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Assessing Sediment Yield for Selected Watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Under Future Agricultural Scenarios
Shao, Y., R. Lunetta, Alex Macpherson, J. Luo, AND G. Chen. Assessing Sediment Yield for Selected Watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Under Future Agricultural Scenarios. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 51:59-69, (2013).
In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) withing a GIS modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on the sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated over a six year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated.
The US Midwest has experienced significant changes in agricultural cropping patterns (i.e., area and rotation pattern changes) since 2005. Ongoing agricultural land use change is likely to be partly due to rising corn prices and subsidies implemented by the US government to encourage corn ethanol production. The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS) reported that corn acreage is often related to the decrease of other agriculture crops (i.e., soybean and winter wheat) and pasture land (Westcott, 2007); Keeney and Hertel, 2009). Remove sensing-base crop rotation study indicated that traditional crop rotation (i.e., corn-soybean) is being replaced by continuous corn plantings (Stern et al., 2008; Lunetta et al., 2010; Secchi et al., 2011) across the Great Lakes Basin (GLB). Shifts toward more intensive corn production may cause a number of negative environmental consequences with respect to water quality, soil fertility, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem sustainability (Pimentel and Patzek, 2005; Searchinger et al., 2008). For instance, Donner and Kuckharik (2008) have raised concerns of corn-based ethanol production with respect to the goal of reducing nitrogen export by the Mississippi River.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION