Development, Testing, and Application of Ecological and Socioeconomic Indicators for Integrated Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystems of the Atlantic Slope in the Mid-Atlantic States

EPA Grant Number: R828684
Center: EAGLES - Atlantic Slope Consortium
Center Director: Brooks, Robert P.
Title: Development, Testing, and Application of Ecological and Socioeconomic Indicators for Integrated Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystems of the Atlantic Slope in the Mid-Atlantic States
Investigators: Brooks, Robert P. , Brinson, Mark M. , Gallegos, Charles L. , Havens, Kirk , Hershner, Carl , Hines, Anson , Jordan, Thomas E. , Marra, Peter P. , McElfish, James M. , Nizeyimana, Egide , O'Connor, Robert E. , Rheinhardt, Rick D. , Shortle, James S. , Thornton, Kent , Varnell, Lyle M. , Wardrop, Denice Heller , Weller, Donald E. , Whigham, Dennis F.
Current Investigators: Brooks, Robert P. , Armstrong, Brian K. , Bishop, Joseph A. , Easterling, Mary M. , Hite, Jeremy T. , Rubbo, Jennifer , Thornton, Kent , Wardrop, Denice Heller
Institution: Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus , East Carolina University , Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Current Institution: Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus , FTN Associates Ltd.
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: March 1, 2001 through February 1, 2005 (Extended to February 28, 2006)
Project Amount: $6,000,000
RFA: Environmental Indicators in the Estuarine Environment Research Program (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Ecosystems

Approach:

The available set of ecological and socioeconomic indicators for assessing and predicting environmental integrity, health, and sustainability is not complete, nor is it consistently applied across aquatic ecosystem types or scales. We propose a synthesis emphasizing that coasts, estuaries, rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands must be viewed as one integrated system, and our hypotheses are directed at that goal. Given limited resources to direct toward the assessment and protection of ecosystems, a suite of ecological and socioeconomic indicators, if properly selected, evaluated, and synthesized, can help scientists, managers, and policy makers document trends, prioritize issues, and target critical management activities. Our study area is the mid-Atlantic Slope encompassing three major drainage basins extending from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean; Delaware, Susquehanna-Chesapeake, and Ablemarle-Pamlico. Our approach is to define an appropriate unit of assessment and management that is applicable to all aquatic ecosystems. For downstream areas that unit is an estuarine segment, composed of deepwater areas, vegetated and unvegetated shallows, tidal marshes, creeks, and adjacent uplands. An equivalent upstream area is a small watershed. These are typically tens to hundred of km2 in area and encompass several stream reaches, associated riparian corridors, wetlands, waterbodies, and the contributing drainage basin. Based on discussions with decision-makers, management activities for aquatic ecosystems can be effectively targeted and reported for units of this scale. Thus, there would be a convergence of scale for both assessment and management, for ecological and socioeconomic indicators. Understanding and documenting the linkages between upstream watersheds and downstream estuaries is critical to the success of our approach, and to the protection, management, and restoration of receiving rivers, estuaries, and bays.

Expected Results:

The Atlantic Slope Consortium will: 1) deliver a suite of tested ecological and socioeconomic indicators that clearly relate stressors, sources, and solutions between upstream watersheds and downstream estuaries for a geographically significant region of the nation; 2) provide an integrated suite of indicators to managers, for which scientific reliability is known and for which the implications of applying indicators at various ecological and political scales have been considered; 3) create knowledge of how changes in the condition of coastal resources affect biological integrity of aquatic habitats and the quality of human habitations; 4) develop a set of indicators that are ecologically appropriate, economically reasonable, and relevant to society through our rigorous analyses and substantial interaction with cooperators and practitioners; 5) address the administrative, organizational, and perceptual obstacles and limitations to adopting and implementing the recommended indicators in a monitoring system for coastal ecosystems; 6) provide information and understanding about how environmental managers can communicate their missions and concerns more effectively to stakeholders; and 7) compile, interpret, and make publicly available extensive spatial data sets and graphical displays of ecological and socioeconomic information about the extent and status of coastal resources through the PASDA web site.


Journal Articles: 36 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 158 publications 43 publications in selected types All 36 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Baker ME, Weller DE, Jordan TE. Improved methods for quantifying potential nutrient interception by riparian buffers. Landscape Ecology 2006;21(8):1327-1345. R828684 (Final)
R831369 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article Baker ME, Weller DE, Jordan TE. Comparison of automated watershed delineations: effects on land cover areas, percentages, and relationships to nutrient discharge. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 2006;72(2):159-168. R828684C003 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article Baker ME, Weller DE, Jordan TE. Effects of stream map resolution on measures of riparian buffer distribution and nutrient retention potential. Landscape Ecology 2007;22(7):973-992. R828684 (Final)
    R831369 (2006)
    R831369 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Link Abstract
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  • Journal Article Bilkovic DM, Roggero M, Hershner CH, Havens KH. Influence of land use on macrobenthic communities in nearshore estuarine habitats. Estuaries and Coasts 2006;29(6):1185-1195. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article Borisova T, Shortle JS, Horan RD, Abler DG. The value of information for water quality protection. Water Resources Research 2005;41(6):W06004. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C004 (2003)
    R828684C004 (2004)
    R828684C004 (Final)
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  • Abstract: Wiley Online
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  • Journal Article Brooks R, McKenney-Easterling M, Brinson M, Rheinhardt R, Havens K, O'Brien D, Bishop J, Rubbo J, Armstrong B, Hite J. A Stream-Wetland-Riparian (SWR) index for assessing condition of aquatic ecosystems in small watersheds along the Atlantic slope of the eastern U.S. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2009;150(1-4):101-117. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article DeLuca WV, Studds CE, Rockwood LL, Marra PP. Influence of land use on the integrity of marsh bird communities of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Wetlands 2004;24(4):837-847. R828684C001 (2004)
    R828684C001 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article DeLuca WV, Studds CE, King RS, Marra PP. Coastal urbanization and the integrity of estuarine waterbird communities: threshold responses and the importance of scale. Biological Conservation 2008;141(11):2669-2678. R828684 (Final)
  • Full-text: Science DIrect Full-text
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  • Abstract: Science DIrect Abstract
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  • Other: Science DIrect Full-text pdf
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  • Journal Article Gallegos CL, Biber PD. Diagnostic tool help set water quality targets for restoring submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay. Ecological Restoration 2004;22(4):1441-1451 R828684C002 (2004)
    R828677C004 (2004)
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    Journal Article Gallegos CL, Jordan TE, Hines AH, Weller DE. Temporal variability of optical properties in a shallow, eutrophic estuary: seasonal and interannual variability. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 2005;64(2-3):156-170. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C002 (2003)
  • Full-text: Science Direct - Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: Science Direct - Abstract
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  • Other: Science Direct - Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Goetz S, Fiske G. Linking the diversity and abundance of stream biota to landscapes in the mid-Atlantic USA. Remote Sensing of Environment 2008;112(11):4075-4085. R828684 (Final)
    R831369 (Final)
  • Full-text: Science Direct Full-text
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  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
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  • Other: Science Direct Full-text pdf
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  • Journal Article Goetz SJ. Remote sensing of riparian buffers: past progress and future prospects. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 2006;42(1):133-143. R828684 (Final)
    R831369 (2006)
    R831369 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley
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  • Other: American Water Resources Association PDF
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  • Journal Article Hershner C, Havens K, Bilkovic DM, Wardrop D. Assessment of Chesapeake Bay program selection and use of indicators. EcoHealth 2007;4(2):187-193. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer
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  • Journal Article Horan RD, Shortle JS, Abler DG. The coordination and design of point-nonpoint trading programs and agri-environmental policies. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 2004;33(1):61-78. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C004 (2003)
  • Abstract: AgEcon Abstract
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  • Other: AgEcon Full-text pdf
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  • Journal Article Horan RD, Shortle JS. When two wrongs make a right: second-best point-nonpoint trading ratios. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 2005;87(2):340-352. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C004 (2003)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience Abstract
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  • Journal Article Hychka KC, Wardrop DH, Brooks RP. Enhancing a landscape assessment with intensive data: a case study in the Upper Juniata watershed. Wetlands 2007;27(3):446-461. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article King RS, Richardson CJ. Integrating bioassessment and ecological risk assessment: an approach to developing numerical water-quality criteria. Environmental Management 2003;31(6):795-809. R828684 (2002)
    R828684 (Final)
    R828684C001 (2002)
    R828684C001 (Final)
    R828684C003 (2003)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: State of Florida PDF
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  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article King RS, Beaman JR, Whigham DF, Hines AH, et al. Watershed land use is strongly linked to PCBs in white perch in Chesapeake Bay subestuaries. Environmental Science & Technology 2004;38(24):6546-6552. R828684C001 (2004)
    R828684C001 (Final)
  • Full-text: ACS Full Text
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  • Other: ACS PDF
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  • Journal Article King RS, Baker ME, Whigham DF, Weller DE, Jordan TE, Kazyak PF, Hurd MK. Spatial considerations for linking watershed land cover to ecological indicators in streams. Ecological Applications 2005;15(1):137-153. R828684 (2002)
    R828684 (Final)
    R828684C001 (2004)
    R828684C001 (Final)
    R828684C003 (2003)
  • Full-text: Baylor University PDF
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  • Abstract: ESA
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  • Journal Article King RS, Hines AH, Craige FD, Grap S. Regional, watershed, and local correlates of blue crab and bivalve abundances in subestuaries of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 2005;319(1-2):101-116. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C001 (2003)
    R828684C001 (2004)
    R828684C001 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article King RS, Deluca WV, Whigham DF, Marra PP. Threshold effects of coastal urbanization on Phragmites australis (common reed) abundance and foliar nitrogen in Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries and Coasts 2007;30(3):469-481. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article Marshall E, Shortle J. Using DEA and VEA to evaluate quality of life in the mid-Atlantic states. Agriculture and Resource Economics Review 2005;34(2):185-203. R828684C004 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article McElfish Jr. JM, Varnell LM. Designing environmental indicator systems for public decisions. Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 2006;31(1):45-86. R828684C004 (2004)
    R828684C004 (Final)
  • Abstract: Hein Online
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  • Journal Article Myers WL, McKenney-Easterling M, Hychka K, Griscom B, Bishop JA, Bayard A, Rocco GL, Brooks RP, Constantz G, Patil GP, Taillie C. Contextual clustering for configuring collaborative conservation of watersheds in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2006;13(4):391-407. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article Myers WL, Kurihara K, Patil GP, Vraney R. Finding upper-level sets in cellular surface data using echelons and saTScan. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2006;13(4):379-390. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Journal Article Niemi G, Wardrop D, Brooks R, Anderson S, Brady V, Paerl H , Rakocinski C, Brouwer M, Levinson B, McDonald M. Rationale for a new generation of indicators for coastal waters. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(9):979-986. R828684 (Final)
    R828675 (2004)
    R828675 (Final)
    R828677C001 (Final)
    R829458C003 (2003)
    R829458C008 (2003)
    R829458C008 (2004)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: EHP - Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: EHP
  • Other: EHP - Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Patil GP, Brooks RP, Myers WL, Rapport DJ, Taillie C. Ecosystem health and its measurement at landscape scale: toward the next generation of quantitative assessments. Ecosystem Health 2001;7(4):307-316. R828684 (2002)
    R828684 (Final)
    R828684C003 (2002)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience Abstract
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  • Other: Ecosystem Health Full-text pdf
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  • Journal Article Patil GP, Bishop JA, Myers WL, Taillie C, Vraney R, Wardrop D. Detection and delineation of critical areas using echelons and spatial scan statistics with synoptic cellular data. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2004;11(2):139-164. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C003 (2003)
  • Full-text: IngentaConnect
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  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Other: Prepublication Paper PDF
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  • Journal Article Patil GP, Taillie C. Multiple indicators, partially ordered sets, and linear extensions:multi-criterion ranking and prioritization. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2004;11(2):199-228. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Other: Environmental and Ecological Statistics pdf
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  • Journal Article Patil GP, Taillie C. Upper level set scan statistic for detecting arbitrarily shaped hotspots. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2004;11(2):183-197. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Other: Environmental and Ecological Statistics
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  • Journal Article Ranjan R, Marshall L, Shortle J. Optimal renewable resource management in the presence of endogenous risk of invasion. Environmental and Resource Economics 2008;89(4):273-283. R828684 (Final)
    R828684C004 (2003)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Science Direct - Abstract
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  • Journal Article Rheinhardt RD, Brinson MM, Christian RR, Miller KH, Meyer GF. A reference-based framework for evaluating the ecological condition of stream networks in small watersheds. Wetlands 2007;27(3):524-542. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Bioone Abstract
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  • Journal Article Rheinhardt RD, McKenney-Easterling M, Brinson MM, Masina-Rubbo J, Brooks RP, Whigham DF, O'Brien D, Hite JT, Armstrong BK. Canopy composition and forest structure provide restoration targets for low-order riparian ecosystems. Restoration Ecology 2009;17(1):51-59. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: Ingenta Connect
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  • Journal Article Rheinhardt R, Brinson M, Brooks R, McKenney-Easterling M, Rubbo JM, Hite J, Armstrong B. Development of a reference-based method for identifying and scoring indicators of condition for coastal plain riparian reaches. Ecological Indicators 2007;7(2):339-361. R828684 (Final)
  • Full-text: Science Direct Full-text
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  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
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  • Other: Science Direct Full-text pdf
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  • Journal Article Theobald DM, Goetz SJ, Norman JB, Jantz P. Watersheds at risk to increased impervious surface cover in the conterminous United States. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 2009;14(4):362-368. R828684 (Final)
  • Abstract: AIP Abstract
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  • Other: WHRC
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  • Journal Article Wardrop DH, Bishop JA, Easterling M, Hychka K, Myers W, Patil GP, Taillie C. Use of landscape and land use parameters for classification and characterization of watersheds in the mid-Atlantic across five physiographic provinces. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 2005;12(2):209-223. R828684 (2002)
    R828684 (Final)
    R828684C003 (2003)
    R828684C003 (2004)
  • Abstract: Springer Abstract
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    indicators, integrated assessment, aquatic ecosystem, wetland, stream, estuary, biological integrity, landscape ecology, scaling, health effects, ecological effect, risk assessment, socio-economic, decision-making, remote sensing, Mid-Atlantic, EMAP, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Waste, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Nutrients, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Wastewater, Contaminated Sediments, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Economics, Mid-Atlantic, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Risk Assessment, Biology, Ecological Indicators, bioindicator, coastal ecosystem, degradation, remote sensing, aquatic ecosystem, ecological exposure, aquatic biota , ecosystem assessment, watersheds, contaminated sediment, socioeconomics, biomonitoring, ecological assessment, ecosystem indicators, estuarine ecosystems, integrated assessment, Atlantic Slope Consortium, nutrient stress, aquatic ecosystems, environmental stress, integrative indicators, bioindicators, water quality, ecosystem stress

    Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report
  • Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828684C001 Integrated Assessment of Estuarine Ecosystems
    R828684C002 Development of an Optical Indicator of Habitat Suitability for Submersed Aquatic Vegetation
    R828684C003 Integrated Assessment of Watersheds
    R828684C004 Socioeconomic and Institutional Research