming increasingly available.

Last updated on 2022-01-02 at 11:30