Threshold: A point or level at which new properties emerge in an ecological, economic, or other system, invalidating predictions based on mathematical relationships that apply at lower levels. For example, species diversity of a landscape may decline steadily with increasing habitat degradation to a certain point, then fall sharply after a critical threshold of degradation is reached. Human behavior, especially at group levels, sometimes exhibits threshold effects. Thresholds at which irreversible changes occur are especially of concern to decision-makers.
Resilience: The level of disturbance that an ecosystem can undergo without crossing a threshold to a situation with different structure or outputs. Resilience depends on ecological dynamics as well as the organizational and institutional capacity to understand, manage, and respond to these dynamics.