The Spatial Patterning of Land Use Conversion: Linking Economics, Hydrology and Ecology to Evaluate the Effects of Alternative Future Growth Scenarios on Stream Ecosystems

EPA Grant Number: R828012
Title: The Spatial Patterning of Land Use Conversion: Linking Economics, Hydrology and Ecology to Evaluate the Effects of Alternative Future Growth Scenarios on Stream Ecosystems
Investigators: Palmer, Margaret A. , Bockstael, Nancy , Moglen, Glenn E. , Ness, Keith Van , Poff, N. LeRoy , Wiegand, Cameron
Current Investigators: Palmer, Margaret A. , Bockstael, Nancy , Moglen, Glenn E. , Ness, Keith Van , Pizzuto, J. E. , Wiegand, Cameron
Institution: University of Maryland - College Park , Colorado State University , Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
Current Institution: University of Maryland , Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection , University of Delaware
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 2000 through May 31, 2003 (Extended to May 31, 2004)
Project Amount: $1,125,212
RFA: Water and Watersheds (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , Water

Description:

Conversion of land to human usage has degraded freshwater ecosystems throughout the United States and worldwide. In this project, we are interested in how the timing, rate and the spatial configuration of the land conversion influences stream habitat and ecosystem health. Further, we wish to examine how government policy and economic analyses can be used to guide future growth patterns and thus minimize ecological degradation.

Approach:

We will first develop and calibrate a spatially explicit model that predicts, conditional on land use history and pattern, the magnitude and variation in hydrologic and geomorphic parameters that influence conditions along stream flowpaths in multiple watersheds across an urban-rural gradient. Second, we will collect ecological and geomorphic data at multiple locations within the watersheds and then aggregate these data at various spatial scales to determine how spatial pattern and history of watershed development influence local ecological conditions. We will examine whether ecological change along these flowpaths exhibits a threshold response to particular combinations of spatial pattern of development and/or historical conversion rate. Third, we will build on recent econometric work to model not only the quantity of land use change but also its spatial pattern. Using innovative predictive models, we will forecast future development patterns.

Expected Results:

With the linked economics-hydrologic-ecological models, we will assess how projected and alternative growth patterns are likely to influence stream habitat and associated ecological condition. Through collaboration with local government policy-makers and scientists, we will evaluate the effectiveness of current land use policies and restoration programs in minimizing the ecological consequences of land use conversion in urbanizing watersheds.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 90 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 17 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

econometric models, public policy, land use changes, watersheds' hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, restoration, storm-water management, Mid-Atlantic States: Maryland., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Water & Watershed, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, State, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology and Ecosystems, Watersheds, spatial water quality assessment systems, ecosystem assessment, stream ecosystems, alternative future growth scenarios, Maryland (MD), predictive model, stream management, geomorphic, ecosystem, ecosystem health, water quality, ecology assessment models, public policy, land use, econometrics

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002
  • Final Report