Renewable resources behave in specific ways determined by how their use and subsystems interact.

They have three main behaviors:

  • Dynamic equilibrium is found by overshooting use and then balancing.
  • Oscillation is similar, but rather than balancing, undershooting leads back to overshooting.
  • Collapse happens when overshooting overwhelms restoration feedback loops.

Which behavior occurs stems from two factors:

  • The threshold at which regeneration capability loses effectiveness.
  • Speed and effectiveness of balancing feedback loops informing users of the decline.

Delays strongly influence all of these outcomes.rM3

  1. Donella H. Meadows and Diana Wright, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green Pub, 2008). (See notes.)