Alternative logical states: A reply to N. W. H. Mason, J. B. Wilson and J. B. Steel

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Abstract

N. W. H. Mason, J. B. Wilson and J. B. Steel argue that there is no logical conceptual basis, and no empirical data, to support an association between environmental adversity and the occurrence of alternative stable states. While we agree that robust debate on the relative frequency of occurrence of alternative stable states is valuable, any apparent logic in their argument is confounded by misinterpretation and direct misrepresentation of our earlier arguments (Didham et al. 2005), despite the fact that we clarified many of the same issues in response to T. Fukami and W. G. Lee (Didham and Norton 2006). Opinion, not logic or evidence, underlies Mason, Wilson and Steel's argument, and this does little to further our understanding of why some systems exhibit alternative stable states that are resilient to restoration management efforts.

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