Integrating Economic and Ecological Models Across Spatial Scales to Assess Aquatic Species Vulnerability to Timber Harvest and Land Use Change in Freshwater Streams of the Southeastern U.S.EPA Grant Number: R828784
Title: Integrating Economic and Ecological Models Across Spatial Scales to Assess Aquatic Species Vulnerability to Timber Harvest and Land Use Change in Freshwater Streams of the Southeastern U.S.
Investigators: Schaberg, Rex , Abt, Robert , Cubbage, Fred , Halpin, Pat , Hershey, Anne
Institution: Duke University , North Carolina State University , University of North Carolina at Greensboro
EPA Project Officer: Carleton, James N
Project Period: May 1, 2001 through April 30, 2003 (Extended to March 31, 2004)
Project Amount: $399,658
RFA: Futures Research in Socio-Economics (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences
The objectives of the proposed research are to: (1) Develop an integrated ecological-economic model of river basin stress to assess lotic ecosystem imperilment in the southeastern United States; (2) Evaluate the ability of forest management practices (BMPs) to mitigate impacts on aquatic communities and stream ecological processes of special concern; and (3) Identify and evaluate case study watersheds for relationships among landscape level environmental stressors and lotic community vulnerability.
The research will quantify impacts of economic growth and increased timber demand on vulnerable aquatic communities at three selected levels of scale, regional, multi-county, and local. A timber economics model, calibrated for projected land use change, will be used to estimate timber demand for the 13 state southeast region. Satellite (GIS) data will inform probabalistic landscape models to project heterogeneous land use including timber harvest, growth of urban centers, transportation networks, and timber processing facilities for case-study North Carolina watersheds at intermediate scale. Natural history data for selected ecosystems will be integrated with metrics of land use change and stream health to estimate local measures of aquatic imperilment.
The research will result in a set of assessment tools to simulate qualitative and quantitative land use change and aquatic impacts within southeastern watersheds. Projected GIS coverages will support improved decision making by land managers. The integrated approach will result in improved analysis and stimulate future interdisciplinary collaboration.