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The Mixed Methods Practical Sustainability Research Framework: An Illustration From Research on the Creeping Problem of Coastal Complexity and Mangrove Management

Dencer-Brown, aA. M.; Jarvis, R. M.; Alfaro, A. C.; Milne, S.


R. M. Jarvis

A. C. Alfaro

S. Milne


With a rising world population and pressure on ecosystems due to development, researchers need sophisticated and integrated approaches for conducting sustainability research. We outline a mixed methods practical sustainability research framework, defined as an equal-priority social–ecological methodology, whereby both community engagement and integrated biodiversity assessments are constructed to identify sustainability trade-offs. We illustrate the framework’s use for investigating the social–ecological trade-offs between preserving and removing temperate mangroves in New Zealand. We used a multistage mixed methods design with three stages to generate knowledge and identify social–ecological trade-offs. Our case study illustrates an operational approach for local mangrove management and regional coastal sustainability. Working with communities affected by ecosystem change through participatory research proved key to knowledge exchange and colearning.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 27, 2021
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date May 9, 2022
Journal Journal of Mixed Methods Research
Print ISSN 1558-6898
Electronic ISSN 1558-6901
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 242-259
Keywords social–ecological, mixed methods, sustainability, engagement, biodiversity
Public URL