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Response of a One-Biosphere Nutrient Modeling System to Regional Land Use and Management Change
Cooter, E., L. Ran, AND J. Bash. Response of a One-Biosphere Nutrient Modeling System to Regional Land Use and Management Change. International Society for Ecological Modelling (ISEM) Global Conf, Baltimore, MD, May 08 - 12, 2016.
The National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Computational Exposure Division (CED) develops and evaluates data, decision-support tools, and models to be applied to media-specific or receptor-specific problem areas. CED uses modeling-based approaches to characterize exposures, evaluate fate and transport, and support environmental diagnostics/forensics with input from multiple data sources. It also develops media- and receptor-specific models, process models, and decision support tools for use both within and outside of EPA.
A multi-media system of nitrogen and co-pollutant models describing critical physical and chemical processes that cascade synergistically and competitively through the environment, the economy and society has been developed at the USEPA Office of Research and Development (see figure below). It includes a combination of loosely and tightly coupled process-based models that are used to explore the effect of agricultural land use change in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin on nitrogen discharge into the Gulf of Mexico. This modeling system explicitly includes economic (e.g. agricultural and energy sector prices) and societal (e.g. land management) factors. A future 2022 scenario based on agricultural and energy market projections suggest that : 1) corn, soybean and wheat production (supplies) are sufficient to meet 2022 food, feed and energy feedstock demands; 2) increased agricultural crop production is achieved without adding or removing agricultural land existing as of 2002 (although re-entry of CRP lands are permitted); 3) there will be technological advances during this 20 year period that spur increased crop yields, 4) increasing demand for biofuel is met through a concentration of corn stover processing facilities in the Upper Midwest; 4) off-shore Pacific and Atlantic marine transportation increases; and 5) there are no statistically significant changes from 2002 weather patterns but CO2 concentrations continue to rise at the rate of the previous decade. Although total agricultural land area does not change during this time, crop agricultural demand requires crop location and agricultural management changes. Environmental quality metrics illustrating biosphere-atmosphere interactions such as atmospheric PM2.5 concentrations, atmospheric N deposition to surface water, soil organic N and N percolation to groundwater are estimated for 2002, 2022 (no land use change) and 2022 with land use change scenarios. Results of these simulations lead to the identification of increased or decreased risks to air, land and water quality as well as human and ecosystem health.