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Evaluating Biodiversity Response toForecasted Land Use Change: A Case Study in the South Platte River Basin, Colorado
Samson, E. A., W. G. KEPNER, A. K. Leimer, R. K. Guy, K. G. Boykin, B. G. BIERWAGEN, AND D. F. BRADFORD. Evaluating Biodiversity Response toForecasted Land Use Change: A Case Study in the South Platte River Basin, Colorado. Fourth Interagency Conference on REsearch in the Watersheds, Fairbanks, AK, September 25 - 30, 2011. C. Nicolas Medley, Glenn Patterson, and Melanie J. Parker (ed.), USGS STATUS AND TRENDS REPORT 2003. U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC, 56-62, (2011).
While many direct and indirect stressors can affect biodiversity, land use change is considered to be the most significant (Sala et al. 2000, Mattison and Norris 2005, Swetnam et al. 2010). Land use and land cover change are two processes that have consequences on a global scale and are driven by population trends and urban growth (Bierwagen et al. 2010). The United States population is projected to be between 402-616 million in 2090, an increase of 31-55% from 2000 (EPA 2010).
Effects of future land use change on watersheds have important management implications. Seamless, national-scale land-use-change scenarios for developed land were acquired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (lCLUS) project and extracted to fit the South Platte River Basin, Colorado, relative to projections of housing density for the period 2000 through 2100. Habitat models developed from the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project were invoked to examine changes in wildlife habitat and biodiversity metrics using five ICLUS scenarios. The scenarios represent a U.S. Census base-case and four modifications that were consistent with the different assumptions underlying the A1, A2, B1, B2 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change global greenhouse gas emission storylines. Habitat models for terrestrial vertebrate species were used to derive metrics reflecting ecosystem services or biodiversity aspects valued by humans that could be quantified and mapped. Example metrics included richness of species of greatest conservation need, threatened and endangered species, harvestable species (e.g., upland game, big game), and total vertebrate species. Overall, the defined scenarios indicated that housing density and extent of developed lands will increase throughout the century with a resultant decrease in area for all species richness categories. The A2 Scenario in general showed greatest effect on area by species richness category. Areas with low or high species richness were projected to experience the greatest declines. The integration of the land use scenarios with biodiversity metrics derived from deductive habitat models may prove to be an important tool for decisionmakers involved in impact ssessments and adaptive planning processes.
URLs/Downloads:KEPNER 11-085 NON-EPA PROCEEDING PAPER S PLATT RIVER CO.PDF (PDF,NA pp, 275 KB, about PDF)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (NON-EPA PUBLISHED PROCEEDINGS)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION
LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH