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Overarching Questions

What are the most interesting/important questions, theories, and hypotheses right now about the predictability of ecological system? What are the overarching questions across specific systems/problems?

Understanding critical thresholds and state transitions. In rangelands, there is a recognition that ecological change is often abrupt, not gradual, and moves the system from one set of controlling drivers to another. But predicting when the transition will occur is not easy, and often the threshold can only be identified after it's passed. Can we build models that are predictive, yet recognize these nonequilibrium dynamics?

To built on the comment from @ginger-kowal, even when major ecological transition does not occur, ecological disruptions do occur. Resiliencies prevent ecological transitions to occur under minor disruptions. How do an ecosystem as a whole become resilient to these disruptions? Can we identify areas where resiliency can occur? Knowing the resiliencies and how, or if, they can fail can give us a better understanding of "abrupt" ecological change.