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Enhancing Ecosystem Services in a High Risk Agroecosystem of the Interior Pacific Northwest in the Face of Climate Change and Land Use IntensificationEPA Grant Number: R834566
Title: Enhancing Ecosystem Services in a High Risk Agroecosystem of the Interior Pacific Northwest in the Face of Climate Change and Land Use Intensification
Investigators: DeBano, Sandra J. , Horneck, Donald A. , Sorte, Bruce M. , Wooster, David E.
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Sergeant, Anne
Project Period: May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2014
Project Amount: $500,000
RFA: Enhancing Ecosystem Services From Agricultural Lands: Management, Quantification, And Developing Decision Support Tools (2009) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Ecosystems
The objectives of this project are to: 1) quantify changes in selected ecosystem services associated with riparian areas and streams that may occur in response to climate change and agricultural intensification, and 2) develop scale-specific decision support tools for use by farmers and watershed managers/policymakers who work in high value/high risk agroecosystems. Ecosystem services to be examined include water quality, anadromous salmonid production, pollination, and control of agricultural pests by natural enemies.
Working in a high value/high risk ecosystem located in northeastern Oregon, we plan to conduct field studies to quantify stream health and the potential for invertebrate-mediated ecosystem services of pollination and pest control that are associated with riparian buffers located on intermittent and perennial streams. This will allow us to estimate ecosystem services that may be lost if those streams become intermittent with climate change or if riparian areas decrease because of agricultural intensification. In addition, we will use a spatially explicit model to investigate different scenarios of climate change and riparian buffer reduction associated with agricultural intensification on steelhead production. The quantitative information obtained from these empirical and theoretical studies will be used to create riparian buffer management guides tailored for growers and watershed managers. Economic tools and models will also be developed that can be used to compare the costs and benefits associated with different management and climate change scenarios.
Completing the project will give watershed managers and policymakers quantitative information on the magnitude of change in selected ecosystem services expected with agricultural intensification and climate change, and provide both growers and watershed managers with support tools to guide land management decisions. The support tools developed will aid in managing riparian buffers and streams in a way that maximizes multiple ecosystem services. The economic tools and models will aid growers (at the farm level) and policymakers (at the watershed level) in weighing a wider variety of environmental services in decisions about the best management strategy in the face of climate change and agricultural intensification.