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Buchholz, T.; Friedland, A. J.; Hornig, C. E.; Keeton, W. S.; Zanchi, G.; Nunery, J. S.. (2013) Mineral soil carbon fluxes in forests and implications for carbon balance assessments. Global Change Biology Bioenergy
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Forest carbon cycles play an important role in efforts to understand and mitigate climate change. Large amounts of carbon (C) are stored in deep mineral forest soils, but are often not considered in accounting for global C fluxes because mineral soil C is commonly thought to be relatively stable. We explore C fluxes associated with forest management practices by examining existing data on forest C fluxes in the northeastern US. Our findings demonstrate that mineral soil C can play an important role in C emissions, especially when considering intensive forest management practices. Such practices are known to cause a high aboveground C flux to the atmosphere, but there is evidence that they can also promote comparably high and long-term belowground C fluxes. If these additional fluxes are widespread in forests, recommendations for increased reliance on forest biomass may need to be reevaluated. Furthermore, existing protocols for the monitoring of forest C often ignore mineral soil C due to lack of data. Forest C analyses will be incomplete until this problem is resolved.
Buchholz, T.; Volk, T.. (2013) Profitability of Willow Biomass Crops Affected by Incentive Programs. Bioenergy Research 6(1) 53-64
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The economics of willow biomass crops are strongly influenced by yield, production, and harvesting costs and the delivered price for biomass. Under current management practices, willow biomass crops with yields of 12 oven-dried metric tons (odt) ha(-1) year(-1) and a delivered price of $60 odt(-1) have an internal rate of return (IRR) of about 5.5 %. Yields below 9 odt ha(-1) year(-1) have an IRR < 0 %. We examined the impact of different incentive programs on the returns from willow biomass crops and the hectares or tons of willow biomass supported across a range of yields. Incentive programs examined included establishment grants (EG), annual payments (AIP), low cost startup loans, and matching payments offered by two existing programs, the Conservation Resource Program (CRP) and more recently the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). EGs covering 75 % of the establishment costs provide high returns for growers on medium to high-productivity sites. Stand-alone AIPs with payments of $124 ha(-1) year(-1) paid over 5-15 years had little impact on profitability for growers but were costly for a funding agency. Low-cost loans with an interest rate of 2-4 % are one of the least expensive approaches ($1.3-6.6 odt(-1)) and improve profitability for medium- and high-yielding (8-16 odt ha(-1) year(-1)) sites. A matching payment incentive providing $50 per odt delivered was the only individual incentive approach that made low-yielding sites (6 odt ha(-1) year(-1)) profitable but was costly per odt compared to other incentives. Current CRP incentives made willow profitable across all productivity scenarios. The BCAP program generates higher profits for all productivity scenarios but comes at a higher cost. Effective financial incentives need to be well designed and monitored so that the target audience is reached and the intended policy goals are attained.
Burrascano, S.; Keeton, W. S.; Sabatini, F. M.; Blasi, C.. (2013) Commonality and variability in the structural attributes of moist temperate old-growth forests: A global review. Forest Ecology and Management 291 458-479
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Temperate forests have been fundamentally altered by land use and other stressors globally; these have reduced the abundance of primary and old-growth forests in particular. Despite many regional studies, the literature lacks a global synthesis of temperate old-growth structural characteristics. In this study we compare literature derived data on mature and old-growth moist temperate forests with the aim of: (i) exploring global commonalities; (ii) investigating sources of variability among systems; and (iii) highlighting data gaps and research needs. We compiled a dataset of 147 records from 93 papers, and analyzed a set of structural indicators: basal area, stem density, large living trees, live aboveground biomass, quadratic mean diameter, and coarse woody debris volume. These indicators were contrasted between mature and old-growth age classes at a global level and across continents and broad forest types, testing for significance through Monte-Carlo permutation procedure. We also related structural indicators to age, climatic and geographical descriptors. Our results suggest that all structural indicators vary across systems in relation to geographical, compositional, and climatic influences. However old-growth forests showed global commonalities in structure when compared to mature forests: significantly higher densities of large living trees, higher quadratic mean diameter, and higher amounts of live aboveground biomass and coarse woody debris. Furthermore we found inconsistency in the structural variables reported by different papers; lack of studies on temperate forests in Russia, and Western and Central Asia. The findings improve our understanding of old-growth structure and function, and will help inform sustainable forest management and conservation approaches world-wide. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Butryn, R. S.; Parrish, D. L.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2013) Summer stream temperature metrics for predicting brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) distribution in streams. Hydrobiologia 703(1) 47-57
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We developed a methodology to predict brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) distribution using summer temperature metrics as predictor variables. Our analysis used long-term fish and hourly water temperature data from the Dog River, Vermont (USA). Commonly used metrics (e.g., mean, maximum, maximum 7-day maximum) tend to smooth the data so information on temperature variation is lost. Therefore, we developed a new set of metrics (called event metrics) to capture temperature variation by describing the frequency, area, duration, and magnitude of events that exceeded a user-defined temperature threshold. We used 16, 18, 20, and 22A degrees C. We built linear discriminant models and tested and compared the event metrics against the commonly used metrics. Correct classification of the observations was 66% with event metrics and 87% with commonly used metrics. However, combined event and commonly used metrics correctly classified 92%. Of the four individual temperature thresholds, it was difficult to assess which threshold had the "best" accuracy. The 16A degrees C threshold had slightly fewer misclassifications; however, the 20A degrees C threshold had the fewest extreme misclassifications. Our method leveraged the volumes of existing long-term data and provided a simple, systematic, and adaptable framework for monitoring changes in fish distribution, specifically in the case of irregular, extreme temperature events.
Canham, C. D.; Rogers, N.; Buchholz, T.. (2013) Regional variation in forest harvest regimes in the northeastern United States. Ecological Applications 23(3) 515-522
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Logging is a larger cause of adult tree mortality in northeastern U.S. forests than all other causes of mortality combined. We used Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data to develop statistical models to quantify three different aspects of aggregate regional forest harvest regimes: (1) the annual probability that a plot is logged, as a function of total aboveground tree biomass, (2) the fraction of adult tree basal area removed if a plot was logged, and (3) the probability that an individual tree within a plot was removed, as a function of the fraction of basal area removed at the plot level, the species of tree, and its size. Results confirm that relatively frequent partial harvesting dominates the logging regimes, but with significant variation among different parts of the region and different forest types. The harvest regimes have similarities with natural disturbance regimes in imposing spatially and temporally dynamic mortality that varies predictably as a function of stand structure as well as tree species and size.
Delgado, P.; Hensel, P. F.; Swarth, C. W.; Ceroni, M.; Boumans, R.. (2013) Sustainability of a Tidal Freshwater Marsh Exposed to a Long-term Hydrologic Barrier and Sea Level Rise. 36(1) 1-10
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A 115-year-old railroad levee bisecting a tidal freshwater marsh perpendicular to the Patuxent River (Maryland) channel has created a northern, upstream marsh and a southern, downstream marsh. The main purpose of this study was to determine how this levee may affect the ability of the marsh system to gain elevation and to determine the levee’s impact on the marsh’s long-term sustainability to local relative sea level rise (RSLR). Previously unpublished data from 1989 to 1992 showed that suspended solids and short-term sediment deposition were greater in the south marsh compared to the north marsh; wetland surface elevation change data (1999 to 2009) showed significantly higher elevation gain in the south marsh compared to the north (6±2 vs. 0±2 mm year−1, respectively). However, marsh surface accretion (2007 to 2009) showed no significant differences between north and south marshes (23± 8 and 26±7mm year−1, respectively), and showed that shallow subsidence was an important process in both marshes. A strong seasonal effect was evident for both accretion and elevation change, with significant gains during the growing season and elevation loss during the non-growing season. Sediment transport, deposition and accretion decreased along the intertidal gradient, although no clear patterns in elevation change were recorded. Given the range in local RSLR rates in the Chesapeake Bay (2.9 to 5.8 mm year−1), only the south marsh is keeping pace with sea level at the present time. Although one would expect the north marsh to benefit from high accretion of abundant riverine sediments, these results suggest that longterm elevation gain is a more nuanced process involving more than riverine sediments. Overall, other factors such as infrequent episodic coastal events may be important in allowing the south marsh to keep pace with sea level rise. Finally, caution should be exercised when using data sets spanning only a couple of years to estimate wetland sustainability as they may not be representative of longterm cumulative effects. Two years of data do not seem to be enough to establish long-term elevation change rates at Jug Bay, but instead a decadal time frame is more appropriate.
Farley, J.; Burke, M.; Flomenhoft, G.; Kelly, B.; Murray, D.; Posner, S.; Putnam, M.; Scanlan, A.; Witham, A.. (2013) Monetary and Fiscal Policies for a Finite Planet.. Sustainability 5(6) 2802-2826
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Current macroeconomic policy promotes continuous economic growth. Unemployment, poverty and debt are associated with insufficient growth. Economic activity depends upon the transformation of natural materials, ultimately returning to the environment as waste. Current levels of economic throughput exceed the planet’s carrying capacity. As a result of poorly constructed economic institutions, society faces the unacceptable choice between ecological catastrophe and human misery. A transition to a steady-state economy is required, characterized by a rate of throughput compatible with planetary boundaries. This paper contributes to the development of a steady-state economy by addressing US monetary and fiscal policies. A steady-state monetary policy would support counter-cyclical, debt-free vertical money creation through the public sector, in ways that contribute to sustainable well-being. The implication for a steady-state fiscal policy is that any lending or spending requires a careful balance of recovery of money, not as a means of revenue, but as an economic imperative to meet monetary policy goals. A steady-state fiscal policy would prioritize targeted public goods investments, taxation of ecological “bads” and economic rent and implementation of progressive tax structures. Institutional innovations are considered, including common asset trusts, to regulate throughput, and a public monetary trust, to strictly regulate money supply.
Fernandez, M.; Goodall, K.; Olson, M. B.; Mendez, V. E.. (2013) Agroecology and alternative agrifood movements in the United States: towards a sustainable agrifood system.. 37(1) 115-126
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The concept of agroecology in the United States is born out of a dialectical process of co-production of knowledge whereby the science of agroecology has shaped and been shaped by alternative agri-food movements, policy, and local practice. This article examines the relationship between agroecology and alternative agri-food movements and identifies opportunities for greater engagement. The article concludes with a discussion of the challenges and opportunities to scaling up agroecology and sustainable agri-food systems.
Fisher, B.; Edwards, D. P.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2013) Logging and conservation: Economic impacts of the stocking rates and prices of commercial timber species. Forest Policy and Economics
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Tropical forests vary greatly in their stocking rates of timber and the commercial value of the different tree species they contain. This significantly affects the economics of logging and, consequently, the viability of carbon payments to aid in the conservation or management of the world's forests. In this paper we first develop a conceptual model to investigate how theoretical opportunity costs and the conservation potential of carbon payments vary across forests with stocking rates and species composition. We focus the model on two possible conservation contexts: 1) strict protection of unlogged forests and 2) conservation of selectively logged forests. Results suggest that the type of forest, with regard to both timber volume and species composition, greatly affects the potential of a carbon payment to mitigate forest degradation. Additionally, two complementary insights emerge. First, in forests where timbers of high commercial value represent only a small proportion of total wood volume (and therefore carbon), selective logging may make conservation of the wider landscape more feasible, and cost-effective. Second, in forests where selective logging of highly-prized species has already occurred, engaging in long-term conservation of forest (and hence thwarting conversion to agriculture) may make the conservation of biodiverse landscapes more feasible, and their management more cost-effective.
Fontana, V.; Radtke, A.; Fedrigotti, V. B.; Tappeiner, U.; Tasser, E.; Serbe, S.; Buchholz, T.. (2013) Comparing land-use alternatives: Using the ecosystem services concept to define a multi-criteria decision analysis. Ecological Economics 93 128-136
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In landscape planning, land-use types need to be compared including the ecosystem services they provide. With multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), ecological economics offers a useful tool for environmental questions but mostly case-specific criteria are applied. This, however, makes it difficult to compare findings. Therefore, we present a systematic framework that includes the ecosystem services as criteria into MCDA. The ecological quantification of the provided ecosystem services is combined with the assigned importance of the single ecosystem services. In a case study from the central Alps, we compared three land-use alternatives resulting from land-use change caused by socio-economic pressures: traditional larch (Larix decidua) meadow, spruce forest (abandonment) and intensive meadow (intensification). Criteria for the MCDA model were selected by experts, criteria importance was ranked by stakeholders and criteria values were assessed with qualitative and quantitative indicators. Eventually spruce forest was ranked as the best land-use alternative followed by traditional larch meadow and intensive meadow. The combined approach of MCDA using ecosystem services as criteria showed how criteria weightings and criteria indicator values influence land-use alternatives' performance. The MCDA-model visualizes the consequences of land-use change for ecosystem service provision, facilitating landscape planning by structuring environmental problems and providing data for decisions.
Fytilis, N.; Rizzo, D. M.; Lamb, R. D.; Kerans, B. L.; Stevens, L.. (2013) Using real-time PCR and Bayesian analysis to distinguish susceptible tubificid taxa important in the transmission of Myxobolus cerebralis, the cause of salmonid whirling disease. International Journal for Parasitology 43(6) 493-501
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Aquatic oligochaetes have long been appreciated for their value in assessing habitat quality because they are ubiquitous sediment-dwelling filter feeders. Many oligochaete taxa are also important in the transmission of fish diseases. Distinguishing resistant and susceptible taxa is important for managing fish disease, yet challenging in practice. Tubifex tubifex (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae) is the definitive host for the complex life-cycle parasite, Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of salmonid whirling disease. We developed two hydrolysis probe-based qualitative real-time PCR (qPCR) multiplex assays that distinguish among tubificid taxa collected from the Madison River, Montana, USA. The first assay distinguishes T. tubifex from Rhyacodrilus spp.; while the second classifies T. tubifex identified by the first assay into two genetic lineages (I and III). Specificity and sensitivity were optimized for each assay; the two assays showed specificity of 94.3% and 98.6% for the target oligochaetes, respectively. DNA sequencing verified the results. The development of these assays allowed us to more fully describe tubificid community composition (the taxa and their abundance at a site) and estimate the relative abundances of host taxa. To relate tubificid relative abundance to fish disease risk, we determined M. cerebralis infection prevalence in samples identified as T. tubifex using similar molecular techniques. Given prior information (i.e., morphological identification of sexually mature worms), Bayesian analysis inferred that the first qPCR assay improved taxonomic identification. Bayesian inference of the relative abundance of T. tubifex, combined with infection assay results, identified sites with a high prevalence of infected T. tubifex. To our knowledge, this study represents both the first assessment of oligochaete community composition using a qPCR assay based on fluorescent probes and the first use of Bayesian analysis to fully characterize the dominant infected taxa in streams where whirling disease is observed. (C) 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Galford, G. L.; Soares-Filho, B.; Cerri, C. E. P.. (2013) Prospects for land-use sustainability on the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 368(1619)
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The Brazilian Amazon frontier shows how remarkable leadership can work towards increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability without new greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to initiatives among various stakeholders, including national and state government and agents, farmers, consumers, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations. Change has come both from bottom-up and top-down actions of these stakeholders, providing leadership, financing and monitoring to foster environmental sustainability and agricultural growth. Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change in Brazil are being achieved through a multi-tiered approach that includes policies to reduce deforestation and initiatives for forest restoration, as well as increased and diversified agricultural production, intensified ranching and innovations in agricultural management. Here, we address opportunities for the Brazilian Amazon in working towards low-carbon rural development and environmentally sustainable landscapes.
Garibaldi, L. A.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Winfree, R.; Aizen, M. A.; Bommarco, R.; Cunningham, S. A.; Kremen, C.; Carvalheiro, L. G.; Harder, L. D.; Afik, O.; Bartomeus, I.; Benjamin, F.; Boreux, V.; Cariveau, D.; Chacoff, N. P.; Dudenhoffer, J. H.; Freitas, B. M.; Ghazoul, J.; Greenleaf, S.; Hipolito, J.; Holzschuh, A.; Howlett, B.; Isaacs, R.; Javorek, S. K.; Kennedy, C. M.; Krewenka, K. M.; Krishnan, S.; Mandelik, Y.; Mayfield, M. M.; Motzke, I.; Munyuli, T.; Nault, B. A.; Otieno, M.; Petersen, J.; Pisanty, G.; Potts, S. G.; Rader, R.; Ricketts, T. H.; Rundlof, M.; Seymour, C. L.; Schuepp, C.; Szentgyorgyi, H.; Taki, H.; Tscharntke, T.; Vergara, C. H.; Viana, B. F.; Wanger, T. C.; Westphal, C.; Williams, N.; Klein, A. M.. (2013) Wild Pollinators Enhance Fruit Set of Crops Regardless of Honey Bee Abundance. Science 339(6127) 1608-1611
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The diversity and abundance of wild insect pollinators have declined in many agricultural landscapes. Whether such declines reduce crop yields, or are mitigated by managed pollinators such as honey bees, is unclear. We found universally positive associations of fruit set with flower visitation by wild insects in 41 crop systems worldwide. In contrast, fruit set increased significantly with flower visitation by honey bees in only 14% of the systems surveyed. Overall, wild insects pollinated crops more effectively; an increase in wild insect visitation enhanced fruit set by twice as much as an equivalent increase in honey bee visitation. Visitation by wild insects and honey bees promoted fruit set independently, so pollination by managed honey bees supplemented, rather than substituted for, pollination by wild insects. Our results suggest that new practices for integrated management of both honey bees and diverse wild insect assemblages will enhance global crop yields.
Jain, M.; Mondal, P.; DeFries, R. S.; Small, C.; Galford, G. L.. (2013) Mapping cropping intensity of smallholder farms: A comparison of methods using multiple sensors. Remote Sensing of Environment 134 210-223
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The food security of smallholder farmers is vulnerable to climate change and climate variability. Cropping intensity, the number of crops planted annually, can be used as a measure of food security for smallholder farmers given that it can greatly affect net production. Current techniques for quantifying cropping intensity may not accurately map smallholder farms where the size of one field is typically smaller than the spatial resolution of readily available satellite data. We evaluated four methods that use multi-scalar datasets and are commonly used in the literature to assess cropping intensity of smallholder farms: 1) the Landsat threshold method, which identifies if a Landsat pixel is cropped or uncropped during each growing season, 2) the MODIS peak method, which determines if there is a phenological peak in the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index time series during each growing season, 3) the MODIS temporal mixture analysis, which quantifies the sub-pixel heterogeneity of cropping intensity using phenological MODIS data, and 4) the MODIS hierarchical training method, which quantifies the sub-pixel heterogeneity of cropping intensity using hierarchical training techniques. Each method was assessed using four criteria: 1) data availability, 2) accuracy across different spatial scales (at aggregate scales 250 x 250 m, 1 x 1 km, 5 x 5 km, and 10 x 10 km), 3) ease of implementation, and 4) ability to use the method over large spatial and temporal scales. We applied our methods to two regions in India (Gujarat and southeastern Madhya Pradesh) that represented diversity in crop type, soils, climatology, irrigation access, cropping intensity, and field size. We found that the Landsat threshold method is the most accurate (R-2 >= 0.71 and RMSE <= 0.14), particularly at smaller scales of analysis. Yet given the limited availability of Landsat data, we find that the MODIS hierarchical training method meets multiple criteria for mapping cropping intensity over large spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, the adjusted R-2 between predicted and validation data generally increased and the RMSE decreased with spatial aggregation >= 5 x 5 km (R-2 up to 0.97 and RMSE as low as 0.00). Our model accuracy varied based on the region and season of analysis and was lowest during the summer season in Gujarat when there was high sub-pixel heterogeneity due to sparsely cropped agricultural land-cover. While our results specifically apply to our study regions in India, they most likely also apply to smallholder agriculture in other locations across the globe where the same types of satellite data are readily available. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kennedy, C. M.; Lonsdorf, E.; Neel, M. C.; Williams, N. M.; Ricketts, T. H.; Winfree, R.; Bommarco, R.; Brittain, C.; Burley, A. L.; Cariveau, D.; Carvalheiro, L. G.; Chacoff, N. P.; Cunningham, S. A.; Danforth, B. N.; Dudenhoeffer, J. H.; Elle, E.; Gaines, H. R.; Garibaldi, L. A.; Gratton, C.; Holzschuh, A.; Isaacs, R.; Javorek, S. K.; Jha, S.; Klein, A. M.; Krewenka, K. M.; Mandelik, Y.; Mayfield, M. M.; Morandin, L. A.; Neame, L. A.; Otieno, M.; Park, M.; Potts, S. G.; Rundlof, M.; Saez, A.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Taki, H.; Viana, B. F.; Westphal, C.; Wilson, J. K.; Greenleaf, S. S.; Kremen, C.. (2013) A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters 16(5) 584-599
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Bees provide essential pollination services that are potentially affected both by local farm management and the surrounding landscape. To better understand these different factors, we modelled the relative effects of landscape composition (nesting and floral resources within foraging distances), landscape configuration (patch shape, interpatch connectivity and habitat aggregation) and farm management (organic vs. conventional and local-scale field diversity), and their interactions, on wild bee abundance and richness for 39 crop systems globally. Bee abundance and richness were higher in diversified and organic fields and in landscapes comprising more high-quality habitats; bee richness on conventional fields with low diversity benefited most from high-quality surrounding land cover. Landscape configuration effects were weak. Bee responses varied slightly by biome. Our synthesis reveals that pollinator persistence will depend on both the maintenance of high-quality habitats around farms and on local management practices that may offset impacts of intensive monoculture agriculture.
Koliba, C.; Zia, A.. (2013) Complex Systems Modeling in Public Administration and Policy Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for a Meta-Theoretical Research Program.. Emergnent Publications, Litchfield Park, AZ.
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There is an argument that says that research in Public Administration is always about social complexity. This argument is true. There is also an argument that says that Public Administration is actually very little informed by complexity. This is equally true. The differences lie in the different takes on complexity. The latter approach understands that comprehension of complexity requires a specific theoretical framework and associated tools to look into the black box of causality. The authors in this edited volume gathered in Rotterdam (The Netherlands, June 2011) to discuss how the complexity sciences can contribute to pertinent questions in the domains of Public Administration and Public Policy. Their contributions are presented in this edited volume. Each contribution is an attempt to answer the Challenge of Making Public Administration and Complexity Theory work-COMPACT, as the title says. Together, they present an overview of the diverse state of the art in thinking about and research in complex systems in the public domain.
Koliba, C.; Zia, A.. (2013) Governance Informatics: Using Computer Simulation Models to Deepen Situational Awareness and Governance Design Considerations. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Koliba, C.. (2013) Review of 'Cultural Competency for Public Administrators'. Journal of Public Affairs Education 19(2) 377-379
Kubiszewski, I.; Costanza, R.; Franco, C.; Lawn, P.; Talberth, J.; Jackson, T.; Aylmer, C.. (2013) Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress. Ecological Economics 93 57-68
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While global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased more than three-fold since 1950, economic welfare, as estimated by the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), has actually decreased since 1978. We synthesized estimates of GPI over the 1950–2003 time period for 17 countries for which GPI has been estimated. These 17 countries contain 53% of the global population and 59% of the global GDP. We compared GPI with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Human Development Index (HDI), Ecological Footprint, Biocapacity, Gini coefficient, and Life Satisfaction scores. Results show a significant variation among these countries, but some major trends. We also estimated a global GPI/capita over the 1950–2003 period. Global GPI/capita peaked in 1978, about the same time that global Ecological Footprint exceeded global Biocapacity. Life Satisfaction in almost all countries has also not improved significantly since 1975. Globally, GPI/capita does not increase beyond a GDP/capita of around $7000/capita. If we distributed income more equitably around the planet, the current world GDP ($67 trillion/yr) could support 9.6 billion people at $7000/capita. While GPI is not the perfect economic welfare indicator, it is a far better approximation than GDP. Development policies need to shift to better account for real welfare and not merely GDP growth.
Kubiszewski, I.; Costanza, R.; Kompas, T.. (2013) The University Unbound: Transforming Higher Education. Solutions 4(2)
Kubiszewski, I.; Costanza, R.; Paquet, P.; Halimi, S.. (2013) Hydropower development in the lower Mekong basin: alternative approaches to deal with uncertainty. Regional Environmental Change 13(1) 3-15
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Governments in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) face decisions that involve trade-offs between the economic benefits from hydropower generation and potentially irreversible negative impacts on the ecosystems that provide livelihoods and food security to the rural poor. As a means of comparing these trade-offs, a sensitivity analysis of the benefit-cost analysis of certain Basin Development Plan (BDP) scenarios was undertaken. By changing some key assumptions in the BDP about discount rates, the value of lost capture fisheries, future aquaculture production in the LMB, and the value of lost ecosystem services from wetlands to reflect the full range of uncertainty, at the extremes, there could be a reversal of the Net Present Value (NPV) estimates of the scenarios from a positive $33 billion to negative $274 billion. This report recommends when dealing with large-scale, complex projects: a more comprehensive, integrated human and natural systems framework and adaptive management approach to LMB planning and development that deals with the entire watershed; a more comprehensive analysis and treatment of risk and uncertainty; a more thorough assessment of the value of direct and indirect ecosystem services; a broader set of scenarios that embody alternative models of development, broader stakeholder participation; and better treatment of the effects of infrastructure construction on local cultures and the poor.
Lucero, D. E.; Morrissey, L. A.; Rizzo, D. M.; Rodas, A.; Garnica, R.; Stevens, L.; Bustamante, D. M.; Carlota Monroy, M.. (2013) Ecohealth Interventions Limit Triatomine Reinfestation following Insecticide Spraying in La Brea, Guatemala. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 88(4) 630-637
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In this study, we evaluate the effect of participatory Ecohealth interventions on domestic reinfestation of the Chagas disease vector Triatoma dimidiata after village-wide suppression of the vector population using a residual insecticide. The study was conducted in the rural community of La Brea, Guatemala between 2002 and 2009 where vector infestation was analyzed within a spatial data framework based on entomological and socio-economic surveys of homesteads within the village. Participatory interventions focused on community awareness and low-cost home improvements using local materials to limit areas of refuge and alternative blood meals for the vector within the home, and potential shelter for the vector outside the home. As a result, domestic infestation was maintained at <= 3% and peridomestic infestation at <= 2% for 5 years beyond the last insecticide spraying, in sharp contrast to the rapid reinfestation experienced in earlier insecticide only interventions.
Marland, G.; Buchholz, T.; Kowalcyzk, T.. (2013) Accounting for Carbon Dioxide Emissions The Context and Stakeholders Matter. Journal of Industrial Ecology 17(3) 340-342
Mathon, B. R.; Rizzo, D. M.; Kline, M.; Alexander, G.; Fiske, S.; Langdon, R.; Stevens, L.. (2013) Assessing Linkages in Stream Habitat, Geomorphic Condition, and Biological Integrity Using a Generalized Regression Neural Network.. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION 49(2) 415-430
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Watershed managers often use physical geomorphic and habitat assessments in making decisions about the biological integrity of a stream, and to reduce the cost and time for identifying stream stressors and developing mitigation strategies. Such analysis is difficult since the complex linkages between reach-scale geomorphic and habitat conditions, and biological integrity are not fully understood. We evaluate the effectiveness of a generalized regression neural network (GRNN) to predict biological integrity using physical (i.e., geomorphic and habitat) stream-reach assessment data. The method is first tested using geomorphic assessments to predict habitat condition for 1,292 stream reaches from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The GRNN methodology outperforms linear regression (69% vs. 40% classified correctly) and improves slightly (70% correct) with additional data on channel evolution. Analysis of a subset of the reaches where physical assessments are used to predict biological integrity shows no significant linear correlation, however the GRNN predicted 48% of the fish health data and 23% of macroinvertebrate health. Although the GRNN is superior to linear regression, these results show linking physical and biological health remains challenging. Reasons for lack of agreement, including spatial and temporal scale differences, are discussed. We show the GRNN to be a data-driven tool that can assist watershed managers with large quantities of complex, nonlinear data.
Mendez, V. E.; Bacon, C. M.; Cohen, R.. (2013) Agroecology and the transformation of agro-food systems: Transdisciplinary and participatory perspectives.. Invited Special Inaugural Issue of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 37(1) 146
Mendez, V. E.; Bacon, C. M.; Cohen, R.. (2013) Agroecology as a Transdisciplinary, Participatory, and Action-Oriented Approach. 37(1) 3-18
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This article traces multiple directions in the evolution of agroecology, from its early emphasis on ecological processes in agricultural systems, to its emergence as a multidimensional approach focusing on broader agro-food systems. This review is timely, as agroecology is being increasingly applied within a diversity of scientific-, policy-, and farmer-based initiatives. We contrast different agroecological perspectives or “agroecologies” and discuss the characteristics of an agroecology characterized by a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach. Our final discussion describes the contents of the special issue, and states our goal for this compilation, which is to encourage future work that embraces an agroecological approach grounded in transdisciplinarity, participation, and transformative action.
Mika, A. M.; Keeton, W. S.. (2013) Factors contributing to carbon fluxes from bioenergy harvests in the U.S. Northeast: an analysis using field data. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 5(3) 290-305
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With growing interest in wood bioenergy there is uncertainty over greenhouse gas emissions associated with offsetting fossil fuels. Although quantifying postharvest carbon (C) fluxes will require accurate data, relatively few studies have evaluated these using field data from actual bioenergy harvests. We assessed C reductions and net fluxes immediately postharvest from whole-tree harvests (WTH), bioenergy harvests without WTH, and nonbioenergy harvests at 35 sites across the northeastern United States. We compared the aboveground forest C in harvested with paired unharvested sites, and analyzed the C transferred to wood products and C emissions from energy generation from harvested sites, including indirect emissions from harvesting, transporting, and processing. All harvests reduced live tree C; however, only bioenergy harvests using WTH significantly reduced C stored in snags (P<0.01). On average, WTH sites also decreased downed coarse woody debris C while the other harvest types showed increases, although these results were not statistically significant. Bioenergy harvests using WTH generated fewer wood products and resulted in more emissions released from bioenergy than the other two types of harvests, which resulted in a greater net flux of C (P<0.01). A Classification and Regression Tree analysis determined that it was not the type of harvest or amount of bioenergy generated, but rather the type of skidding machinery and specifics of silvicultural treatment that had the largest impact on net C flux. Although additional research is needed to determine the impact of bioenergy harvesting over multiple rotations and at landscape scales, we conclude that operational factors often associated with WTH may result in an overall intensification of C fluxes. The intensification of bioenergy harvests, and subsequent C emissions, that result from these operational factors could be reduced if operators select smaller equipment and leave a portion of tree tops on site.
Morris, K. S.; Mendez, V. E.; Olson, M. B.. (2013) "Los meses flacos': seasonal food insecurity in a Salvadoran organic coffee cooperative. Journal of Peasant Studies 40(2) 423-446
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Central American coffee farmers commonly refer to annual periods of food insecurity as los meses flacos' - the thin months - indicating a recurring season in which they are unable to meet household food needs. Although this is a common phenomenon, little empirical research has documented the seasonal food insecurity that many small-scale coffee farmers face. Household surveys and focus groups were conducted with 29 members of an organic coffee cooperative in western El Salvador to determine the causes of, and responses to, seasonal food insecurity. Ninety-seven percent of households faced food shortages during some period of the year. The two most common proximate causes of food shortages were lack of income-generating opportunities to buy food and running out of staple food crops. Families coped with seasonal food shortages by borrowing money and food, seeking work outside of the community, changing diet, and selling livestock. It is clear that small-scale coffee farmers seek to maintain a balance between coffee, which provides income, and food crops, which provide staple food. Livelihood and income diversification are important coping strategies that should be supported; however, we conclude that efforts to address food insecurity in coffee regions require deeper structural changes to support peasant farmers.
Olander, L.; Wollenberg, E.; Tubiello, F.; Herold, M.. (2013) Advancing agricultural greenhouse gas quantification. 8(1)
Pennington, D. N.; Ricketts, T. H.; Naidoo, R.. (2013) Priority setting for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Academic Press, Italy. 6 261-272
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Prioritizing land for conservation often competes with other societal objectives, such as housing developments, recreation, agricultural or industrial development, and resource extraction. The number of potentially competing objectives can complicate conservation planning decisions. Although there are potential tradeoffs among conservation for biodiversity, ecosystem services (ecological processes benefiting people), and economic costs, a systemic planning framework can help to identify synergies. By comparing alternative options for prioritizing conservation efforts, tradeoffs among various objectives can be evaluated, including conserving biodiversity, supplying ecosystem services, and minimizing costs. Herein, the recent research that is advancing these frontiers is described.
Petrosillo, I.; Costanza, R.; Aretano, R.; Zaccarelli, N.; Zurlini, G.. (2013) The use of subjective indicators to assess how natural and social capital support residents' quality of life in a small volcanic island. Ecological Indicators 24 609-620
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Quality of life is a multi-dimensional concept and it is essentially subjective even if we can often find objectively measurable proxies for it. High levels of quality of life are the results of the interplay of social, economic and environmental aspects that together make people satisfied with their life. People living in small islands can enhance their quality of life through appropriate programs that guarantee the conservation of natural capital, provided by ecosystems, and networks and norms that facilitate good governance and social cohesion. In this paper an integration of natural and social capital subjectively evaluated by people living in Vulcano Island (Sicily Region, Italy) is proposed as a first approximation of the perception of quality of life. This paper explores whether there are differences in such perception between permanent and seasonal residents, who live there only for tourist economic reasons. Results show that the perception of natural capital is high in both communities, while social capital and the quality of life is less perceived by seasonal respect to permanent residents. The results of this research highlight that natural capital and social capital, taken into account independently, provide only a partial vision of quality of life that is strongly dependent on the combination of both. In this respect, a list of potential subjective social-environmental indicators useful to assess the quality of life is proposed. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Portenga, E. W.; Bierman, P. R.; Rizzo, D. M.; Rood, D. H.. (2013) Low rates of bedrock outcrop erosion in the central Appalachian Mountains inferred from in situ Be-10. Geological Society of America Bulletin 125(1-2) 201-215
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Bedrock outcrops are common on central Appalachian Mountain ridgelines. Because these ridgelines define watersheds, the rate at which they erode influences the pace of landscape evolution. To estimate ridgeline erosion rates, we sampled 72 quartz-bearing outcrops from the Potomac and Susquehanna River Basins and measured in situ produced Be-10. Ridgeline erosion rates average 9 +/- 1 m m.y.(-1) (median = 6 m m.y.(-1)), similar to Be-10-derived rates previously reported for the region. The range of erosion rates we calculated reflects the wide distribution of samples we collected and the likely inclusion of outcrops affected by episodic loss of thick slabs and periglacial activity. Outcrops on main ridgelines erode slower than those on mountainside spur ridges because ridgelines are less likely to be covered by soil, which reduces the production rate of Be-10 and increases the erosion rate of rock. Ridgeline outcrops erode slower than drainage basins in the Susquehanna and Potomac River watersheds, suggesting a landscape in disequilibrium. Erosion rates are more similar for outcrops meters to tens of meters apart than those at greater distances, yet semivariogram analysis suggests that outcrop erosion rates in the same physiographic province are similar even though they are hundreds of kilometers apart. This similarity may reflect underlying lithological and/or structural properties common to each physiographic province. Average Be-10-derived outcrop erosion rates are similar to denudation rates determined by other means (sediment flux, fission-track thermochronology, [U-Th]/He dating), indicating that the pace of landscape evolution in the central Appalachian Mountains is slow, and has been since post-Triassic rifting events.
Posner, S.; Stuart, R.. (2013) Understanding and advancing campus sustainability using a systems framework. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 14(3)
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Purpose - University campuses behave as complex systems, and sustainability in higher education is best seen as an emergent quality that arises from interactions both within an institution and between the institution and the environmental and social contexts in which it operates. A framework for strategically prioritizing campus sustainability work is needed. Design/methodology/approach - First, a conceptual model is developed for understanding institutions of higher education as systems. Second, a leverage points framework (Meadows, 1999) is applied to experiences at the University of Vermont in order to evaluate campus sustainability efforts. Finally, real-world examples are used to analyze and prioritize campus sustainability leverage points for advancing organizational change. Findings - This systems thinking approach identifies key leverage points for actions to improve sustainability on campus. The leverage points framework is found to be valuable for 1) evaluating the potential of individual programs to produce system-wide change, 2) coordinating individual programs into a strategic effort to improve the system, and 3) making connections between campus and the surrounding social and environmental contexts. Advancing campus sustainability is found to be strengthened by particular ways of thinking and an organizational culture committed to continuous improvements and learning improved ways of doing business based on environmental and social, as well as institutional, benefits. Originality/value - Campus sustainability workers must develop a prioritization process for evaluating which ideas to move forward on first. Systems thinking can cultivate our ability to consciously redesign and work with the systems that are in place, to intentionally pursue organizational improvements, and to plan and coordinate sustainability programs with potential for big changes.
Richnau, G.; Angelstam, P.; Valasiuk, S.; Zahvoyska, L.; Axelsson, R.; Elbakidze, M.; Farley, J.; Jonsson, I.; Soloviy, I.. (2013) Multifaceted Value Profiles of Forest Owner Categories in South Sweden: The River Helge a Catchment as a Case Study. Ambio 42(2) 188-200
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Forest landscapes provide benefits from a wide range of goods, function and intangible values. But what are different forest owner categories' profiles of economic use and non-use values? This study focuses on the complex forest ownership pattern of the River Helge Ayen catchment including the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve in southern Sweden. We made 89 telephone interviews with informants representing the four main forest owner categories. Our mapping included consumptive and non-consumptive direct use values, indirect use values, and non-use values such as natural and cultural heritage. While the value profiles of non-industrial forest land owners and municipalities included all value categories, the forest companies focused on wood production, and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency on nature protection. We discuss the challenges of communicating different forest owners' economic value profiles among stakeholders, the need for a broader suite of forest management systems, and fora for collaborative planning.
Ricketts, T. H.; Lonsdorf, E.. (2013) Mapping the margin: comparing marginal values of tropical forest remnants for pollination services. Ecological Applications 23(5) 1113-1123
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Natural ecosystems benefit human communities by providing ecosystem services such as water purification and crop pollination. Mapping ecosystem service values has become popular, but most are static snapshots of average value. Estimating instead the economic impacts of specific ecosystem changes can better inform typical resource decisions. Here we develop an approach to mapping marginal values, those resulting from the next unit of ecosystem change, across landscapes. We demonstrate the approach with a recent model of crop pollination services in Costa Rica, simulating deforestation events to predict resulting marginal changes in pollination services to coffee farms. We find that marginal losses from deforestation vary from zero to US$700/ha across the landscape. Financial risks for farmers from these losses and marginal benefits of forest restoration show similar spatial variation. Marginal values are concentrated in relatively few forest parcels not identified using average value. These parcels lack substitutes: nearby forest parcels that can supply services in the event of loss. Indeed, the marginal value of forest parcels declines exponentially with the density of surrounding forest cover. The approach we develop is applicable to any ecosystem service. Combined with information on costs, it can help target conservation or restoration efforts to optimize benefits to people and biodiversity.
Roman, J.; Altman, I.; Dunphy-Daly, M. M.; Campbell, C.; Jasny, M.; Read, A. J.. (2013) The Marine Mammal Protection Act at 40: status, recovery, and future of U.S. marine mammals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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Passed in 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has two fundamental objectives: to maintain U.S. marine mammal stocks at their optimum sustainable populations and to uphold their ecological role in the ocean. The current status of many marine mammal populations is considerably better than in 1972. Take reduction plans have been largely successful in reducing direct fisheries bycatch, although they have not been prepared for all at-risk stocks, and fisheries continue to place marine mammals as risk. Information on population trends is unknown for most (71%) stocks;more stocks with known trends are improving than declining: 19%increasing, 5%stable, and 5% decreasing. Challenges remain, however, and the act has generally been ineffective in treating indirect impacts, such as noise, disease, and prey depletion. Existing conservation measures have not protected large whales from fisheries interactions or ship strikes in the northwestern Atlantic. Despite these limitations, marine mammals within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone appear to be faring better than those outside, with fewer species in at-risk categories and more of least concern.
Schmitt Filho., A. L.; Farley, J.; Alvez, J. P.; Alarcon, G.; Rebollar, P. M.. (2013) Integrating Agroecology with Payments for Ecosystem Services in Santa Catarina’s Atlantic Forest. Springer Verlag, Dordrecht, Netherlands. (4) 333-355
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There are no longer acceptable trade-offs between agriculture and ecosystem services: Both are essential and at risk. Agroecology may be uniquely capable of providing both. However, there are real costs to promoting agroecology that someone must pay, but any payment scheme must recognize that many of the services provided as well as the resources required to provide them are both public goods. Payments to individual farmers do little to provide these services, especially if they are contingent upon provision. Public sector investments are required. Since the public goods provided by these investments cross political boundaries, payments for these investments should flow from those governments or collective institutions that benefit to those that will provide the services, supplementing resources invested by the latter.
Warren, D. R.; Keeton, W. S.; Bechtold. H. A.; Rosi-Marshall, E. J.. (2013) Comparing streambed light availability and canopy cover in streams with old-growth versus early-mature riparian forests in western Oregon. Aquatic Sciences
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Light availability strongly influences stream primary production, water temperatures and resource availability at the base of stream food webs. In headwater streams, light is regulated primarily by the riparian forest, but few studies have evaluated the influence of riparian forest stand age and associated structural differences on light availability. In this study, we evaluated canopy cover and streambed light exposure in four second-order streams within paired reaches of primary old-growth versus second-growth mature riparian forests. Stand age class was used as a proxy here for canopy complexity. We estimated stream canopy cover using a spherical densiometer. Local streambed light exposure was quantified and compared within and between reaches using fluorescein dye photodegradation. Reaches with complex old-growth riparian forests had frequent canopy gaps which lead to greater stream light availability compared to adjacent reaches with simpler second-growth riparian forests. We quantified light exposure at relatively high resolution (every 5 m) and also found greater variability in stream light along the reaches with old-growth riparian forests in three of the four streams. Canopy gaps were particularly important in creating variable light within and between reaches. This work demonstrates the importance of the age, developmental stage, and structure of riparian forests in controlling stream light. The highly variable nature of light on the stream benthos also highlights the value of multiple measurements of light or canopy structure when quantifying stream light.
Wilcove, D. S.; Giam, X.; Edwards, D. P.; Fisher, B.; Koh, L. P.. (2013) Navjot’s nightmare revisited: logging, agriculture, and biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Trends in Ecology & Evolution
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In 2004, Navjot Sodhi and colleagues warned that logging and agricultural conversion of Southeast Asia’s forests were leading to a biodiversity disaster. We evaluate this prediction against subsequent research and conclude that most of the fauna of the region can persist in logged forests. Conversely, conversion of primary or logged forests to plantation crops, such as oil palm, causes tremendous biodiversity loss. This loss is exacerbated by increased fire frequency. Therefore, we conclude that preventing agricultural conversion of logged forests is essential to conserving the biodiversity of this region. Our analysis also suggests that, because Southeast Asian forests are tightly tied to global commodity markets, conservation payments commensurate with combined returns from logging and subsequent agricultural production may be required to secure long-term forest protection.
Zia, A.; Koliba, C.; Tian, Y.. (2013) Governance Network Analysis: Experimental Simulations of Alternate Institutional Designs for Intergovernmental Project Prioritization Processes.. Emergent Publications, Litchfield Park, AZ. Pages 143-168;
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There is an argument that says that research in Public Administration is always about social complexity. This argument is true. There is also an argument that says that Public Administration is actually very little informed by complexity. This is equally true. The differences lie in the different takes on complexity. The latter approach understands that comprehension of complexity requires a specific theoretical framework and associated tools to look into the black box of causality. The authors in this edited volume gathered in Rotterdam (The Netherlands, June 2011) to discuss how the complexity sciences can contribute to pertinent questions in the domains of Public Administration and Public Policy. Their contributions are presented in this edited volume. Each contribution is an attempt to answer the Challenge of Making Public Administration and Complexity Theory work-COMPACT, as the title says. Together, they present an overview of the diverse state of the art in thinking about and research in complex systems in the public domain.
Zia, A.. (2013) Post-Kyoto Climate Governance: Confronting the Politics of Scale, Ideology and Knowledge. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 224;
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In the midst of human-induced global climate change, powerful industrialized nations and rapidly industrializing nations are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Even if we arrive at a Hubbert’s peak for oil extraction in the 21st century, the availability of technologically recoverable coal and natural gas will mean that fossil fuels continue to be burned for many years to come, and our civilization will have to deal with the consequences far into the future. Climate change will not discriminate between rich and poor nations, and yet the UN-driven process of negotiating a global climate governance regime has hit serious roadblocks. This book takes a trans-disciplinary perspective to identify the causes of failure in developing an international climate policy regime and lays out a roadmap for developing a post-Kyoto (post-2012) climate governance regime in the light of lessons learned from the Kyoto phase. Three critical policy analytical lenses are used to evaluate the inherent complexity of designing post-Kyoto climate policy: the politics of scale; the politics of ideology; and the politics of knowledge. The politics of scale lens focuses on the theme of temporal and spatial discounting observed in human societies and how it impacts the allocation of environmental commons and natural resources across space and time. The politics of ideology lens focuses on the themes of risk and uncertainty perception in complex, pluralistic human societies. The politics of knowledge lens focuses on the themes of knowledge and power dynamics in terms of governance and policy designs, such as marketization of climate governance observed in the Kyoto institutional regime.
Zia. A.; Koliba, C.; Tian, Y.. (2013) Governance Network Analysis: Experimental Simulations of Alternate Institutional Designs for Intergovernmental Project Prioritization Processes.. Emergent Publications, Litchfield Park, AZ.
Link to Publication View Abstract
There is an argument that says that research in Public Administration is always about social complexity. This argument is true. There is also an argument that says that Public Administration is actually very little informed by complexity. This is equally true. The differences lie in the different takes on complexity. The latter approach understands that comprehension of complexity requires a specific theoretical framework and associated tools to look into the black box of causality. The authors in this edited volume gathered in Rotterdam (The Netherlands, June 2011) to discuss how the complexity sciences can contribute to pertinent questions in the domains of Public Administration and Public Policy. Their contributions are presented in this edited volume. Each contribution is an attempt to answer the Challenge of Making Public Administration and Complexity Theory work-COMPACT, as the title says. Together, they present an overview of the diverse state of the art in thinking about and research in complex systems in the public domain.
Alvez, J. P.; Schmitt F., A. L.; Farley, J.; Alarcon, G.; Fantini, A. C.. (2012) The Potential for Agroecosystems to Restore Ecological Corridors and Sustain Farmer Livelihoods: Evidence from Brazil.. 30(4) 288-290
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This paper describes how an agroecological management technique (MIG) is helping farmers to farm avoiding the use of new 'slash and burn' practices and using slightly smaller areas. In turn, this mgmt might have the potential of re-establishing forest fragment connectivity (a.k.a. corridors), kickstarting the flow of ecosystem services.
Beier, C. M.; Signell, S. A.; Luttman, A.; DeGaetano, A. T.. (2012) High-resolution climate change mapping with gridded historical climate products. Landscape Ecology 27(3) 327-342
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The detection of climate-driven changes in coupled human-natural systems has become a focus of climate research and adaptation efforts around the world. High-resolution gridded historical climate (GHC) products enable analysis of recent climatic changes at the local/regional scales most relevant for research and decision-making, but these fine-scale climate datasets have several caveats. We analyzed two 4 km GHC products to produce high-resolution temperature trend maps for the US Northeast from 1980 to 2009, and compared outputs between products and with an independent climate record. The two products had similar spatial climatologies for mean temperatures, agreed on temporal variability in regionally averaged trends, and agreed that warming has been greater for minimum versus maximum temperatures. Trend maps were highly heterogeneous, i.e., a patchy landscape of warming, cooling and stability that varied by month, but with local-scale anomalies persistent across months (e.g., cooling 'pockets' within warming zones). In comparing trend maps between GHC products, we found large local-scale disparities at high elevations and along coastlines; and where weather stations were sparse, a single-station disparity in input data resulted in a large zone of trend map disagreement between products. Preliminary cross-validation with an independent climate record indicated substantial and complex errors for both products. Our analysis provided novel landscape-scale insights on climate change in the US Northeast, but raised questions about scale and sources of uncertainty in high-resolution GHC products and differences among the many products available. Given rapid growth in their use, we recommend exercising caution in the analysis and interpretation of high-resolution climate maps.
Beier, C. M.; Stella, J. C.; Dovciak, M.; McNulty, S. A.. (2012) Local climatic drivers of changes in phenology at a boreal-temperate ecotone in eastern North America. Climatic Change 115(2) 399-417
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Ecosystems in biogeographical transition zones, or ecotones, tend to be highly sensitive to climate and can provide early indications of future change. To evaluate recent climatic changes and their impacts in a boreal-temperate ecotone in eastern North America, we analyzed ice phenology records (1975-2007) for five lakes in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York State. We observed rapidly decreasing trends of up to 21 days less ice cover, mostly due to later freeze-up and partially due to earlier break-up. To evaluate the local drivers of these lake ice changes, we modeled ice phenology based on local climate data, derived climatic predictors from the models, and evaluated trends in those predictors to determine which were responsible for observed changes in lake ice. November and December temperature and snow depth consistently predicted ice-in, and recent trends of warming and decreasing snow during these months were consistent with later ice formation. March and April temperature and snow depth consistently predicted ice-out, but the absence of trends in snow depth during these months, despite concurrent warming, resulted in much weaker trends for ice-out. Recent rates of warming in the Adirondacks are among the highest regionally, although with a different seasonality of changes (early winter > late winter) that is consistent with other lake ice records in the surrounding area. Projected future declines in snow cover could create positive feedbacks and accelerate current rates of ice loss due to warming. Climate sensitivity was greatest for the larger lakes in our study, including Wolf Lake, considered one of the most ecologically intact 'wilderness lakes' in eastern North America. Our study provides further evidence of climate sensitivity of the boreal-temperate ecotone of eastern North America and points to emergent conservation challenges posed by climate change in legally protected yet vulnerable landscapes like the Adirondack Park.
Beier, C. M.; Woods, A. M.; Hotopp, K. P.; Gibbs, J. P.; Mitchell, M. J.; Dovciak, M.; Leopold, D. J.; Lawrence, G. B.; Page, B. D.. (2012) Changes in faunal and vegetation communities along a soil calcium gradient in northern hardwood forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 42(6) 1141-1152
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Depletion of Ca from forest soils due to acidic deposition has had potentially pervasive effects on forest communities, but these impacts remain largely unknown. Because snails, salamanders, and plants play essential roles in the Ca cycle of northern hardwood forests, we hypothesized that their community diversity, abundance, and structure would vary with differences in biotic Ca availability. To test this hypothesis, we sampled 12 upland hardwood forests representing a soil Ca gradient in the Adirondack Mountains, New York (USA), where chronic deposition has resulted in acidified soils but where areas of well-buffered soils remain Ca rich due to parent materials. Along the gradient of increasing soil [Ca2+], we observed increasing trends in snail community richness and abundance, live biomass of redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus (Green, 1818)), and canopy tree basal area. Salamander communities were dominated by mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus Cope, 1859) at Ca-poor sites and changed continuously along the Ca gradient to become dominated by redback salamanders at the Ca-rich sites. Several known calciphilic species of snails and plants were found only at the highest-Ca sites. Our results indicated that Ca availability, which is shaped by geology and acidic deposition inputs, influences northern hardwood forest ecosystems at multiple trophic levels, although the underlying mechanisms require further study.
Buchholz, T.; Da Silva, I.; Furtado, J.. (2012) Power from wood gasifiers in Uganda - a 250 kW and 10 kW case study. Energy - Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 165(EN4) 181-196
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Wood gasification systems have the potential to contribute to the rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper presents an operational and economic analysis of two wood-based gasification systems (250 and 10 kW) installed in Uganda in 2007. Both systems proved their potential to compete economically with diesel generated electricity when operating close to the rated capacity. At an output of 150 kW running for ~12 h/day and 8 kW running for ~8h/day, the systems produced electricity at US$ 0.18 and 0.34/kWh, respectively. A stable electricity demand close to the rated capacity proved to be a challenge for both systems. Fuelwood costs accounted for ~US$0.03/kWh for both systems. Recovery of even a small fraction of the excess heat (22%) already resulted in substantial profitability gains for the 250 kW system. Results indicate that replicating successful wood gasification systems stipulates integration of sustainable fuelwood supply and viable business models.
Buchholz, T.; Tennigkeit, T.; Weinreich, A.; Windhorst, K.; Da Silva, I.. (2012) Modeling the profitability of power production from short-rotation woody crops in Sub-Saharan Africa. Biomass and Bioenergy
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Increasing electricity supply in Sub-Saharan Africa is a prerequisite to enable economic development and reduce poverty. Renewable sources such as wood-fueled power plants are being promoted for social, environmental and economic reasons. We analyzed an economic model of a vertically integrated system of short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) plantations coupled with a combined heat and power (CHP) plant under Sub-Saharan African conditions. We analyzed a 5 MW (electric) base-case scenario under Ugandan conditions with a 2870 ha Eucalyptus grandis plantation and a productivity of 12 t ha 1 y 1 (oven dry basis) under a 5-year rotation. Plant construction and maintenance constituted 27% and 41% of total costs, respectively. Plantation productivity, carbon credit sales as well as land, fuel, labor & transport costs played an economic minor role. Highly influential variables included plant efficiency & construction costs, plantation design (spacing and rotation length) and harvest technologies. We conclude that growing 12e24 t ha 1 y 1 at a five year rotation can produce IRR’s of 16 and 19% over 30-years, respectively. Reducing rotation length significantly reduced short-term financial risk related to frontloaded costs and relatively late revenues from electricity sales. Long-term feed-in tariffs and availability of a heat market played a significant economic role. The base-case scenario’s 30-year IRR dropped from 16% to 9% when a heat market was absent. Results suggest a leveling-off of economies-of-scale effects above 20 MW (electric) installations. Implementation-related research needs for pilot activities should focus on SRWC productivity and energy life cycle analysis.
Buchholz, T.; Volk, T. A.. (2012) Considerations of Project Scale and Sustainability of Modern Bioenergy Systems in Uganda. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 31(1-2) 154-173
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Energy supply and accessibility has a major impact on the development of societies. Modern bioenergy production in the form of heat, electricity, and liquid transportation fuels is increasingly cost competitive as prices of fossil fuels continue to increase. However, the large potential benefits associated with bioenergy come with a price tag and risks that may be disproportionately carried by tropical and non-industrialized countries. This analysis focuses on the influence of project scale on economic, social, and environmental impacts of bioenergy production in the tropics using the framework of two wood fueled bioenergy projects in Uganda—a large (50 MW) and a small-scale (200 kW). There are indications that less sustainable practices often come with increasing project-scale. This study found that a distributed, small-scale infrastructure indeed can be more desirable in terms of resource efficiency, impacts on ecosystems and local societies, and financial risks and benefits compared with those associated with one large-scale. To support the implementation of small-scale projects, there is a need for policies fostering distributed energy infrastructure and participatory tools beyond traditional cost-benefit analysis to assess sustainability of bioenergy systems.
Burkhard, B.; de Groot, R.; Costanza, R.; Seppelt, R.; Jorgensen, S. E.; Potschin, M.. (2012) Solutions for sustaining natural capital and ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators 21 1-6
Butchart, S. H. M.; Scharlemann, J. P. W.; Evans, M. I.; Quader, S.; Arico, S.; Arinaitwe, J.; Balman, M.; Bennun, L.; Bertzky, B.; Besancon, C.; Boucher, T. M.; Brooks, T. M.; Burfield, I. J.; Burgess, N.; Chan, S.; Clay, R. P.; Crosby, M. J.; Davidson, N. C.; De Silva, N.; Devenish, C.; Dutson, G. C. L.; Dia z Fernandez, D. F.; Fishpool, L.; Fitzgerald, C.; Foster, M.; Heath, M. F.; Hockings, M.; Hoffmann, M.; Knox, D.; Larsen, F. W.; Lamoreux, J.; Loucks, C.; May, I.; Molloy, D.; Morling, P.; Parr, M.; Ricketts, T. H.; Seddon, N.; Skolnik, B.; Stuart, S. N.; Upgren, A.; Woodley, S.. (2012) Protecting Important Sites for Biodiversity Contributes to Meeting Global Conservation Targets. PloS One 7(3) 1-8
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Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. We analyzed PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs) and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs) (referred to collectively hereafter as ‘important sites’). Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites). Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs). While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45–1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79–1.49% annually for AZEs). Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. We conclude that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends.
Cayuela, L.; Galvez-Bravo, L.; Perez-Perez, R.; de Albuquerque, F. S.; Golicher, D. J.; Zahawi, R. A.; Ramirez-Marcial, N.; Garibaldi, C.; Field, R.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; Gonzalez-Espinosa, M.; Balvanera, P.; Castillo, M. A.; Figueroa-Rangel, B. L.; Griffith, D. M.; Islebe, G. A.; Kelly, D. L.; Olvera-Vergas, M.; Schnitzer, S. A.; Velazquez, E.; Williams-Linera, G.; Brewer, S. W.; Camacho-Cruz, A.; Coronado, I.; de Jong, B.; del Castillo, R.; Granzow-de la Cerda, I.; Fernandez, J.; Fonseca, W.; Galindo-Jaimes, L.; Gillespie, T. W.; Gonzalez-Rivas, B.; Gordon, J. E.; Hurtado, J.; Linares, J.; Letcher, S. G.; Mangan, S. A.; Meave, J. A.; Mendez, V. E.; Meza, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Peterson, C. J.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, V.; Snarr, K. A.; Tun Dzul, F.; Valdez-Hernandez, M.; Viergever, K. M.; White, D. A.; Williams, J. N.; Bonet, F. J.; Zamora, R.. (2012) The Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET): prospects for biodiversity research and conservation in the Neotropics. 4 211-224
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Biodiversity research and conservation efforts in the tropics are hindered by the lack of knowledge of the assemblages found there, with many species undescribed or poorly known. Our initiative, the Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET), aims to address this problem by assembling georeferenced data from a wide range of sources, making these data easily accessible and easily queried, and promoting data sharing. The database (GIVD ID NA-00-002) currently comprises ca. 50,000 tree records of ca. 5,000 species (230 in the IUCN Red List) from >2,000 forest plots in 11 countries. The focus is on trees because of their pivotal role in tropical forest ecosystems (which contain most of the world's biodiversity) in terms of ecosystem function, carbon storage and effects on other species. BIOTREE-NET currently focuses on southern Mexico and Central America, but we aim to expand coverage to other parts of tropical America. The database is relational, comprising 12 linked data tables. We summarise its structure and contents. Key tables contain data on forest plots (including size, location and date(s) sampled), individual trees (including diameter, when available, and both recorded and standardised species name), species (including biological traits of each species) and the researchers who collected the data. Many types of queries are facilitated and species distribution modelling is enabled. Examining the data in BIOTREE-NET to date, we found an uneven distribution of data in space and across biomes, reflecting the general state of knowledge of the tropics. More than 90% of the data were collected since 1990 and plot size varies widely, but with most less than one hectare in size. A wide range of minimum sizes is used to define a 'tree'. The database helps to identify gaps that need filling by further data collection and collation. The data can be publicly accessed through a web application at http://portal.biotreenet.com. Researchers are invited and encouraged to contribute data to BIOTREE-NET.
Cayuela, L.; Galvez-Bravo, L.; de Albuquerque, F. S.; Golicher, D. J.; Gonzalez-Espinosa, M.; Ramirez-Marcial, N.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; Zahawi, R. A.; Meave, J. A.; Benito, B. M.; Garibaldi, C.; Chan, I.; Perez-Perez, R.; Field, R.; Balvanera, P.; Castillo, M. A.; Figueroa-Rangel, B. L.; Griffith, D. M.; Islebe, G. A.; Kelly, D. L.; Olvera-Vergas, M.; Schnitzer, S. A.; Velazquez, E.; Williams-Linera, G.; Brewer, S. W.; Camacho-Cruz, A.; Coronado, I.; de Jong, B.; del Castillo, R.; Granzow-de la Cerda, I.; Fernandez, J.; Fonseca, W.; Galindo-Jaimes, L.; Gillespie, T. W.; Gonzalez-Rivas, B.; Gordon, J. E.; Hurtado, J.; Linares, J.; Letcher, S. G.; Mangan, S. A.; Mendez, V. E.; Meza, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Peterson, C. J.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, V.; Snarr, K. A.; Tun Dzul, F.; Valdez-Hernandez, M.; Viergever, K. M.; White, D. A.; Williams, J. N.; Bonet, F. J.; Zamora, R.. (2012) The International Network of Forest Inventory Plots (BIOTREE-NET) in Mesoamerica: advances, challenges and future perspectives.. 21(1-2) 126-135
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Conservation efforts in Neotropical regions are often hindered by lack of data, since for many species there is a vacuum of information, and many species have not even been described yet. The International Network of Forest Inventory Plots (BIOTREE-NET) gathers and facilitates access to tree data from forest inventory plots in Mesoamerica, while encouraging data exchange between researchers, managers and conservationists. The information is organised and standardised into a single database that includes spatially explicit data. This article describes the scope and objectives of the network, its progress, and the challenges and future perspectives. The database includes above 50 000 tree records of over 5000 species from more than 2000 plots distributed from southern Mexico through to Panama. Information is heterogeneous, both in nature and shape, as well as in the geographical coverage of inventory plots. The database has a relational structure, with 12 inter-connected tables that include information about plots, species names, dbh, and functional attributes of trees. A new system that corrects typographical errors and achieves taxonomic and nomenclatural standardization was developed using The Plant List (http://theplantlist.org/) as reference. Species distribution models have been computed for around 1700 species using different methods, and they will be publicly accessible through the web site in the future (http://portal.biotreenet.com). Although BIOTREE-NET has contributed to the development of improved species distribution models, its main potential lies, in our opinion, in studies at the community level. Finally, we emphasise the need to expand the network and encourage researchers willing to share data and to join the network and contribute to the generation of further knowledge about forest biodiversity in Neotropical regions.
Cayuela, L.; Gálvez-Bravo, L.; Pérez Pérez, R.; de Albuquerque, F. S.; Golicher, D. J.; Zahawi, R. A.; Ramírez-Marcial, N.; Garibaldi, C.; Field, R.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; González-Espinosa, M.; Balvanera, P.; Castillo, M. Á.; Figueroa-Rangel, B. L.; Griffith, D. M.; Islebe, G. A.; Kelly, D. L.; Olvera-Vargas, M.; Schnitzer, S. A.; Velázquez, E.; Williams-Linera, G.; Brewer, S. W.; Camacho-Cruz, A.; Coronado, I.; de Jong, B.; del Castillo, R.; Granzow-de la Cerda, Í.; Fernández, J.; Fonseca, W.; Galindo-Jaimes, L.; Gillespie, T. W.; González-Rivas, B.; Gordon, J. E.; Hurtado, J.; Linares, J.; Letcher, S. G.; Mangan, S. A.; Meave, J. A.; Méndez, E. V.; Meza, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Peterson, C. J.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, V.; Snarr, K. A.; Tun Dzul, F.; Valdez-Hernández, M.; Viergever, K. M.; White, D. A.; Williams, J. N.; Bonet, F. J.; Zamora, R.. (2012) The Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET): prospects for biodiversity research and conservation in the Neotropics. 4 211-224
Link to Publication View Abstract
Biodiversity research and conservation efforts in the tropics are hindered by the lack of knowledge of the assemblages found there, with many species undescribed or poorly known. Our initiative, the Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET), aims to address this problem by assembling georeferenced data from a wide range of sources, making these data easily accessible and easily queried, and promoting data sharing. The database (GIVD ID NA-00-002) currently comprises ca. 50,000 tree records of ca. 5,000 species (230 in the IUCN Red List) from >2,000 forest plots in 11 countries. The focus is on trees because of their pivotal role in tropical forest ecosystems (which contain most of the world's biodiversity) in terms of ecosystem function, carbon storage and effects on other species. BIOTREE-NET currently focuses on southern Mexico and Central America, but we aim to expand coverage to other parts of tropical America. The database is relational, comprising 12 linked data tables. We summarise its structure and contents. Key tables contain data on forest plots (including size, location and date(s) sampled), individual trees (including diameter, when available, and both recorded and standardised species name), species (including biological traits of each species) and the researchers who collected the data. Many types of queries are facilitated and species distribution modelling is enabled. Examining the data in BIOTREE-NET to date, we found an uneven distribution of data in space and across biomes, reflecting the general state of knowledge of the tropics. More than 90% of the data were collected since 1990 and plot size varies widely, but with most less than one hectare in size. A wide range of minimum sizes is used to define a 'tree'. The database helps to identify gaps that need filling by further data collection and collation. The data can be publicly accessed through a web application at http://portal.biotreenet.com. Researchers are invited and encouraged to contribute data to BIOTREE-NET.
Conner, D.; King, B.; Kolodinsky, J.; Roche, E.; Koliba, C.; Trubek, A.. (2012) You can know your school and feed it too: Vermont farmers' motivations and distribution practices in direct sales to school food services. Agriculture and Human Values 29(3) 321-332
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Farm to School (FTS) programs are increasingly popular as methods to teach students about food, nutrition, and agriculture by connecting students with the sources of the food that they eat. They may also provide opportunity for farmers seeking to diversify market channels. Food service buyers in FTS programs often choose to procure food for school meals directly from farmers. The distribution practices required for such direct procurement often bring significant transaction costs for both school food service professionals and farmers. Analysis of data from a survey of Vermont farmers who sell directly to school food services explores farmers' motivations and distribution practices in these partnerships. A two-step cluster analysis procedure characterizes farmers' motivations along a continuum between market-based and socially embedded values. Further bivariate analysis shows that farmers who are motivated most by market-based values are significantly associated with distribution practices that facilitate sales to school food services. Implications for technical assistance to facilitate these sales are discussed.
Costanza, R.; van der Leeuw, S.; Hibbard, K.; Aulenbach, S.; Brewer, S.; Burek, M.; Cornell, S.; Crumley, C.; Dearing, J.; Folke, C.; Graumlich, L.; Hegmon, M.; Heckbert, S.; Jackson, S. T.; Kubiszewski, I.; Scarborough, V.; Sinclair, P.; Sorlin, S.; Steffen, W.. (2012) Developing an Integrated History and future of People on Earth (IHOPE). 4(1) 106-114
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The Integrated History and future of People on Earth (IHOPE) initiative is a global network of researchers and research projects with its International Program Office (IPO) now based at the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC), Uppsala University, Arizona State University, Portland State University, and the Australian National University. Research linked to IHOPE demonstrates that Earth system changes in the past have been strongly associated with changes in the coupled human-environment system. IHOPE supports integrating knowledge and resources from the biophysical and the social sciences and the humanities to address analytical and interpretive issues associated with coupled human-earth system dynamics. This integration of human history and Earth system history is a timely and important task. Until recently, however, there have been few attempts at such integration. IHOPE will create frameworks that can be used to help achieve this integration. The overarching goal is to produce a rich understanding of the relationships between environmental and human processes over the past millennia. HOPE recognizes that one major challenge for reaching this goal is developing 'workable' terminology that can be accepted by scholars of all disciplines. The specific objectives for IHOPE are to identify slow and rapidly moving features of complex social-ecological systems, on local to continental spatial scales, which induce resilience, stress, or collapse in linked systems of humans in nature. These objectives will be reached by exploring innovative ways of conducting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science, including theory, case studies, and integrated modeling. Examples of projects underway to implement this initiative are briefly discussed.
Costanza, R.. (2012) Ecosystem health and ecological engineering. Ecological Engineering 45 24-29
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Ecosystem health is a desired endpoint of environmental management and should be a primary design goal for ecological engineering. This paper describes ecosystem health as a comprehensive, multiscale, measure of system vigor, organization and resilience. Ecosystem health is thus closely linked to the idea of sustainability, which implies the ability of the system to maintain its structure (organization) and function (vigor) over time in the face of external stress (resilience). To be truly successful, ecological engineering should pursue the broader goal of designing healthy ecosystems, which may be novel assemblages of species that perform desired functions and produce a range of valuable ecosystem services. In this way ecological engineering can achieve its goals, embedded in its definition as the "design of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both." It allows the benefits of ecological engineering practices 'to both humans and the rest of nature' to be assessed in an integrated and consistent way that will allow us to build a sustainable and desirable future. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Courtney, E.; Zencey, E.. (2012) Greening Vermont - The Search for a Sustainable State. Vermont Natural Resources Council/Thistle Hill Publications, New York, NY. Pages 173;
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Whatever you call it - climate change, global warming -- weather abnormalities over the past several years reveal that we can no longer accurately predict weather by studying historical patterns. Nor can we continue to delude ourselves into thinking that the planet's resources are infinite. They are finite, and if we don't act to establish a sustainable relationship between humans and nature, these resources will run out sooner rather than later. Greening Vermont: In Search of a Sustainable State (Vermont Natural Resources Council, Thistle Hill Publications) looks back over five decades of Vermont's environmental activism in order to move us all forward into ecological sustainability. This book is a story about people, politics, money and the environment. As Tom Slayton tells us in his Forward: "It is a tale of environmental victories, defeats and, perhaps most significantly, collaborations and compromises that have put Vermont at the forefront of the environmental movement". Greening Vermont is a call to action. Authors Elizabeth Courtney and Eric Zencey advise: "Our ecosystems are out of balance, and if we don't address this issue now, there is no certain sustainable future." Our states are all currently unsustainable. We must fit our economic life into its proper ecological and social context, so Vermonters and the rest of us can enjoy a healthy environment. Greening Vermont illustrates what sustainability will look like and how we can shift our economic and energy resources to achieve that desired state. The book includes fascinating in depth interviews with Vermont movers and shakers from over the years, as well as stunning illustrations of the Vermont countryside.
Daniel, T. C.; Muhar, A.; Arnberger, A.; Aznar, O.; Boyd, J. W.; Chan, K. M. A.; Costanza, R.; Elmqvist, T.; Flint, C. G.; Gobster, P. H.; Gret-Regamey, A.; Lave, R.; Muhar, S.; Penker, M.; Ribe, R. G.; Schauppenlehner, T.; Sikor, T.; Soloviy, I.; Spierenburg, M.; Taczanowska, K.; Tam, J.; von der Dunk, A.. (2012) Contributions of cultural services to the ecosystem services agenda. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(23) 8812-8819
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Cultural ecosystem services (ES) are consistently recognized but not yet adequately defined or integrated within the ES framework. A substantial body of models, methods, and data relevant to cultural services has been developed within the social and behavioral sciences before and outside of the ES approach. A selective review of work in landscape aesthetics, cultural heritage, outdoor recreation, and spiritual significance demonstrates opportunities for operationally defining cultural services in terms of socioecological models, consistent with the larger set of ES. Such models explicitly link ecological structures and functions with cultural values and benefits, facilitating communication between scientists and stakeholders and enabling economic, multicriterion, deliberative evaluation and other methods that can clarify tradeoffs and synergies involving cultural ES. Based on this approach, a common representation is offered that frames cultural services, along with all ES, by the relative contribution of relevant ecological structures and functions and by applicable social evaluation approaches. This perspective provides a foundation for merging ecological and social science epistemologies to define and integrate cultural services better within the broader ES framework.
Daniel, T. C.; Muhar, A.; Aznar, O.; Boyd, J. W.; Chan, K. M. A.; Costanza, R.; Flint, C. G.; Gobster, P. H.; Gret-Regamey, A.; Penker, M.; Ribe, R. G.; Spierenburg, M.. (2012) Reply to Kirchhoff: Cultural values and ecosystem services. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(46) E3147-E3147
Dearing, J. A.; Bullock, S.; Costanza, R.; Dawson, T. P.; Edwards, M. E.; Poppy, G. M.; Smith, G. M.. (2012) Navigating the Perfect Storm: Research Strategies for Socialecological Systems in a Rapidly Evolving World. 49(4) 767-775
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The 'Perfect Storm' metaphor describes a combination of events that causes a surprising or dramatic impact. It lends an evolutionary perspective to how social-ecological interactions change. Thus, we argue that an improved understanding of how social-ecological systems have evolved up to the present is necessary for the modelling, understanding and anticipation of current and future social-ecological systems. Here we consider the implications of an evolutionary perspective for designing research approaches. One desirable approach is the creation of multi-decadal records produced by integrating palaeoenvironmental, instrument and documentary sources at multiple spatial scales. We also consider the potential for improved analytical and modelling approaches by developing system dynamical, cellular and agent-based models, observing complex behaviour in social-ecological systems against which to test systems dynamical theory, and drawing better lessons from history. Alongside these is the need to find more appropriate ways to communicate complex systems, risk and uncertainty to the public and to policy-makers.
Edwards, D. P.; Fisher, B.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2012) High Conservation Value or high confusion value? Sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation in the tropics. Conservation Letters 5(1) 20-27
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Green labeling of products that have been produced sustainably is an emerging tool of the environmental movement. A prominent example is the Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies timber that is harvested to manage and maintain forests defined as having High Conservation Value (HCV). The criteria for HCV are now being applied to four rapidly expanding crops in the tropics: oil palm, soy, sugarcane, and cacao. However, these criteria do not provide adequate protection for biodiversity when applied to agriculture. The only criterion that provides blanket protection to forests is one that protects large expanses of habitat (=20,000500,000 ha, depending on the country). Absent of other HCVs, the collective clearing of forest patches below these thresholds could result in extensive deforestation that would be sanctioned with a green label. Yet such forest patches retain much biodiversity and provide connectivity within the agricultural matrix. An examination of forest fragments in biodiverse countries across the tropics shows that future agricultural demand can be met by clearing only forest patches below a 1,000 ha threshold. We recommend the development of a new HCV criterion that recognizes the conservation value of habitat patches within the agricultural matrix and that protects patches above 1,000 ha.
Farley, J.; Schmitt F., A. L.; Alvez, J. P.; Rebola, P. M.. (2012) The farmer’s viewpoint: Payment for ecosystem services and agroecologic pasture based dairy production. 1(2) 490-491
Farley, J.; Schmitt F., A.; Alvez, J.; Ribiero de Freitas Jr., N.. (2012) How Valuing Nature Can Transform Agriculture. Solutions 2(6) 64-73
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Society must increase food production and restore vital ecosystem services or suffer unacceptable consequences. Unfortunately, conventional agriculture may be the single greatest threat to ecosystem function. At the same time, reducing ecologically harmful agricultural inputs or restoring farmlands to native ecosystems threatens food production. We fell into this predicament because we designed agricultural and economic systems that failed to account for ecosystem services, and the path forward requires redesigning both systems. Agroecology—which applies ecological principles to design sustainable farming methods that can increase food production, wean us away from nonrenewable and harmful agricultural inputs, and restore ecosystem services—promises to be an appropriate redesign of agricultural systems. We focus on the example of management-intensive grazing (MIG), which mimics natural grassland-grazer dynamics. Compared to conventional systems, MIG increases pasture growth and cattle production, reduces the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and enhances biodiversity, water quality, nutrient capture, and carbon sequestration. Redesigning economic institutions to reward the provision of ecosystem services and provide the public goods required for the global-scale development and dissemination of agroecology practices still presents a serious challenge. Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are a promising mechanism through which those who benefit from ecosystem services can compensate those who provide them, for mutual gain. Numerous schemes already exist that pay landowners for land uses that sequester carbon, regulate and purify water, and enhance biodiversity, but their effectiveness is debated. We propose a form of PES in which the potential public beneficiaries of ecosystem services at the local, national, and global scales fund the research and development, extension work (i.e., farmer education, usually supported by government agencies), and affordable credit required to scale agroecology up to the level required to provide for a growing global population.
Farley, J.. (2012) Ecosystem Services: The Economics Debate.. 1(1) 40-49
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The goal of this paper is to illuminate the debate concerning the economics of ecosystem services. The sustainability debate focuses on whether or not ecosystem services are essential for human welfare and the existence of ecological thresholds. If ecosystem services are essential, then marginal analysis and monetary valuation are inappropriate tools in the vicinity of thresholds. The justice debate focuses on who is entitled to ecosystem services and the ecosystem structure that generates them. Answers to these questions have profound implications for the choice of suitable economic institutions. The efficiency debate concerns both the goals of economicactivity and the mechanisms best suited to achieve those goals. Conventional economists pursue Pareto efficiency and the maximization of monetary value, achieved by integrating ecosystem services into the market framework. Ecological economists and many others pursue the less rigorously defined goal of achieving the highest possible quality of life compatible with the conservation of resilient, healthy ecosystems, achieved by adapting economic institutions to the physical characteristics of ecosystem services.The concept of ecosystem services is a valuable tool for economic analysis, and should not be discarded because of disagreements with particular economists’ assumptions regarding sustainability, justice and efficiency.
Farley, J.. (2012) Natural Capital. Berkshire Publishing, Gt Barrington, MA. 5 264-267
Fisher, B.. (2012) Cost effective conservation: calculating biodiversity and logging tradeoffs in Southeast Asia (vol 4, pg 443, 2011). Conservation Letters 5(3) 243-243
Fisher, B.. (2012) Poverty, Payments and Ecosystem Services in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania.. Springer, New York. Pages 444;
Fisher, B.P.. (2012) Conservation and livelihoods: Identifying trade-offs and win-wins. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10(7) 343
Flomenhoft, G.. (2012) Applying the Alaska model in a Resource-Poor State: The Example of Vermont. Palgrave-Macmillan, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY. Pages Pg. 85-107;
Gunn, J. S.; Ganz, D. J.; Keeton, W. S.. (2012) Biogenic vs. geologic carbon emissions and forest biomass energy production. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 4(3) 239-242
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In the current debate over the CO2 emissions implications of switching from fossil fuel energy sources to include a substantial amount of woody biomass energy, many scientists and policy makers hold the view that emissions from the two sources should not be equated. Their rationale is that the combustion or decay of woody biomass is simply part of the global cycle of biogenic carbon and does not increase the amount of carbon in circulation. This view is frequently presented as justification to implement policies that encourage the substitution of fossil fuel energy sources with biomass. We present the opinion that this is an inappropriate conceptual basis to assess the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting of woody biomass energy generation. While there are many other environmental, social, and economic reasons to move to woody biomass energy, we argue that the inferred benefits of biogenic emissions over fossil fuel emissions should be reconsidered.
Jarchow, M. E.; Kubiszewski, I.; Larsen, G. L. D.; Zdorkowski, G.; Costanza, R.; Gailans, S. R.; Ohde, N.; Dietzel, R.; Kaplan, S.; Neal, J.; Petrehn, M. R.; Gunther, T.; D'Adamo, S. N.; McCann, N.; Larson, A.; Damery, P.; Gross, L.; Merriman, M.; Post, J.; Sheradin, M.; Liebman, M.. (2012) The future of agriculture and society in Iowa: four scenarios. 10(1) 76-92
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Iowa is a leader in crop and livestock production, but its high productivity has had concomitant negative environmental and societal impacts and large requirements for fossil-fuel-derived inputs. Maintaining agricultural productivity, economic prosperity and environmental integrity will become ever more challenging as the global demand for agricultural products increases and the resources needed become increasingly limited. Here we present four scenarios for Iowa in 2100, based on combinations of differing goals for the economy and differing energy availability. In scenarios focused on high material throughput, environmental degradation and social unrest will increase. In scenarios with a focus on human and environmental welfare, environmental damage will be ameliorated and societal happiness will increase. Movement towards a society focused on human and environmental welfare will require changes in the goals of the economy, whereas no major changes will be needed to maintain focus on high throughput. When energy sources are readily available and inexpensive, the goals of the economy will be more easily met, whereas energy limitations will restrict the options available to agriculture and society. Our scenarios can be used as tools to inform people about choices that must be made to reach more desirable futures for Iowa and similar agricultural regions.
Johnson, G. W.; Bagstad, K. J.; Snapp, R. R.; Villa, F.. (2012) Service Path Attribution Networks (SPANs): A Network Flow Approach to Ecosystem Service Assessment. International Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Information Systems 3(2) 54-71
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Ecosystem services are the effects on human well-being of the flow of benefits from ecosystems to people over given extents of space and time. The Service Path Attribution Network (SPAN) model provides a spatial framework for determining the topology and strength of these flows and identifies the human and ecological features which give rise to them. As an aid to decision-making, this approach discovers dependencies between provision and usage endpoints, spatial competition among users for scarce resources, and areas of highest likely impact on ecosystem service flows. Particularly novel is the models ability to quantify services provided by the absence of a flow. SPAN models have been developed for a number of services (scenic views, proximity to open space, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, nutrient cycling, and avoided sedimentation/ deposition), which vary in scale of effect, mechanism of provision and use, and type of flow. Results using real world data are shown for the US Puget Sound region.
Kaufman, Z. A.; Welsch, R. L.; Erickson, J. D.; Craig, S.; Adams, L. V.; Ross, D. A.. (2012) Effectiveness of a sports-based HIV prevention intervention in the Dominican Republic: a quasi-experimental study. 24(3) 377-385
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Previous observational and quasi-experimental studies in sub-Saharan Africa have suggested the effectiveness of youth-targeted HIV prevention interventions using sport as an educational tool. No studies have yet assessed the effect of similar programs in the Caribbean. A quasi-experimental trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of a sports-based intervention in six migrant settlements in the Puerto Plata Province of the Dominican Republic. A total of 397 structured interviews were conducted with 140 adolescents prior to, immediately following, and four months following 10-hour interventions using the Grassroot Soccer curriculum. Interview responses were coded, aggregated into composite scores, and analyzed using logistic regression, adjusting for baseline differences as well as age, sex, community, and descent. At post-intervention, significant differences were observed between groups in HIV-related knowledge (adjOR = 13.02, 95% CI = 8.26, 20.52), reported attitudes (adjOR = 12.01, 95% CI = 7.61, 18.94), and reported communication (adjOR = 3.13, 95% CI = 1.91, 5.12). These differences remained significant at four-month follow-up, though declines in post-intervention knowledge were observed in the Intervention group while gains in knowledge and reported attitudes were observed in the Control group. Results suggest that this sports-based intervention could play a valuable role in HIV prevention efforts in the Caribbean, particularly those targeting early adolescents. Further evaluation of sports-based interventions should include indicators assessing behavioral and biological outcomes, longer-term follow-up, a larger sample, randomization of study participants, and strenuous efforts to minimize loss-to-follow-up.
Knorn, J.; Kuemmerle, T.; Radeloff, V. C.; Keeton, W. S.; Gancz, V.; Biris, I. A.; Svoboda, M.; Griffiths, P.; Hagatis, A.; Hostert, P.. (2012) Continued loss of temperate old-growth forests in the Romanian Carpathians despite an increasing protected area network. Environmental Conservation 40(2) 182-193
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Old-growth forests around the world are vanishing rapidly and have been lost almost completely from the European temperate forest region. Poor management practices, often triggered by socioeconomic and institutional change, are the main causes of loss. Recent trends in old-growth forest cover in Romania, where some of the last remaining tracts of these forests within Europe are located, are revealed by satellite image analysis. Forest cover declined by 1.3% from 2000 to 2010. Romania's protected area network has been expanded substantially since the country's accession to the European Union in 2007, and most of the remaining old-growth forests now are located within protected areas. Surprisingly though, 72% of the old-growth forest disturbances are found within protected areas, highlighting the threats still facing these forests. It appears that logging in old-growth forests is, at least in part, related to institutional reforms, insufficient protection and ownership changes since the collapse of communism in 1989. The majority of harvesting activities in old-growth forest areas are in accordance with the law. Without improvements to their governance, the future of Romania's old-growth forests and the important ecosystem services they provide remains uncertain.
Knorn, J.; Kuemmerle, T.; Radeloff, V. C.; Szabo, A.; Mindrescu, M.; Keeton, W. S.; Abrudan, I.; Griffiths, P.; Gancz, V.; Hostert, P.. (2012) Forest restitution and protected area effectiveness in post-socialist Romania. Biological Conservation 146(1) 204-212
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The effectiveness of protected areas can diminish during times of pronounced socio-economic and institutional change. Our goals were to assess the effectiveness of Romanian protected areas at stemming unsanctioned logging, and to assess post-socialist logging in their surrounding landscapes, during a time of massive socio-economic and institutional change. Our results suggest that forest cover remained fairly stable shortly before and after 1990, but forest disturbance rates increased sharply in two waves after 1995 and 2005. We found substantial disturbances inside protected areas, even within core reserve areas. Moreover, disturbances in the matrix surrounding protected areas were even lower than inside protected area boundaries. We suggest that these rates are largely the result of high logging rates, triggered by rapid ownership and institutional changes. These trends compromise the goals of Romania's protected area network, lead to an increasing loss of forest habitat, and more isolated and more fragmented protected areas. The effectiveness of Romania's protected area network in terms of its ability to safeguard biodiversity is therefore most likely decreasing. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Koliba, C.; Zia, A.. (2012) "Complexity Friendly" Meso-Level Frameworks for Modeling Complex Governance Systems. Emergent Publications, Litchfield Park, AZ. Pages 119-140;
Koliba, C.. (2012) Administrative Strategies for a Networked World: The Educational Imperative for Intergovernmental Relations in 2020.. Sage Publications, New York, NY. Pages 70-93;
Kubiszewski, I.; Costanza, R.; Dorji, L.; Thoennes, P.; Tshering, K.. (2012) An initial estimate of the value of ecosystem services in Bhutan.
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We estimated the value of ecosystem services in Bhutan using benefit transfer methodology in order to determine an initial assessment of their overall contribution to human well-being. The total estimated value was approximately $15.5 billion/yr (NU760 billion/yr), significantly greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.5 billion/yr. We also estimated who benefits from Bhutan’s ecosystem services. 53%of the total benefits accrue to people outside Bhutan. 47% of the benefits accrue to people inside the country—15 % at the national level, and 32% at the local level. Based on this and a population of 700,000 we estimated Bhutan’s combined per capita annual benefits at $15,400/capita/yr. Of this $5000 is from goods and services captured in GDP and $10,400 is from ecosystem services. This is only a partial estimate that leaves out other sources of benefits to people, including social and cultural values. This study is the first phase of a larger, multiyear project and ongoing effort in Bhutan. Subsequent phases will apply more sophisticated methods to further elaborate the value of Bhutan’s ecosystem services, who benefits from them, how they can best be integrated into national well-being accounting, and how best to manage them.
Littlefield, C. E.; Keeton, W. S.. (2012) Bioenergy harvesting impacts on ecologically important stand structure and habitat characteristics. Ecological Applications 22(7) 1892-1909
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Demand for forest bioenergy fuel is increasing in the northern forest region of eastern North America and beyond, but ecological impacts, particularly on habitat, of bioenergy harvesting remain poorly explored in the peer-reviewed literature. Here, we evaluated the impacts of bioenergy harvests on stand structure, including several characteristics considered important for biodiversity and habitat functions. We collected stand structure data from 35 recent harvests in northern hardwood-conifer forests, pairing harvested areas with unharvested reference areas. Biometrics generated from field data were analyzed using a multi-tiered nonparametric uni- and multivariate statistical approach. In analyses comparing harvested to reference areas, sites that had been whole-tree harvested demonstrated significant differences (relative negative contrasts, P < 0.05) in snag density, large live-tree density, well-decayed downed coarse woody debris volume, and structural diversity index (H) values, while sites that had not been whole-tree harvested did not exhibit significant differences. Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses suggested that the strongest predictors of structural retention, as indicated by downed woody debris volumes and H index, were silvicultural treatment and equipment type rather than the percentage of harvested volume allocated to bioenergy uses. In general, bioenergy harvesting impacts were highly variable across the study sites, suggesting a need for harvesting guidelines aimed at encouraging retention of ecologically important structural attributes.
Luisa Martinez, M.; Feagin, R. A.; Yeager, K. M.; Day, J.; Costanza, R.; Harris, J. A.; Hobbs, R. J.; Lopez-Portillo, J.; Walker, I. J.; Higgs, E.; Moreno-Casasola, P.; Sheinbaum, J.; Yanez-Arancibia, A.. (2012) Artificial modifications of the coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: quick solutions or long-term liabilities?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10(1) 44-49
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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill threatened many coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico during the spring and summer of 2010. Mitigation strategies included the construction of barrier sand berms, the restriction or blocking of inlets, and the diversion of freshwater from rivers to the coastal marshes and into the ocean, in order to flush away the oil, on the premise that these measures could reduce the quantity of oil reaching sensitive coastal environments such as wetlands or estuaries. These projects result in changes to the ecosystems that they were intended to protect. Long-term effects include alterations of the hydrological and ecological characteristics of estuaries, changes in sediment transport along the coastal barrier islands, the loss of sand resources, and adverse impacts to benthic and pelagic organisms. Although there are no easy solutions for minimizing the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on coastal ecosystems, we recommend that federal, state, and local agencies return to the strategic use of long-term restoration plans for this region.
Macedo, M. N.; DeFries, R. S.; Morton, D. C.; Stickler, C. M.; Galford, G. L.; Shimabukuro, Y. E.. (2012) Decoupling of deforestation and soy production in the southern Amazon during the late 2000s. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(4) 1341-1346
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From 2006 to 2010, deforestation in the Amazon frontier state of Mato Grosso decreased to 30% of its historical average (1996-2005) whereas agricultural production reached an all-time high. This study combines satellite data with government deforestation and production statistics to assess land-use transitions and potential market and policy drivers associated with these trends. In the forested region of the state, increased soy production from 2001 to 2005 was entirely due to cropland expansion into previously cleared pasture areas (74%) or forests (26%). From 2006 to 2010, 78% of production increases were due to expansion (22% to yield increases), with 91% on previously cleared land. Cropland expansion fell from 10 to 2% of deforestation between the two periods, with pasture expansion accounting for most remaining deforestation. Declining deforestation coincided with a collapse of commodity markets and implementation of policy measures to reduce deforestation. Soybean profitability has since increased to pre-2006 levels whereas deforestation continued to decline, suggesting that antideforestation measures may have influenced the agricultural sector. We found little evidence of direct leakage of soy expansion into cerrado in Mato Grosso during the late 2000s, although indirect land-use changes and leakage to more distant regions are possible. This study provides evidence that reduced deforestation and increased agricultural production can occur simultaneously in tropical forest frontiers, provided that land is available and policies promote the efficient use of already-cleared lands (intensification) while restricting deforestation. It remains uncertain whether government- and industry-led policies can contain deforestation if future market conditions favor another boom in agricultural expansion.
Manes, F.; Incerti, G.; Salvatori, E.; Vitale, M.; Ricotta, C.; Costanza, R.. (2012) Urban ecosystem services: tree diversity and stability of tropospheric ozone removal. Ecological Applications 22(1) 349-360
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Urban forests provide important ecosystem services, such as urban air quality improvement by removing pollutants. While robust evidence exists that plant physiology, abundance, and distribution within cities are basic parameters affecting the magnitude and efficiency of air pollution removal, little is known about effects of plant diversity on the stability of this ecosystem service. Here, by means of a spatial analysis integrating system dynamic modeling and geostatistics, we assessed the effects of tree diversity on the removal of tropospheric ozone (O-3) in Rome, Italy, in two years (2003 and 2004) that were very different for climatic conditions and ozone levels. Different tree functional groups showed complementary uptake patterns, related to tree physiology and phenology, maintaining a stable community function across different climatic conditions. Our results, although depending on the city-specific conditions of the studied area, suggest a higher function stability at increasing diversity levels in urban ecosystems. In Rome, such ecosystem services, based on published unitary costs of externalities and of mortality associated with O-3, can be prudently valued to roughly US$2 and $3 million/year, respectively.
Manukyan, N.; Eppstein, M. J.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2012) Data-Driven Cluster Reinforcement and Visualization in Sparsely-Matched Self-Organizing Maps. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NEURAL NETWORKS ON LEARNING SYSTEMS 23(5) 846-852
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A self-organizing map (SOM) is a self-organized projection of high-dimensional data onto a typically 2-dimensional (2-D) feature map, wherein vector similarity is implicitly translated into topological closeness in the 2-D projection. However, when there are more neurons than input patterns, it can be challenging to interpret the results, due to diffuse cluster boundaries and limitations of current methods for displaying interneuron distances. In this brief, we introduce a new cluster reinforcement (CR) phase for sparsely-matched SOMs. The CR phase amplifies within-cluster similarity in an unsupervised, datadriven manner. Discontinuities in the resulting map correspond to between-cluster distances and are stored in a boundary (B) matrix. We describe a new hierarchical visualization of cluster boundaries displayed directly on feature maps, which requires no further clustering beyond what was implicitly accomplished during self-organization in SOM training. We use a synthetic benchmark problem and previously published microbial community profile data to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed methods.
Mendez, V. E.; Castro-Tanzi, S.; Goodall, K.; Morris, K. S.; Bacon, C. M.; Laderach, P.; Morris, W. B.; Georgeoglou-Laxalde, M. U.. (2012) Livelihood and environmental trade-offs of climate mitigation in smallholder coffee agroforestry systems. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 370-381;
Negra, C.; Wollenberg, E.. (2012) Lessons learned from REDD for agriculture. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 113-122;
Olson, M. B.; Morris, K. S.; Mendez, V. E.. (2012) Cultivation of maize landraces by small-scale shade coffee farmers in western El Salvador. 111 63-74
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Small-scale shade coffee agroecosystems have been noted for their potential for tree, bird, and insect biodiversity conservation in the tropics. However, there is a lack of research on other productive areas managed by small-scale coffee farmers such as subsistence maize and bean (milpa) plots, which may be sites of important crop biodiversity conservation, particularly through the on-farm cultivation of native landraces. This study empirically examined the factors that influence farmers’ choices between landraces and improved varieties of maize, how seed type interacts with management decisions, and how yields of local maize landraces compare with improved varieties on the farms of small-scale shade coffee farmers in western El Salvador. We conducted household interviews and focus groups with the membership of a 29-household coffee cooperative and tracked management and maize yields in the 42 milpa plots managed by these households. Farmers planted both a hybrid improved variety and five local maize landraces. ANOVA and Pearson’s chi-square test were used to compare household characteristics, management, agroecological variables, and yields between plots planted with landraces and plots planted with the improved variety. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the strongest drivers of farmers’ choice between landrace seed and improved seed. Analyses indicated that use of maize landraces was associated with higher household income and steeper plot slope. Landrace maize and improved maize were not managed differently, with the exception of synthetic insecticide use. There was no yield advantage for improved varieties over landraces in the 2009 growing season. Farmers appear to prefer local maize landraces for milpa plots on more marginal land, and continue to cultivate landraces despite the availability of improved seed. The farms of small-scale shade coffee farmers could have substantial conservation potential for crop genetic diversity, and the seed-saving and exchange activities among such farmers should be supported.
Raheem, N.; Colt, S.; Fleishman, E.; Talberth, J.; Swedeen, P.; Boyle, K. J.; Rudd, M.; Lopez, R. D.; Crocker, D.; Bohan, D.; O'Higgins, T.; Willer, C.; Boumans, R. M.. (2012) Application of non-market valuation to California's coastal policy decisions. Marine Policy 36(5) 1166-1171
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Regulatory agencies in the United States do not generally consider economic values of ecosystem services in their policy decisions. We report the results of a collaborative effort by a team of economists, conservation biologists, and staff members of the California Ocean Protection Council to provide spatially explicit and policy-relevant values for ecosystem services generated in coastal regions in California. We developed a matrix in which the rows are types of ecosystem services and the columns are types of marine ecosystems along the California coast. Where possible, we populated this matrix with ecosystem service values per unit of area drawn from the economics literature. We then evaluated whether the values for given services, in given ecosystems, could be reasonably approximated by applying the replacement cost or the avoided cost method. Reported values of coastal ecosystems varied widely, and much of the valuation research did not address specific ecosystem services. Even when ecosystem services were explicitly addressed, the services often were not described or valued in a spatially explicit manner. These results suggest that rigorous application of non-market values to policy decisions requires original valuation studies for specific services in specific ecosystems. Where original, place-based valuation studies are not possible, valuation by replacement or avoided cost methods is feasible for some ecosystem services. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ribeiro de Freitas, N.; Farley, J.. (2012) Restoring Ecosystem Services in Riparian Zones by Promoting Working Forests in São Paulo, Brazil.. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Schaafsma, M.; Morse-Jones, S.; Posen, P.; Swetnam, R. D.; Balmford, A.; Bateman, I. J.; Burgess, N. D.; Chamshama, S. A. O.; Fisher, B.; Green, R. E.; Hepelwa, A. S.; Hernandez-Sirvent, A.; Kajembe, G. C.; Kulindwa, K.; Lund, J. F.; Mbwambo, L.; Meilby, H.; Ngaga, Y. M.; Theilade, I.; Treue, T.; Vyamana, V. G.; Turner, R. K.. (2012) Towards transferable functions for extraction of Non-timber Forest Products: A case study on charcoal production in Tanzania. Ecological Economics 80 48-62
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Mapping the distribution of the quantity and value of forest benefits to local communities is useful for forest management, when socio-economic and conservation objectives may need to be traded off. We develop a modelling approach for the economic valuation of annual Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) extraction at a large spatial scale, which has 4 main strengths: (1) it is based on household production functions using data of actual household behaviour, (2) it is spatially sensitive, using a range of explanatory variables related to socio-demographic characteristics, population density, resource availability and accessibility, (3) it captures the value of the actual flow rather than the potential stock, and (4) it is generic and can therefore be up-scaled across non-surveyed areas. We illustrate the empirical application of this approach in an analysis of charcoal production in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, using a dataset comprising over 1100 observations from 45 villages. The total flow of charcoal benefits is estimated at USD 14 million per year, providing an important source of income to local households, and supplying around 11% of the charcoal used in Dar es Salaam and other major cities. We discuss the potential and limitations of up-scaling micro-level analysis for NTFP valuation. Crown Copyright (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Schwenk, W. S.; Donovan, T. M.; Keeton, W. S.; Nunery, J. S.. (2012) Carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity: comparing ecosystem services with multi-criteria decision analysis. Ecological Applications 22(5) 1612-1627
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Increasingly, land managers seek ways to manage forests for multiple ecosystem services and functions, yet considerable challenges exist in comparing disparate services and balancing trade-offs among them. We applied multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and forest simulation models to simultaneously consider three objectives: (1) storing carbon, (2) producing timber and wood products, and (3) sustaining biodiversity. We used the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) applied to 42 northern hardwood sites to simulate forest development over 100 years and to estimate carbon storage and timber production. We estimated biodiversity implications with occupancy models for 51 terrestrial bird species that were linked to FVS outputs. We simulated four alternative management prescriptions that spanned a range of harvesting intensities and forest structure retention. We found that silvicultural approaches emphasizing less frequent harvesting and greater structural retention could be expected to achieve the greatest net carbon storage but also produce less timber. More intensive prescriptions would enhance biodiversity because positive responses of early successional species exceeded negative responses of late successional species within the heavily forested study area. The combinations of weights assigned to objectives had a large influence on which prescriptions were scored as optimal. Overall, we found that a diversity of silvicultural approaches is likely to be preferable to any single approach, emphasizing the need for landscape-scale management to provide a full range of ecosystem goods and services. Our analytical framework that combined MCDA with forest simulation modeling was a powerful tool in understanding trade-offs among management objectives and how they can be simultaneously accommodated.
Sheil, D.; Basuki, I.; German, L.; Kuyper, T. W.; Limberg, G.; Puri, R. K.; Sellato, B.; van Noordwijk, M.; Wollenberg, E.. (2012) Do Anthropogenic Dark Earths Occur in the Interior of Borneo? Some Initial Observations from East Kalimantan. Forests 3(2) 207-229
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Anthropogenic soils of the Amazon Basin (Terra Preta, Terra Mulata) reveal that pre-Colombian peoples made lasting improvements in the agricultural potential of nutrient-poor soils. Some have argued that applying similar techniques could improve agriculture over much of the humid tropics, enhancing local livelihoods and food security, while also sequestering large quantities of carbon to mitigate climate change. Here, we present preliminary evidence for Anthropogenic Dark Earths (ADEs) in tropical Asia. Our surveys in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) identified several sites where soils possess an anthropogenic development and context similar in several respects to the Amazon's ADEs. Similarities include riverside locations, presence of useful fruit trees, spatial extent as well as soil characteristics such as dark color, high carbon content (in some cases), high phosphorus levels, and improved apparent fertility in comparison to neighboring soils. Local people value these soils for cultivation but are unaware of their origins. We discuss these soils in the context of local history and land-use and identify numerous unknowns. Incomplete biomass burning appears key to these modified soils. More study is required to clarify soil transformations in Borneo and to determine under what circumstances such soil improvements might remain ongoing.
Smith, P.; Wollenberg, E.. (2012) Achieving Mitigation Through Synergies With Adaptation. Pages 50-57;
Swickard, N.; Nihart, A.. (2012) Accounting for quality in agricultural carbon credits: a Verified Carbon Standard for agricultural land management projects. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 274-284;
Tallis, H.; Mooney, H. A.; Andelman, S.; Balvanera, P.; Cramer, W.; Karp, D.; Polasky, S.; Reyers, B.; Ricketts, T. H.; Running, S.; Thonicke, K.; Tietjen, B.; Walz, A.. (2012) A Global System for Monitoring Ecosystem Service Change. Bioscience 62(11) 977-986
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Earth's life-support systems are in flux, yet no centralized system to monitor and report these changes exists. Recognizing this, 77 nations agreed to establish the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). The GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) integrates existing data streams into one platform in order to provide a more complete picture of Earth's biological and social systems. We present a conceptual framework envisioned by the GEO BON Ecosystem Services Working Group, designed to integrate national statistics, numerical models, remote sensing, and in situ measurements to regularly track changes in ecosystem services across the globe. This information will serve diverse applications, including stimulating new research and providing the basis for assessments. Although many ecosystem services are not currently measured, others are ripe for reporting. We propose a framework that will continue to grow and inspire more complete observation and assessments of our planet's life-support systems.
Troy, A.; Azaria, D.; Voigt, B.; Sadek, A. W.. (2012) Integrating a traffic router and microsimulator into a land use and travel demand model. Transportation Planning and Technology 35(8) 737-751
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This paper describes one of the first known attempts at integrating a dynamic and disaggregated land-use model with a traffic microsimulator and compares its predictions of land use to those from an integration of the same land-use model with a more traditional four-step travel demand model. For our study area of Chittenden County, Vermont, we used a 40-year simulation beginning in 1990. Predicted differences in residential units between models for 2030 broken down by town correlated significantly with predicted differences in accessibility. The two towns with the greatest predicted differences in land use and accessibility are also the towns that currently have the most severe traffic bottlenecks and poorest route redundancy. Our results suggest that this particular integration of a microsimulator with a disaggregated land-use model is technically feasible, but that in the context of an isolated, small metropolitan area, the differences in predicted land use are small.
Troy, A.; Grove, J. M.; O'Neil-Dunne, J.. (2012) The relationship between tree canopy and crime rates across an urban-rural gradient in the greater Baltimore region. 106(3) 262-270
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The extent to which urban tree cover influences crime is in debate in the literature. This research took advantage of geocoded crime point data and high resolution tree canopy data to address this question in Baltimore City and County. MD, an area that includes a significant urban-rural gradient. Using ordinary least squares and spatially adjusted regression and controlling for numerous potential confounders, we found that there is a strong inverse relationship between tree canopy and our index of robbery, burglary, theft and shooting. The more conservative spatially adjusted model indicated that a 10% increase in tree canopy was associated with a roughly 12% decrease in crime. When we broke down tree cover by public and private ownership for the spatial model, we found that the inverse relationship continued in both contexts, but the magnitude was 40% greater for public than for private lands. We also used geographically weighted regression to identify spatial non-stationarity in this relationship, which we found for trees in general and trees on private land, but not for trees on public land. Geographic plots of pseudo-t statistics indicated that while there was a negative relationship between crime and trees in the vast majority of block groups of the study area, there were a few patches where the opposite relationship was true, particularly in a part of Baltimore City where there is an extensive interface between industrial and residential properties. It is possible that in this area a significant proportion of trees is growing in abandoned lands between these two land uses. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vermeulen, S. J.; Aggarwal, P. K.; Ainslie, A.; Angelone, C.; Campbell, B. M.; Challinor, A. J.; Hansen, J. W.; Ingram, J. S. I.; Jarvis, A.; Kristjanson, P.; Lau, C.; Nelson, G. C.; Thornton, P. K.; Wollenberg, E.. (2012) Options for support to agriculture and food security under climate change. 15(1) 136-144
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Agriculture and food security are key sectors for intervention under climate change. Agricultural production is highly vulnerable even to 2C (low-end) predictions for global mean temperatures in 2100, with major implications for rural poverty and for both rural and urban food security. Agriculture also presents untapped opportunities for mitigation, given the large land area under crops and rangeland, and the additional mitigation potential of aquaculture. This paper presents a summary of current knowledge on options to support farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, in achieving food security through agriculture under climate change. Actions towards adaptation fall into two broad overlapping areas: (1) accelerated adaptation to progressive climate change over decadal time scales, for example integrated packages of technology, agronomy and policy options for farmers and food systems, and (2) better management of agricultural risks associated with increasing climate variability and extreme events, for example improved climate information services and safety nets. Maximization of agriculture's mitigation potential will require investments in technological innovation and agricultural intensification linked to increased efficiency of inputs, and creation of incentives and monitoring systems that are inclusive of smallholder farmers. Food systems faced with climate change need urgent, broad-based action in spite of uncertainties. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vermeulen, S. J.; Zougmore, R.; Wollenberg, E.; Thornton, P. K.; Nelson, G. C.; Kristjanson, P.; Kinyangi, J.; Jarvis, A.; Hansen, J. W.; Challinor, A. J.; Campbell, B.; Aggarwal, P. K.. (2012) Climate change, agriculture and food security: a global partnership to link research and action for low-income agricultural producers and consumers. 4(1) 128-133
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To achieve food security for many in low-income and middle-income countries for whom this is already a challenge, especially with the additional complications of climate change, will require early investment to support smallholder farming systems and the associated food systems that supply poor consumers. We need both local and global policy-linked research to accelerate sharing of lessons on institutions, practices and technologies for adaptation and mitigation. This strategy paper briefly outlines how the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) is working across research disciplines, organisational mandates, and spatial and temporal levels to assist immediate and longer-term policy actions.
Wollenberg, E.; Tapio-Bistroem, M. L.; Grieg-Gran, M.. (2012) Climate change mitigation and agriculture: designing projects and policies for smallholder farms. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 3-27;
Zanchi, G.; Frieden, D.; Pucker, J.; Bird, D. N.; Buchholz, T.; Windhorst, K.. (2012) Climate benefits from alternative energy uses of biomass plantations in Uganda. Biomass and Bioenergy
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The establishment of tree plantations in rural areas in Uganda could provide renewable energy to rural communities, while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from conventional electricity sources and unsustainable forest use. The study evaluates the greenhouse gas benefits that could be produced by biomass based energy systems in Anaka, a rural settlement in the Amuru district in northern Uganda. Two alternative energy uses are explored: a) electricity production through wood gasification and b) traditional fuelwood use. It is estimated that a small-scale wood gasifier could provide electricity for basic community services by planting less than 10 ha of new short rotation coppices (SRCs). The gasification system could save 50e67% of the GHG emissions produced by traditional diesel based electricity generators in terms of CO2-eq. (0.61e0.83 t MWh 1 or 7.1 t y 1 per hectare of SRCs). It was also estimated that traditional use of fuelwood in households is currently unsustainable, i.e. the consumption of wood is higher than the annual growth fromnatural wood resources in the study area. It is estimated that 0.02e0.06 ha per capita of plantations could render the current consumption of wood sustainable. In this way, the CO2 emissions produced through unsustainable extraction of wood could be avoided (2.0e7.3 t per capita per year or 50e130 t y 1 per hectare of SRCs).
Zencey, E.. (2012) The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. Pages 340;
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Our planet is finite. Our political and economic systems were designed for an infinite planet. These difficult truths anchor the perceptive analysis offered in The Other Road to Serfdom and the Path to Sustainable Democracy. With wit, energy, and a lucid prose style, Eric Zencey identifies the key elements of "infinite planet" thinking that underlie our economics and our politics--and shows how they must change. Zencey's title evokes F. A. Hayek, who argued that any attempt to set overall limits to free markets--any attempt at centralized planning--is "the road to serfdom." But Hayek's argument works only if the planet is infinite. If Hayek is right that planning and democracy are irreducibly in conflict, Zencey argues, then on a finite planet, "free markets operated on infinite planet principles are just the other road to serfdom." The alternative is ecological economics, an emergent field that accepts limits to what humans can accomplish economically on a finite planet. Zencey explains this new school of thought and applies it to current political and economic concerns: the financial collapse, terrorism, population growth, hunger, the energy and oil industry's social control, and the deeply rooted dissatisfactions felt by conservative "values" voters who have been encouraged to see smaller government and freer markets as the universal antidote. What emerges is a coherent vision, a progressive and hopeful alternative to neoconservative economic and political theory--a foundation for an economy that meets the needs of the 99% and just might help save civilization from ecological and political collapse.
Zia, A.; Glantz, M. H.. (2012) Risk Zones: Comparative Lesson Drawing and Policy Learning from Flood Insurance Programs. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 14(2) 143-159
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Risk insurance mechanisms have been proposed as proactive policy options to enhance the resilience of communities for coping with extreme events. Many risk insurance mechanisms require designation of "risk zones" to legalize governmental interventions. After a three-day workshop and ensuing interviews, "wicked" challenges were identified in the designation of risk zones: risk thresholds; land value; damage-reduction; land-use planning; forecast uncertainty; map accuracy; modifiable-areal-unit problem; winners and losers; single versus multiple hazards; and cross-jurisdictional administrative boundaries. A total of 56 peer-reviewed studies are synthesized that evaluate these "wicked" challenges in flood insurance programs and derive deliberative heuristics for designating risk zones in publicly sponsored insurance mechanisms.
Zia, A.. (2012) Land Use Adaptation to Climate Change: Economic Damages from Land-Falling Hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf States of the USA, 1900–2005. Sustainability 4 917-932
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Global climate change, especially the phenomena of global warming, is expected to increase the intensity of land-falling hurricanes. Societal adaptation is needed to reduce vulnerability from increasingly intense hurricanes. This study quantifies the adaptation effects of potentially policy driven caps on housing densities and agricultural cover in coastal (and adjacent inland) areas vulnerable to hurricane damages in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal regions of the U.S. Time series regressions, especially Prais-Winston and Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA) models, are estimated to forecast the economic impacts of hurricanes of varying intensity, given that various patterns of land use emerge in the Atlantic and Gulf coastal states of the U.S. The Prais-Winston and ARMA models use observed time series data from 1900 to 2005 for inflation adjusted hurricane damages and socio-economic and land-use data in the coastal or inland regions where hurricanes caused those damages. The results from this study provide evidence that increases in housing density and agricultural cover cause significant rise in the de-trended inflation-adjusted damages. Further, higher intensity and frequency of land-falling hurricanes also significantly increase the economic damages. The evidence from this study implies that a medium to long term land use adaptation in the form of capping housing density and agricultural cover in the coastal (and adjacent inland) states can significantly reduce economic damages from intense hurricanes. Future studies must compare the benefits of such land use adaptation policies against the costs of development controls implied in housing density caps and agricultural land cover reductions.
Abell, R.; Thieme, M.; Ricketts, T. H.; Olwero, N.; Ng, R.; Petry, P.; Dinerstein, E.; Revenga, C.; Hoekstra, J. M.. (2011) Concordance of freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity. Conservation Letters 4(2) 127-136
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Efforts to set global conservation priorities have largely ignored freshwater diversity, thereby excluding some of the world's most speciose, threatened, and valuable taxa. Using a new global map of freshwater ecoregions and distribution data for about 13,300 fish species, we identify regions of exceptional freshwater biodiversity and assess their overlap with regions of equivalent terrestrial importance. Overlap is greatest in the tropics and is higher than expected by chance. These high-congruence areas offer opportunities for integrated conservation efforts, which could be of particular value when economic conditions force conservation organizations to narrow their focus. Areas of low overlap-missed by current terrestrially based priority schemes-merit independent freshwater conservation efforts. These results provide new information to conservation investors setting priorities at global or regional scales and argue for a potential reallocation of future resources to achieve representation of overlooked biomes.
Alvez, J.; Matthews, A. G.; Schmitt F., A.; Farley, J.. (2011) Sustainability indicators for cattle farms. Cadernos de Agroecologia 6(1)
Balmford, A.; Fisher, B.; Green, R. E.; Naidoo, R.; Strassburg, B.; Turner, R. K.; Rodrigues, A. S. L.. (2011) Bringing Ecosystem Services into the Real World: An Operational Framework for Assessing the Economic Consequences of Losing Wild Nature. 48(2) 161-175
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Policy action to halt the global loss of biodiversity and ecosystems is hindered by the perception that it would be so costly as to compromise economic development, yet this assumption needs testing. Inspired by the recent Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, the leaders of the G8+5 nations commissioned a similar assessment of the economics of losing biodiversity, under the Potsdam Initiative on Biodiversity. Here, we propose a conceptual framework for such a global assessment which emphasizes several critical insights from the environmental economics and valuation literature: contrasting counterfactual scenarios which differ solely in whether they include specific conservation policies; identifying non-overlapping benefits; modeling the production, flow, use and value of benefits in a spatially-explicit way; and incorporating the likely costs as well as possible benefits of policy interventions. Tackling these challenges, we argue, will significantly enhance our ability to quantify how the loss of benefits derived from ecosystems and biodiversity compares with the costs incurred in retaining them. We also summarise a review of the current state of knowledge, in order to assess how quickly this framework could be operationalized for some key ecosystem services.
Beier, C.. (2011) Factors Influencing Adaptive Capacity in the Reorganization of Forest Management in Alaska. 16(1)
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Several studies of U.S. National Forests suggest that declines of their associated forest products industries were driven by synergistic changes in federal governance and market conditions during the late 20th century. In Alaska, dramatic shifts in the economic and political settings of the Tongass National Forest (Tongass) drove changes in governance leading to collapse of an industrial forest management system in the early 1990s. However, 15 years since collapse, the reorganization of Tongass governance to reflect 'new' economic and political realities has not progressed. To understand both the factors that hinder institutional change (inertia) and the factors that enable progress toward reorganization (adaptation), I analyzed how Tongass forest management, specifically timber sale planning, has responded to changes in market conditions, local industry structure, and larger-scale political governance. Inertia was evidenced by continued emphasis on even-aged management and large-scale harvesting, i.e., the retention of an industrial forestry philosophy that, in the current political situation, yields mostly litigation and appeals, and relatively few forest products. Adaptation was evidenced by flexibility in harvest methods, a willingness to meet local demand instead of political targets, and a growing degree of cooperation with environmental advocacy groups. New partnerships, markets, and political leaders at state and national levels can frame a new blueprint for reorganization of Tongass management toward a more sustainable future.
Bohensky, E.; Butler, J. R. A.; Costanza, R.; Bohnet, I.; Delisle, A.; Fabricius, K.; Gooch, M.; Kubiszewski, I.; Lukacs, G.; Pert, P.; Wolanski, E.. (2011) Future makers or future takers? A scenario analysis of climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. 21(3) 876-893
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The extent to which nations and regions can actively shape the future or must passively respond to global forces is a topic of relevance to current discourses on climate change. In Australia, climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to the ecological resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, but is exacerbated by regional and local pressures. We undertook a scenario analysis to explore how two key uncertainties may influence these threats and their impact on the Great Barrier Reef and adjacent catchments in 2100: whether (1) global development and (2) Australian development is defined and pursued primarily in terms of economic growth or broader concepts of human well-being and environmental sustainability, and in turn, how climate change is managed and mitigated. We compared the implications of four scenarios for marine and terrestrial ecosystem services and human well-being. The results suggest that while regional actions can partially offset global inaction on climate change until about mid-century, there are probable threshold levels for marine ecosystems, beyond which the Great Barrier Reef will become a fundamentally different system by 2100 if climate change is not curtailed. Management that can respond to pressures at both global and regional scales will be needed to maintain the full range of ecosystem services. Modest improvements in human well-being appear possible even while ecosystem services decline, but only where regional management is strong. The future of the region depends largely on whether national and regional decision-makers choose to be active future 'makers' or passive future 'takers' in responding to global drivers of change. We conclude by discussing potential avenues for using these scenarios further with the Great Barrier Reef region's stakeholders. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Buchholz, T.; Volk, T. A.. (2011) Improving the Profitability of Willow Crops-Identifying Opportunities with a Crop Budget Model. Bioenergy Research 4(2) 85-95
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Short-rotation woody crops like shrub willow are a potential source of biomass for energy generation and bioproducts. However, since willow crops are not widely grown in North America, the economics of this crop and the impacts of key crop production and management components are not well understood. We developed a budget model, EcoWillow v1.4 (Beta), that allows users to analyze the entire production-chain for willow systems from the establishment to the delivery of wood chips to the end-user. EcoWillow was used to analyze how yield, crop management options, land rent, fuel, labor, and other costs influence the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of willow crop systems in upstate New York. We further identified cost variables with the greatest potential for reducing production and transport costs of willow biomass. Productivity of 12 oven-dried tons (odt) ha(-1) year(-1) and a biomass price of $ (US dollars) 60 odt(-1) results in an IRR of 5.5%. Establishment, harvesting, and transportation operations account for 71% of total costs. Increases in willow yield, rotation length, and truck capacity as well as a reduction in harvester down time, land costs, planting material costs, and planting densities can improve the profitability of the system. Results indicate that planting speed and fuel and labor costs have a minimal effect on the profitability of willow biomass crops. To improve profitability, efforts should concentrate on (1) reducing planting stock costs, (2) increasing yields, (3) optimizing harvesting operations, and (4) co-development of plantation designs with new high-yielding clones to reduce planting density.
Conner, D. S.; King, B.; Koliba, C.; Kolodinsky, J.; Trubek, A.. (2011) Mapping Farm-to-School Networks Implications for Research and Practice. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 6 133-125
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In this article, the contemporary Farm-to-School movement is described as a system comprised of discrete actors operating at varying levels of geographic scale, social sector, and network function. Drawing on a literature review and case study research, the authors present and analyze a Farm-to-School network in Vermont as a series of relationships between network actors predicated on the flow of financial resources, whole and processed foods, information, and regulatory authority. Furthermore, the utility for using this map to critically examine the leverage points that may drive positive change within and across the system is discussed.
Conte, M.; Nelson, E.; Carney, K.; Fissore, C.; Olwero, N.; Plantinga, A.; Stanley, W.; Ricketts, T.. (2011) Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration and Storage. Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 111-128;
Costanza, R.; Kubiszewski, I.; Ervin, D.; Bluffstone, R.; Boyd, J. W.; Brown, D.; Chang, H.; Dujon, V.; Granek, E.; Polasky, S.; Shandas, V.; Yeakley, A.. (2011) Valuing ecological systems and services. F1000 biology reports 3 14-14
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Making trade-offs between ecological services and other contributors to human well-being is a difficult but critical process that requires valuation. This allows both better recognition of the ecological, social, and economic trade-offs and also allows us to bill those who use up or destroy ecological services and reward those that produce or enhance them. It also aids improved ecosystems policy. In this paper we clarify some of the controversies in defining the contributions to human well-being from functioning ecosystems, many of which people are not even aware of. We go on to describe the applicability of the various valuation methods that can be used in estimating the benefits of ecosystem services. Finally, we describe some recent case studies and lay out the research agenda for ecosystem services analysis, modeling, and valuation going forward.
Daily, G. C.; Kareiva, P.; Polasky, S.; Ricketts, T.; Tallis, H.. (2011) Mainstreaming Natural Capital into Decisions. Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 3-14;
Daly, H.; Farley, J.. (2011) Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications. Island Press, Washington, D.C.. Pages 454;
Day, J. W.; Kemp, G. P.; Reed, D. J.; Cahoon, D. R.; Boumans, R. M.; Suhayda, J. M.; Gambrell, R.. (2011) Vegetation death and rapid loss of surface elevation in two contrasting Mississippi delta salt marshes: The role of sedimentation, autocompaction and sea-level rise. Ecological Engineering 37 229-240
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From 1990 to 2004, we carried out a study on accretionary dynamics and wetland loss in salt marshes surrounding two small ponds in the Mississippi delta; Old Oyster Bayou (OB), a sediment-rich area near the mouth of the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Chitigue (BC), a sediment-poor area about 70km to the east. The OB site was stable, while most of the marsh at BC disappeared within a few years. Measurements were made of short-term sedimentation, vertical accretion, change in marsh surface elevation, pond wave activity, and marsh soil characteristics. The OB marsh was about 10cm higher than BC; the extremes of the elevation range for Spartina alterniflora in Louisiana. Vertical accretion and short-term sedimentation were about twice as high at BC than at OB, but theOBmarsh captured nearly all sediments deposited, while the BC marsh captured <30%. The OB and BC sites flooded about 15% and 85% of the time, respectively. Marsh loss at BC was not due to wave erosion. The mineral content of deposited sediments was higher at OB. Exposure and desiccation of the marsh surface at OB increased the efficiency that deposited sediments were incorporated into the marsh soil, and displaced the marsh surface upward by biological processes like root growth, while also reducing shallow compaction. Once vegetation dies, there is a loss of soil volume due to loss of root turgor and oxidation of root organic matter, which leads to elevation collapse. Revegetation cannot occur because of the low elevation and weak soil strength. The changes in elevation at both marsh sites are punctuated, occurring in steps that can either increase or decrease elevation.When a marsh is low as at BC, a step down can result in an irreversible change. At this point, the option is not restoration but creating a new marsh with massive sediment input either from the river or via dredging.
De Oliveira, Jose Antonio Puppim; Ali, Saleem H.. (2011) Gemstone mining as a development cluster: A study of Brazil's emerald mines. Resources Policy 36(2) 132-141
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For many centuries, emeralds have bejeweled the rich and famous all over the world. Emeralds have also made many millionaires overnight, sometimes by chance, as in some of the cases reported in this study. On the other hand, even though emerald mining has brought some economic benefits, many of these have remained at the top of the production chain. In many cases mining activities have caused a number of negative social and environmental impacts locally. Working conditions in small mines are very poor in general: with bad ventilation, high temperatures, long working hours, lack of safety, informal working contracts and no health or life insurance. Environmental impacts can be significant, such as widespread deforestation, erosion of abandoned mines, and soil and water pollution in streams. The economic and social public benefits can be minimal. Even when taxes on gem mining are relatively low, much of the mining local activity is informal and the high value-added formal activities take place outside the mining regions. This study aims to understand the dynamics of emerald mining and its impact on local development using the concept of clusters. The research analyzes three case studies in Brazil: Campos Verdes/Santa Terezinha (Goias state), Nova Era/Itabira (Minas Gerais state) and Carnaiba/Campo Formoso (Bahia state). Emerald mining regions attract many migrants, increasing the demand for public services (infrastructure, health, education, etc.), but local governments are unable to provide for them because the activity produces little tax revenue. In the end, there is a growing mismatch between demand and supply of public services, leading to a series of social and environmental problems. However, working with the concept of cluster can help to shed light on policies to improve the local benefits of gem mining, by organizing the miners and their supporting organizations to allow investments that bring long term benefits locally. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Edwards, D. P.; Fisher, B.; Giam, X. L.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2011) Underestimating the costs of conservation in Southeast Asia. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9(10) 544-545
Edwards, D. P.; Fisher, B.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2011) Green labelling being misused. Nature 475(7355) 174-174
Ellis, A. M.; Garcia, A. J.; Focks, D. A.; Morrison, A. C.; Scott, T. W.. (2011) Parameterization and Sensitivity Analysis of a Complex Simulation Model for Mosquito Population Dynamics, Dengue Transmission, and Their Control. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 85(2) 257-264
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Models can be useful tools for understanding the dynamics and control of mosquito-borne disease. More detailed models may be more realistic and better suited for understanding local disease dynamics; however, evaluating model suitability, accuracy, and performance becomes increasingly difficult with greater model complexity. Sensitivity analysis is a technique that permits exploration of complex models by evaluating the sensitivity of the model to changes in parameters. Here, we present results of sensitivity analyses of two interrelated complex simulation models of mosquito population dynamics and dengue transmission. We found that dengue transmission may be influenced most by survival in each life stage of the mosquito, mosquito biting behavior, and duration of the infectious period in humans. The importance of these biological processes for vector-borne disease models and the overwhelming lack of knowledge about them make acquisition of relevant field data on these biological processes a top research priority.
Eppstein, M. J.; Grover, D. K.; Marshall, J. S.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2011) An agent-based model to study market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Energy Policy 39(6) 3789-3802
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A spatially explicit agent-based vehicle consumer choice model is developed to explore sensitivities and nonlinear interactions between various potential influences on plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) market penetration. The model accounts for spatial and social effects (including threshold effects, homophily, and conformity) and media influences. Preliminary simulations demonstrate how such a model could be used to identify nonlinear interactions among potential leverage points, inform policies affecting PHEV market penetration, and help identify future data collection necessary to more accurately model the system. We examine sensitivity of the model to gasoline prices, to accuracy in estimation of fuel costs, to agent willingness to adopt the PHEV technology, to PHEV purchase price and rebates, to PHEV battery range, and to heuristic values related to gasoline usage. Our simulations indicate that PHEV market penetration could be enhanced significantly by providing consumers with ready estimates of expected lifetime fuel costs associated with different vehicles (e.g., on vehicle stickers), and that increases in gasoline prices could nonlinearly magnify the impact on fleet efficiency. We also infer that a potential synergy from a gasoline tax with proceeds is used to fund research into longer-range lower-cost PHEV batteries. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Erickson, D. L.; Lovell, S. T.; Mendez, V. E.. (2011) Landowner willingness to embed production agriculture and other land use options in residential areas of Chittenden County, VT. 103(2) 174-184
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Throughout the world, urbanization is causing a loss of agricultural land as residential and commercial development expand. In Chittenden County, Vermont, U.S.A., this land use conversion has resulted in subdivision of farms into large residential parcels. Some of these residential parcels retain sizeable areas of undeveloped prime agricultural soil, yet the land is effectively removed from agricultural production. This study explored landowner willingness to enroll a portion of their land in a cooperative land management (CLM) scheme. Our results show support for embedding production agriculture and other cooperative land use options in residential parcels. Almost half of the respondents (45.6%) indicated they would enroll a portion of their land in a CLM program, while another 28.4% said "maybe". A cluster analysis partitioned the respondents into five clusters based on the following variables: percent agricultural land on parcel, parcel size, years in residence, and the population density of the town where the parcel is located. Willingness to participate in the CLM program and different land use options (livestock grazing, vegetables, fruit, field crops, biofuel, maple sugaring, wildflowers, medicinal plants, wildlife corridor, and recreational trails) varied across the clusters. A cluster containing a high percentage of agricultural land ("farms") had the highest support for production agriculture options, while a cluster of long term residents (old timers) had the lowest. These results are encouraging for farmers seeking access to affordable farmland and for planning efforts seeking increased regional landscape multifunctionality. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fisher, B.; Bradbury, R. B.; Andrews, J. E.; Ausden, M.; Bentham-Green, S.; White, S. M.; Gill, J. A.. (2011) Impacts of species-led conservation on ecosystem services of wetlands: understanding co-benefits and tradeoffs. 20(11) 2461-2481
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Biodiversity conservation organisations have recently begun to consider a wider ecosystem services context for their activities. While the literature suggests the potential of 'win-win' situations where biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services overlap, empirical evidence is wanting. Here we explore the role that species-led management for the benefit of biodiversity in cultural landscapes can play in the delivery of wider ecosystem services. We use UK lowland wetlands as a case study and show how successful delivery of species-led conservation through management interventions relies on practices that can affect greenhouse gas fluxes, water quality and regulation, and cultural benefits. In these wetlands, livestock grazing has potentially large effects on water and greenhouse gas related services, but there is little scope to alter management without compromising species objectives. Likewise, there is little potential to alter reedbed management without compromising conservation objectives. There is some potential to alter woodland and scrub management, but this would likely have limited influence due to the relatively small area over which such management is practiced. The management of water levels potentially has large effects on provision of several services and there does appear to be some scope to align this objective with biodiversity objectives. A comprehensive understanding of the net costs and benefits to society of these interventions will require fine-grained research integrating ecological, economic and social science research. However, a less analytic understanding of the potential costs and benefits can highlight ways by which land management principally to achieve biodiversity conservation objectives might be modified to enhance delivery of other ecosystem services.
Fisher, B.; Edwards, D. P.; Giam, X. L.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2011) The high costs of conserving Southeast Asia's lowland rainforests. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9(6) 329-334
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Mechanisms that mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions via forest conservation have been portrayed as a cost-effective approach that can also protect biodiversity and vital ecosystem services. However, the costs of conservation - including opportunity costs - are spatially heterogeneous across the globe. The lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia represent a unique nexus of large carbon stores, imperiled biodiversity, large stores of timber, and high potential for conversion to oil-palm plantations, making this region one where understanding the costs of conservation is critical. Previous studies have underestimated the gap between conservation costs and conversion benefits in Southeast Asia. Using detailed logging records, cost data, and species-specific timber auction prices from Borneo, we show that the profitability of logging, in combination with potential profits from subsequent conversion to palm-oil production, greatly exceeds foreseeable revenues from a global carbon market and other ecosystem-service payment mechanisms. Thus, the conservation community faces a massive funding shortfall to protect the remaining lowland primary forests in Southeast Asia.
Fisher, B.; Edwards, D. P.; Larsen, T. H.; Ansell, F. A.; Hsu, W. W.; Roberts, C. S.; Wilcove, D. S.. (2011) Cost-effective conservation: calculating biodiversity and logging trade-offs in Southeast Asia. Conservation Letters 4(6) 443-450
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The Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot of Southeast Asia is widely regarded as one of the most imperiled biodiversity hotspots due to high degrees of endemism coupled with extensive logging and forest conversion to oil palm. The large financial returns to these activities have made it difficult to conserve much of the region's lowland primary forest, suggesting a large trade-off between economic interests and biodiversity conservation. Here, we provide an empirical examination of the magnitude of this trade-off in Borneo. By incorporating both financial values and biodiversity responses across logging regimes, we show that selectively logged forests represent a surprisingly low-cost option for conserving high levels of biodiversity. In our study, the standing value of timber dropped from similar to$10,460 ha-1 to similar to$2,010 ha-1 after two logging rotations, yet these forests retained over 75% of bird and dung beetle species found in primary unlogged forest. We suggest that the conservation of selectively logged forests represents a highly cost-efficient opportunity to enlarge existing protected areas, improve connectivity between them, and to create new, large protected areas.
Fisher, B.; Lewis, S. L.; Burgess, N. D.; Malimbwi, R. E.; Munishi, P. K.; Swetnam, R. D.; Turner, R. K.; Willcock, S.; Balmford, A.. (2011) Implementation and opportunity costs of reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania (vol 1, pg 161, 2011). Nature Climate Change 1(4) 224-224
Fisher, B.; Lewis, S. L.; Burgess, N. D.; Malimbwi, R. E.; Munishi, P. K.; Swetnam, R. D.; Turner, R. K.; Willcock, S.; Balmford, A.. (2011) Implementation and opportunity costs of reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania. Nature Climate Change 1(3) 161-164
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The Cancun Agreements provide strong backing for a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism whereby developed countries pay developing ones for forest conservation(1). REDD+ has potential to simultaneously deliver cost-effective climate change mitigation and human development(2-5). However, most REDD+ analysis has used coarse-scale data, overlooked important opportunity costs to tropical forest users(4,5) and failed to consider how to best invest funds to limit leakage, that is, merely displacing deforestation(6). Here we examine these issues for Tanzania, a REDD+ country, by comparing district-scale carbon losses from deforestation with the opportunity costs of carbon conservation. Opportunity costs are estimated as rents from both agriculture and charcoal production (the most important proximate causes of regional forest conversion(7-9).). As an alternative we also calculate the implementation costs of alleviating the demand for forest conservation thereby addressing the problem of leakage by raising agricultural yields on existing cropland and increasing charcoal fuel-use efficiency. The implementation costs exceed the opportunity costs of carbon conservation (medians of US$6.50 versus US$3.90 per Mg CO(2)), so effective REDD+ policies may cost more than simpler estimates suggest. However, even if agricultural yields are doubled, implementation is possible at the competitive price of similar to US$12 per Mg CO(2).
Fisher, B.; Naidoo, R.. (2011) Concerns About Extrapolating Right Off the Bat. Science 333(6040) 287-287
Fisher, B.; Polasky, S.; Sterner, T.. (2011) Conservation and Human Welfare: Economic Analysis of Ecosystem Services. 48(2) 151-159
Fisher, B.; Turner, R. K.; Burgess, N. D.; Swetnam, R. D.; Green, J.; Green, R. E.; Kajembe, G.; Kulindwa, K.; Lewis, S. L.; Marchant, R.; Marshall, A. R.; Madoffe, S.; Munishi, P. K. T.; Morse-Jones, S.; Mwakalila, S.; Paavola, J.; Naidoo, R.; Ricketts, T.; Rouget, M.; Willcock, S.; White, S.; Balmford, A.. (2011) Measuring, modeling and mapping ecosystem services in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. 35(5) 595-611
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In light of the significance that ecosystem service research is likely to play in linking conservation activities and human welfare, systematic approaches to measuring, modeling and mapping ecosystem services ( and their value to society) are sorely needed. In this paper we outline one such approach, which we developed in order to understand the links between the functioning of the ecosystems of Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains and their impact on human welfare at local, regional and global scales. The essence of our approach is the creation of a series of maps created using field-based or remotely sourced data, data-driven models, and socio-economic scenarios coupled with rule-based assumptions. Here we describe the construction of this spatial information and how it can help to shed light on the complex relationships between ecological and social systems. There are obvious difficulties in operationalizing this approach, but by highlighting those which we have encountered in our own case-study work, we have also been able to suggest some routes to overcoming these impediments.
Flomenhoft, G.. (2011) "Is the concept of a green economy a useful way of framing policy discussions and policymaking to promote sustainable development?". Natural Resources Forum 35(1) 63-63
Galford, G. L.; Melillo, J. M.; Kicklighter, D. W.; Mustard, J. F.; Cronin, T. W.; Cerri, C. E. P.; Cerri, C. C.. (2011) Historical carbon emissions and uptake from the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon. Ecological Applications 21(3) 750-763
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Tropical ecosystems play a large and complex role in the global carbon cycle. Clearing of natural ecosystems for agriculture leads to large pulses of CO(2) to the atmosphere from terrestrial biomass. Concurrently, the remaining intact ecosystems, especially tropical forests, may be sequestering a large amount of carbon from the atmosphere in response to global environmental changes including climate changes and an increase in atmospheric CO(2). Here we use an approach that integrates census-based historical land use reconstructions, remote-sensing-based contemporary land use change analyses, and simulation modeling of terrestrial biogeochemistry to estimate the net carbon balance over the period 1901-2006 for the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, which is one of the most rapidly changing agricultural frontiers in the world. By the end of this period, we estimate that of the state's 925 225 km(2), 221 092 km(2) have been converted to pastures and 89 533 km(2) have been converted to croplands, with forest-to-pasture conversions being the dominant land use trajectory but with recent transitions to croplands increasing rapidly in the last decade. These conversions have led to a cumulative release of 4.8 Pg C to the atmosphere, with similar to 80% from forest clearing and 20% from the clearing of cerrado. Over the same period, we estimate that the residual undisturbed ecosystems accumulated 0.3 Pg C in response to CO2 fertilization. Therefore, the net emissions of carbon from Mato Grosso over this period were 4.5 Pg C. Net carbon emissions from Mato Grosso since 2000 averaged 146 Tg C/yr, on the order of Brazil's fossil fuel emissions during this period. These emissions were associated with the expansion of croplands to grow soybeans. While alternative management regimes in croplands, including tillage, fertilization, and cropping patterns promote carbon storage in ecosystems, they remain a small portion of the net carbon balance for the region. This detailed accounting of a region's carbon balance is the type of foundation analysis needed by the new United Nations Collaborative Programmme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
Garibaldi, L. A.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Kremen, C.; Morales, J. M.; Bommarco, R.; Cunningham, S. A.; Carvalheiro, L. G.; Chacoff, N. P.; Dudenhoeffer, J. H.; Greenleaf, S. S.; Holzschuh, A.; Isaacs, R.; Krewenka, K. M.; Mandelik, Y.; Mayfield, M. M.; Morandin, L. A.; Potts, S. G.; Ricketts, T. H.; Szentgyoergyi, H.; Viana, B. F.; Westphal, C.; Winfree, R.; Klein, A. M.. (2011) Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits. Ecology Letters 14(10) 1062-1072
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Sustainable agricultural landscapes by definition provide high magnitude and stability of ecosystem services, biodiversity and crop productivity. However, few studies have considered landscape effects on the stability of ecosystem services. We tested whether isolation from florally diverse natural and semi-natural areas reduces the spatial and temporal stability of flower-visitor richness and pollination services in crop fields. We synthesised data from 29 studies with contrasting biomes, crop species and pollinator communities. Stability of flower-visitor richness, visitation rate (all insects except honey bees) and fruit set all decreased with distance from natural areas. At 1 km from adjacent natural areas, spatial stability decreased by 25, 16 and 9% for richness, visitation and fruit set, respectively, while temporal stability decreased by 39% for richness and 13% for visitation. Mean richness, visitation and fruit set also decreased with isolation, by 34, 27 and 16% at 1 km respectively. In contrast, honey bee visitation did not change with isolation and represented > 25% of crop visits in 21 studies. Therefore, wild pollinators are relevant for crop productivity and stability even when honey bees are abundant. Policies to preserve and restore natural areas in agricultural landscapes should enhance levels and reliability of pollination services.
Harrison, D. M.; Noordewier, T.. (2011) Empirical Evidence on Mortgage Choice as a Screening Mechanism for Default Risk. 20(1) 1-18
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Despite the enormously important role played by credit in modern market-based economies, the marketing literature offers little theoretical or empirical insight into how consumers choose among available credit products. This paper examines one of the most critical credit decisions made by consumers: selecting between a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) and an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). To understand this selection process, the authors test a theoretical model in which a borrower's mortgage choice (i.e., ARM vs. FRM) is contingent upon transaction default costs, where the latter are defined as costs associated with the borrower's defaulting on a mortgage (e.g., damage to the borrower's credit rating, search and legal costs stemming from having to purchase a new home, etc.). The model predicts that when a borrower's transaction costs of default are sufficiently small (high), high default risk borrowers will select fixed (adjustable) rate mortgages, and low default risk borrowers will select adjustable (fixed) rate mortgages. The authors empirically test this transaction cost-contingent hypothesis using a sample of 1,003 mortgage loans, finding evidence consistent with the proposed interaction. In contrast to traditional transaction cost studies, which focus on whether (or how well) alternative buyer-seller "governance" modes match the underlying attributes of the transactions, this research demonstrates that transaction cost reasoning is applicable to consumer product choice as well.
Hayden, N.; Rizzo, D.; Dewoolkar, M. M.; Neumann, M. D.; Lathem, S. A.; Sadek, A. W.. (2011) Incorporating a Systems Approach into Civil and Environmental Engineering Curricula: Effect on Course Redesign, and Student and Faculty Attitudes. Advances in Engineering Education 2(4) 1-27
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This paper presents a brief overview of the changes made during our department level reform (DLR) process (Grant Title: A Systems Approach for Civil and Environmental Engineering Education: Integrating Systems Thinking, Inquiry-Based Learning and Catamount Community Service-Learning Projects) and some of the effects of these changes on our students and ourselves. The overall goal of the reform has been to have students learn and apply a systems approach to engineering problem solving such that when they become practicing engineers they will develop more sustainable engineering solutions. We have integrated systems thinking into our programs in the following ways; 1) new material has been included in key courses (e.g., the first-year introductory and senior design courses), 2) a sequence of three related environmental and transportation systems courses have been included within the curricula (i.e., Introduction to Systems, Decision Making, and Modeling), and 3) service-learning (SL) projects have been integrated into key required courses as a way of practicing a systems approach. A variety of assessment methods were implemented as part of the reform including student surveys, student focus groups, faculty interviews, and assessment of student work. Student work in five classes demonstrate that students are learning the systems approach, applying it to engineering problem solving, and that this approach helps meet ABET outcomes. Initial student resistance to changing the curriculum has decreased post implementation (e.g., graduating class 2010), and many students are able to define and apply the concept of sustainability in senior design project. Student self-assessments show support of SL projects and that the program is influencing student understanding of the roles and responsibilities of engineers in society.
Hirsch, P. D.; Adams, W. M.; Brosius, J. P.; Zia, A.; Bariola, N.; Dammert, J. L.. (2011) Acknowledging Conservation Trade-Offs and Embracing Complexity. 25(2) 259-264
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There is a growing recognition that conservation often entails trade-offs. A focus on trade-offs can open the way to more complete consideration of the variety of positive and negative effects associated with conservation initiatives. In analyzing and working through conservation trade-offs, however, it is important to embrace the complexities inherent in the social context of conservation. In particular, it is important to recognize that the consequences of conservation activities are experienced, perceived, and understood differently from different perspectives, and that these perspectives are embedded in social systems and preexisting power relations. We illustrate the role of trade-offs in conservation and the complexities involved in understanding them with recent debates surrounding REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), a global conservation policy designed to create incentives to reduce tropical deforestation. Often portrayed in terms of the multiple benefits it may provide: poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation, and climate-change mitigation; REDD may involve substantial trade-offs. The gains of REDD may be associated with a reduction in incentives for industrialized countries to decrease carbon emissions; relocation of deforestation to places unaffected by REDD; increased inequality in places where people who make their livelihood from forests have insecure land tenure; loss of biological and cultural diversity that does not directly align with REDD measurement schemes; and erosion of community-based means of protecting forests. We believe it is important to acknowledge the potential trade-offs involved in conservation initiatives such as REDD and to examine these trade-offs in an open and integrative way that includes a variety of tools, methods, and points of view.
Huang, G.; Zhou, W.; Ali, S.. (2011) Spatial patterns and economic contributions of mining and tourism in biodiversity hotspots: A case study in China. Ecological Economics 70(8) 1492-1498
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Mining activities and tourism are both growing fast in biodiversity intense areas globally. However, the dynamic and interactions between mining and tourism when they both occur in biodiversity hotspots, and how they together may impact the economy and environment in these biodiversity rich areas, remain unclear. This paper examined how the two industries interact in terms of their economic contributions and spatial patterns in a biodiversity hotspot, Yunnan, China. We used correlation analyses to measure the relationships between mining activities, tourism visits and local gross domestic productions. We also employed a distancebased technique to investigate the nature of any dependency between mining and tourism sites. Results showed that mining activities tend to be in relatively fluent areas while tourism tends to occur in less developed areas. Our results showed that the location of tourism and mining sites are likely to be close to one another but the two industries usually perform better economically when they are apart from each other. These findings can provide insights on how mining and tourism together may impact the economy and environment in biodiversity rich areas, and provide important information for managers and planners on balancing mining and tourism development in these areas.
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Global rood security is under threat by climate change, and the impacts fall disproportionately on resource-poor small producers. With the goal of making agricultural and food systems more climate-resilient this paper presents an adaptation and mitigation framework. A road map for bather agricultural research is proposed, based on the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security We propose a holistic, integrated approach that takes into account trade-offs and feedbacks between interventions. We divide the agenda into four research areas, three tackling risk management, accelerated adaptation and emissions mitigation, and the fourth facilitating adoption of research outputs. After reviewing specific technical, agronomic and policy options for reducing climate change vulnerability, we acknowledge that science and good-faith recommendations do not necessarily translate into effective and timely actions. We therefore outline impediments to behavioural change and propose that future research overcomes these obstacles by linking the right institutions, instruments and scientific outputs. Food security research must go beyond its focus on production to also examine food access and utilization issues. Finally, we conclude that urgent action is needed despite the uncertainties, trade-offs and challenges.
Kareiva, P.; Tallis, H.; Ricketts, T.; Daily, G. C.; Polasky, S.. (2011) Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services. Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 392;
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In 2005, The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) provided the first global assessment of the world's ecosystems and ecosystem services. It concluded that recent trends in ecosystem change threatened human wellbeing due to declining ecosystem services. This bleak prophecy has galvanized conservation organizations, ecologists, and economists to work toward rigorous valuations of ecosystem services at a spatial scale and with a resolution that can inform public policy.The editors have assembled the world's leading scientists in the fields of conservation, policy analysis, and resource economics to provide the most intensive and best technical analyses of ecosystem services to date. A key idea that guides the science is that the modelling and valuation approaches being developed should use data that are readily available around the world. In addition, the book documents a toolbox of ecosystem service mapping, modeling, and valuation models that both TheNature Conservancy and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are beginning to apply around the world as they transform conservation from a biodiversity only to a people and ecosystem services agenda. The book addresses land, freshwater, and marine systems at a variety of spatial scales and includesdiscussion of how to treat both climate change and cultural values when examining tradeoffs among ecosystem services.
Keeton, W. S.; Whitman, A. A.; McGee, G. C.; Goodale, C. L.. (2011) Late-Successional Biomass Development in Northern Hardwood-Conifer Forests of the Northeastern United States. Forest Science 57(6) 489-505
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Managing the contribution of forest ecosystems to global carbon cycles requires accurate predictions of biomass dynamics in relation to stand development. Our study evaluated competing hypotheses regarding late-successional biomass dynamics in northern hardwood-conifer forests using a data set spanning the northeastern United States, including 48 mature and 46 old-growth stands. Continuous data on dominant tree ages were available for 29 of these and were used as an indicator of stand development. Aboveground live biomass was significantly (P < 0.001) different between mature (195 Mg/ha) and old-growth (266 Mg/ha) sites. Aboveground biomass was positively (P < 0.001) and logarithmically correlated with dominant tree age; this held for live trees (r(2) = 0.52), standing dead trees (r(2) = 0.36), total trees (r(2) = 0.63), and downed woody debris (r(2) = 0.24). In a Classification and Regression Tree analysis, stand age class was the strongest predictor of biomass, but ecoregion and percent conifer accounted for similar to 25-33% of intraregional variability. Biomass approached maximum values in stands with dominant tree ages of similar to 350-400 years. Our results support the hypothesis that aboveground biomass can accumulate very late into succession in northern hardwood-conifer forests, recognizing that early declines are also possible in secondary forests as reported previously. Empirical studies suggest a high degree of variability in biomass development pathways and these may differ from theoretical predictions. Primary forest systems, especially those prone to partial disturbances, may have different biomass dynamics compared with those of secondary forests. These differences have important implications for both the quantity and temporal dynamics of carbon storage in old-growth and recovering secondary forests. FOR. SCI 57(6):489-505.
Koliba, C. J.; Mills, R. M.; Zia, A.. (2011) Accountability in Governance Networks: An Assessment of Public, Private, and Nonprofit Emergency Management Practices Following Hurricane Katrina. Public Administration Review 71(2) 210-220
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What is the most effective framework for analyzing complex accountability challenges within governing networks? Recognizing the multiscale and intersector (public, private, and nonprofit) characteristics of these networks, an accountability model is advanced organized around democratic (elected representatives, citizens, and the legal system), market (owners and consumers), as well as administrative (bureaucratic, professional and collaborative) relationships. This concept draws from 2005 events following Hurricane Katrina. Multiple failures of governing networks to plan for and respond to Katrina include a breakdown in democratic, market, and administrative accountability as well as a pervasive confusion over trade-offs between accountability types emerging from crises. This essay offers several useful recommendations for emergency management planners as well as for those who teach and research.
Koliba, C.; Campbell, E.; Zia, A.. (2011) Performance Management Systems Of Congestion Management Networks: Evidence from Four Cases. Public Performance & Management Review 34(4) 520-548
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The central research question in this article asks how performance management systems are employed in interorganizational governance networks designed to mitigate traffic congestion. Congestion management networks (CMNs) adopt performance management systems across regionally bound networks of state, regional, and local actors; and within these networks, performance data are often assumed to be directing policy strategy and tool selection. Drawing on existing frameworks for categorizing performance measures and policy strategies used within congestion management networks, the authors present data from case studies of four regional networks. The CMNs studied here were indelibly shaped by the funded mandates of the U.S. Department of Transportation with guidance from the major transportation reauthorization bills since the early 1990s. No uniform performance management system exists in the regional CMSs that were studied. Rather, the CMNs' performance management systems are a construct of discrete and overlapping performance management subsystems. Making comparisons more difficult, CMN performance measures are tied to multiple policy domains (including economic, environmental health, and quality of life). Left unanswered are questions relating to the collection and analysis of performance data in terms of administrative and political drivers and the extent to which congestion management is ultimately the policy frame that drives action in these networks. Some suggestions are offered that may eventually lead to answering some of these questions through further empirical inquiry and modeling.
Koliba, C.; Zia, A.; Lee, B. H. Y.. (2011) Governance Informatics: Managing the Performance of Inter-Organizational Governance Networks. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal 16(1)
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This article introduces an informatics approach to managing the performance of inter-organizational governance networks that are designed to create, implement and evaluate public policies and the range of activities undertaken by practicing public administrators. We label this type of information flow process management “governance informatics” and lay out a range of theoretical constructs that may be used to collect, categorize, and analyze performance in inter-organizational governance networks. We discuss how governance informatics may be able to assess and re-design the accountability and transparency regimes of information flows in inter-organizational governance networks. The integration of a governance informatics-driven performance management system into an existing regional transportation planning network is presented as an application of the framework.
Koliba, C.. (2011) Performance Management In Governance Networks-Critical Concepts And Practices. Public Performance & Management Review 34(4) 515-519
Kraft, C. E.; Warren, D. R.; Keeton, W. S.. (2011) Identifying the spatial pattern of wood distribution in northeastern North American streams. Geomorphology 135(1-2) 1-7
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The spatial distribution of instream wood influences important ecological processes but has proven challenging to describe quantitatively. We present a modified version of a previously described metric used to quantify the spatial extent and pattern of instream wood distribution, then apply this approach in evaluating the distribution of wood habitat in forested northeastern North American streams. This revised metric, a 'binned neighbor-K analysis', provides greater resolution in evaluating the presence of aggregated, periodic, or segregated wood distributions in stream ecosystems. We employed this metric in evaluating the distribution of wood within 17 streams in two regions of northeastern North America. Our results indicate that the binned neighbor-K approach more accurately represents the spatial extent at which wood accumulates in streams by identifying recurring intervals in streams within which instream wood is not present and by more accurately quantifying the spatial extent of wood aggregations and periodically repeating occurrences of accumulated wood. We also used this metric to quantify the overall extent of wood 'organization' in streams, which revealed similarities and differences in instream wood distribution patterns in the two regions evaluated. Wood distribution patterns in both study regions were generally consistent with our expectations of increased organization at an intermediate stream size (up to 10 m bankfull width), then in larger streams (>10 m) wood was less organized. These observed patterns result from landscape and ecosystem influences upon wood accumulation and movement in streams. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kubiszewski, I.; Noordewier, T.; Costanza, R.. (2011) Perceived credibility of Internet encyclopedias. 56(3) 659-667
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A vast amount of information is now available online, produced by a variety of sources with a range of editorial oversight procedures. These range from very centralized information with multiple layers of review, to no oversight at all. Determining which information is credible can pose a real challenge. An experiment was designed to determine whether certain webpage characteristics affect academics' and students' perception of the credibility of information presented in an online article. The experiment looked at five peripheral cues: (1) presence or absence of an identifiable author, (2) presence or absence of references. (3) presence or absence of a biased sponsor, (4) presence or absence of an award, and (5) whether the article is designated as appearing in Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, or Encyclopedia of Earth. The results indicate that compared to Encyclopedia Britannica, article information appearing in both Encyclopedia of Earth and Wikipedia is perceived as significantly less credible. They also show that the presence of a biased sponsor has a significant negative effect on perceived credibility. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kuemmerle, T.; Olofsson, P.; Chaskovskyy, O.; Baumann, M.; Ostapowicz, K.; Woodcock, C. E.; Houghton, R. A.; Hostert, P.; Keeton, W. S.; Radeloff, V. C.. (2011) Post-Soviet farmland abandonment, forest recovery, and carbon sequestration in western Ukraine. Global Change Biology 17(3) 1335-1349
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Land use is a critical factor in the global carbon cycle, but land-use effects on carbon fluxes are poorly understood in many regions. One such region is Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where land-use intensity decreased substantially after the collapse of socialism, and farmland abandonment and forest expansion have been widespread. Our goal was to examine how land-use trends affected net carbon fluxes in western Ukraine (57 000 km2) and to assess the region's future carbon sequestration potential. Using satellite-based forest disturbance and farmland abandonment rates from 1988 to 2007, historic forest resource statistics, and a carbon bookkeeping model, we reconstructed carbon fluxes from land use in the 20th century and assessed potential future carbon fluxes until 2100 for a range of forest expansion and logging scenarios. Our results suggested that the low-point in forest cover occurred in the 1920s. Forest expansion between 1930 and 1970 turned the region from a carbon source to a sink, despite intensive logging during socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union created a vast, but currently largely untapped carbon sequestration potential (up to similar to 150 Tg C in our study region). Future forest expansion will likely maintain or even increase the region's current sink strength of 1.48 Tg C yr-1. This may offer substantial opportunities for offsetting industrial carbon emissions and for rural development in regions with otherwise diminishing income opportunities. Throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, millions of hectares of farmland were abandoned after the collapse of socialism; thus similar reforestation opportunities may exist in other parts of this region.
Lonsdorf, E.; Ricketts, T.; Kremen, C.; Winfree, R.; Greenleaf, S.; Williams, N.. (2011) Crop Pollination. Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 168-187;
Main-Knorn, M.; Moisen, G. G.; Healey, S. P.; Keeton, W. S.; Freeman, E. A.; Hostert, P.. (2011) Evaluating the Remote Sensing and Inventory-Based Estimation of Biomass in the Western Carpathians. Remote Sensing 3(7) 1427-1446
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Understanding the potential of forest ecosystems as global carbon sinks requires a thorough knowledge of forest carbon dynamics, including both sequestration and fluxes among multiple pools. The accurate quantification of biomass is important to better understand forest productivity and carbon cycling dynamics. Stand-based inventories (SBIs) are widely used for quantifying forest characteristics and for estimating biomass, but information may quickly become outdated in dynamic forest environments. Satellite remote sensing may provide a supplement or substitute. We tested the accuracy of aboveground biomass estimates modeled from a combination of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery and topographic data, as well as SBI-derived variables in a Picea abies forest in the Western Carpathian Mountains. We employed Random Forests for non-parametric, regression tree-based modeling. Results indicated a difference in the importance of SBI-based and remote sensing-based predictors when estimating aboveground biomass. The most accurate models for biomass prediction ranged from a correlation coefficient of 0.52 for the TM- and topography-based model, to 0.98 for the inventory-based model. While Landsat-based biomass estimates were measurably less accurate than those derived from SBI, adding tree height or stand-volume as a field-based predictor to TM and topography-based models increased performance to 0.36 and 0.86, respectively. Our results illustrate the potential of spectral data to reveal spatial details in stand structure and ecological complexity.
Morse-Jones, S.; Luisetti, T.; Turner, R. K.; Fisher, B.. (2011) Ecosystem valuation: some principles and a partial application. 22(5) 675-685
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Understanding the economic value of nature and the services it provides to humanity has become increasingly important for local, national and global policy, and decision-making. However, problems arise in that it is difficult to obtain meaningful values for goods and services that ecosystems provide which have no formal market, or are characteristically intangible. Additional problems occur when economic methods are applied inappropriately and when the importance of ecosystem maintenance for human welfare is underestimated. In this article, we provide clarification to practitioners on important considerations in ecosystem services valuation. We first review and adapt definitions of ecosystem services in order to make an operational link to valuation methods. We make a distinction between intermediate and final ecosystem services and also identify non-monetary ways to incorporate regulatory and support services into decision-making. We then discuss the spatially explicit nature of ecosystem service provision and benefits capture, and highlight the issues surrounding the valuing of marginal changes, nonlinearities in service benefits, and the significance of non-convexities (threshold effects). Finally, we argue for a sequential decision support system that can lead to a more integrated and rigorous approach to ecosystem valuation and illustrate some of its features in a coastal ecosystem management context. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Negra, C.; Wollenberg, E.. (2011) LESSONS FROM REDD+ FOR AGRICULTURE. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, Copenhagen, Denmark. Pages 113-122;
Negra, C.; Wollenberg, E.. (2011) Lessons from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation: advancing agriculture in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Carbon Management 2(2) 161-173
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Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has gained significant policy momentum as an international mechanism for global climate change mitigation. The mobilization of funding, technical activity and institutional engagement for REDD has been relatively quick and widespread. The policy and technical lessons learned over the evolution of REDD are not yet widely understood, nor have they been widely integrated into efforts aimed at enabling and incentivizing agricultural mitigation. Within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, there are opportunities to include agricultural mitigation through the ad hoc working groups and technical work programs. To create the policy space and operational feasibility necessary for an international mechanism for agricultural mitigation, parallel advancement is needed on developing a shared vision, tackling high-priority analysis, coordinating efforts among stakeholders and getting money to flow from donor governments, foundations and industry.
Pearce, A. R.; Rizzo, D. M.; Mouser, P. J.. (2011) Subsurface characterization of groundwater contaminated by landfill leachate using microbial community profile data and a nonparametric decision-making process. Water Resources Research 47
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Microbial biodiversity in groundwater and soil presents a unique opportunity for improving characterization and monitoring at sites with multiple contaminants, yet few computational methods use or incorporate these data because of their high dimensionality and variability. We present a systematic, nonparametric decision-making methodology to help characterize a water quality gradient in leachate-contaminated groundwater using only microbiological data for input. The data-driven methodology is based on clustering a set of molecular genetic-based microbial community profiles. Microbes were sampled from groundwater monitoring wells located within and around an aquifer contaminated with landfill leachate. We modified a self-organizing map (SOM) to weight the input variables by their relative importance and provide statistical guidance for classifying sample similarities. The methodology includes the following steps: (1) preprocessing the microbial data into a smaller number of independent variables using principal component analysis, (2) clustering the resulting principal component (PC) scores using a modified SOM capable of weighting the input PC scores by the percent variance explained by each score, and (3) using a nonparametric statistic to guide selection of appropriate groupings for management purposes. In this landfill leachate application, the weighted SOM assembles the microbial community data from monitoring wells into groupings believed to represent a gradient of site contamination that could aid in characterization and long-term monitoring decisions. Groupings based solely on microbial classifications are consistent with classifications of water quality from hydrochemical information. These microbial community profile data and improved decision-making strategy compliment traditional chemical groundwater analyses for delineating spatial zones of groundwater contamination.
Pickett, S. T. A.; Cadenasso, M. L.; Grove, J. M.; Boone, Christopher G.; Groffman, Peter M.; Irwin, Elena; Kaushal, Sujay S.; Marshall, Victoria; McGrath, Brian P.; Nilon, C. H.; Pouyat, R. V.; Szlavecz, Katalin; Troy, Austin; Warren, Paige. (2011) Urban ecological systems: Scientific foundations and a decade of progress. Journal of Environmental Management 92(3) 331-362
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Urban ecological studies, including focus on cities, suburbs, and exurbs, while having deep roots in the early to mid 20th century, have burgeoned in the last several decades. We use the state factor approach to highlight the role of important aspects of climate, substrate, organisms, relief, and time in differentiating urban from non-urban areas, and for determining heterogeneity within spatially extensive metropolitan areas. In addition to reviewing key findings relevant to each state factor, we note the emergence of tentative "urban syndromes" concerning soils, streams, wildlife and plants, and homogenization of certain ecosystem functions, such as soil organic carbon dynamics. We note the utility of the ecosystem approach, the human ecosystem framework, and watersheds as integrative tools to tie information about multiple state factors together. The organismal component of urban complexes includes the social organization of the human population, and we review key modes by which human populations within urban areas are differentiated, and how such differentiation affects environmentally relevant actions. Emerging syntheses in land change science and ecological urban design are also summarized. The multifaceted frameworks and the growing urban knowledge base do however identify some pressing research needs. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Polasky, S.; Caldarone, G.; Duarte, T. K.; Goldstein, J.; Hannahs, N.; Ricketts, T.; Tallis, H.. (2011) Putting Ecosystem Service Models to Work: Conservation, Management and Tradeoffs. Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 249-263;
Posner, S. M.; Costanza, R.. (2011) A summary of ISEW and GPI studies at multiple scales and new estimates for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland. Ecological Economics 70(11) 1972-1980
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This paper (1) summarizes a number of previous Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) and Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) studies at various scales; (2) estimates the GPI for Baltimore, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland; and (3) compares these results with previous and parallel studies. GPI incorporates environmental, social, and economic information into a single metric to represent economic well-being. At all three scales, GPI was found to grow at a slower rate than the conventional economic measure of gross domestic product (GDP), while at the US national scale GPI has been relatively flat since 1975. State-level results match an independently calculated Maryland GPI, confirming that GPI methods are robust and reproducible. In addition, the State of Maryland has recently made GPI one of their official State statistics, reported annually. State-level GPI results were also compared with studies for the states of Ohio and Vermont to explore regional differences. We recommend that the GPI research community develop consensus on a standardized measurement approach and seek common ground for advancing the use of improved indicators and accounting systems in official policy settings. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pringle, J. M.; Blakeslee, A. M. H.; Byers, J. E.; Roman, J.. (2011) Asymmetric dispersal allows an upstream region to control population structure throughout a species’ range. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108(37) 15288-15293
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In a single well-mixed population, equally abundant neutral alleles are equally likely to persist. However, in spatially complex populations structured by an asymmetric dispersal mechanism, such as a coastal population where larvae are predominantly moved downstream by currents, the eventual frequency of neutral haplotypes will depend on their initial spatial location. In our study of the progression of two spatially separate, genetically distinct introductions of the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) along the coast of eastern North America, we captured this process in action. We documented the shift of the genetic cline in this species over 8 y, and here we detail how the upstream haplotypes are beginning to dominate the system. This quantification of an evolving genetic boundary in a coastal system demonstrates that novel genetic alleles or haplotypes that arise or are introduced into upstream retention zones (regions whose export of larvae is not balanced by import from elsewhere) will increase in frequency in the entire system. This phenomenon should be widespread when there is asymmetrical dispersal, in the oceans or on land, suggesting that the upstream edge of a species’ range can influence genetic diversity throughout its distribution. Efforts to protect the upstream edge of an asymmetrically dispersing species’ range are vital to conserving genetic diversity in the species.
Pucko, C.; Beckage, B.; Perkins, T.; Keeton, W. S.. (2011) Species shifts in response to climate change: Individual or shared responses?. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 138(2) 156-176
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PUCKO, C., B. BECKAGE (Department of Plant Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405), T. PERKINS (Proctor Maple Research Center, University of Vermont, Underhill, VT 05490), AND W. S. KEETON (Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405). Species shifts in response to climate change: Individual or shared responses? J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 138: 156-176. 2011.-Individual species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global climate change. Species within existing communities may respond to climate change individualistically, resulting in the formation of novel communities, or may instead shift as intact communities. We examined whether montane plant communities in the northeastern United States have shifted their elevational range as intact assemblages or individualistically in response to recent regional climatic and environmental change. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to examine changes in plant community composition and species distributions using vegetation surveys repeated five times between 1964 and 2006 across an elevational gradient (549-1158 m) on Camels Hump Mountain, Vermont, USA, in conjunction with an analysis of local climate change. We found evidence that species elevational distributions and community compositions have shifted in response to a 0.49 degrees C per decade warming. These species responses were complex and largely individualistic at some elevations, while at other elevations species in a given community tended to respond similarly. The magnitude of community compositional change was largely dependent on location with respect to the ecotone between northern hardwood and boreal forests. While climate change likely contributed to the large shifts in species within NMDS space, these shifts may also be a response to invasive earthworms at low elevations and to prolonged exposure to acid deposition at high elevations. Though we found evidence of shared species responses within communities, future species responses may become increasingly divergent as the magnitude of climate change increases causing species-specific environmental thresholds to be reached and as the synergistic effects of multiple anthropogenic perturbations rise.
Roman, J.. (2011) Listed : Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act. Harvard University Press , Cambridge, MA. Pages 360;
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The first listed species to make headlines after the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 was the snail darter, a three-inch fish that stood in the way of a massive dam on the Little Tennessee River. When the Supreme Court sided with the darter, Congress changed the rules. The dam was built, the river stopped flowing, and the snail darter went extinct on the Little Tennessee, though it survived in other waterways. A young Al Gore voted for the dam; freshman congressman Newt Gingrich voted for the fish. A lot has changed since the 1970s, and Joe Roman helps us understand why we should all be happy that this sweeping law is alive and well today. More than a general history of endangered species protection, Listed is a tale of threatened species in the wild—from the whooping crane and North Atlantic right whale to the purple bankclimber, a freshwater mussel tangled up in a water war with Atlanta—and the people working to save them. Employing methods from the new field of ecological economics, Roman challenges the widely held belief that protecting biodiversity is too costly. And with engaging directness, he explains how preserving biodiversity can help economies and communities thrive. Above all, he shows why the extinction of species matters to us personally—to our health and safety, our prosperity, and our joy in nature.
Roman, J.. (2011) Why Whales? On learning from nature and the Endangered Species Act. (May-June 2011) 41-44
Simberloff, D.; Alexander, J.; Allendorf, F.; Aronson, J.; Antunes, P. M.; Bacher, S.; Bardgett, R.; Bertolino, S.; Bishop, M.; Blackburn, T. M.; Blakeslee, A.; Blumenthal, D.; Bortolus, A.; Buckley, R.; Buckley, Y.; Byers, J.; Callaway, R. M.; Campbell, F.; Campbell, K.; Campbell, M.; Carlton, J. T.; Cassey, P.; Catford, J.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Chapman, J.; Clark, P.; Clewell, A.; Clode, J. C.; Chang, A.; Chytry, M.; Clout, M.; Cohen, A.; Cowan, P.; Cowie, R. H.; Crall, A. W.; Crooks, J.; Deveney, M.; Dixon, K.; Dobbs, F. C.; Duffy, D. C.; Duncan, R.; Ehrlich, P. R.; Eldredge, L.; Evenhuis, N.; Fausch, K. D.; Feldhaar, H.; Firn, J.; Fowler, A.; Galil, B.; Garcia-Berthou, E.; Geller, J. B.; Genovesi, P.; Gerber, E.; Gherardi, F.; Gollasch, S.; Gordon, D.; Graham, J.; Gribben, P.; Griffen, B.; Grosholz, E. D.; Hewitt, C.; Hierro, J. L.; Hulme, P.; Hutchings, P.; Jarosik, V.; Jeschke, J. M.; Johnson, C.; Johnson, L.; Johnston, E. L.; Jones, C. G.; Keller, R.; King, C. M.; Knols, B. G. J.; Kollmann, J.; Kompas, T.; Kotanen, P. M.; Kowarik, I.; Kuehn, I.; Kumschick, S.; Leung, B.; Liebhold, A.; MacIsaac, H.; Mack, R.; McCullough, D. G.; McDonald, R.; Merritt, D. M.; Meyerson, L.; Minchin, D.; Mooney, H. A.; Morisette, J. T.; Moyle, P.; Heinz, M. S.; Murray, B. R.; Nehring, S.; Nelson, W.; Nentwig, W.; Novak, S. J.; Occhipinti, A.; Ojaveer, H.; Osborne, B.; Ostfeld, R. S.; Parker, J.; Pederson, J.; Pergl, J.; Phillips, M. L.; Pysek, P.; Rejmanek, M.; Ricciardi, A.; Ricotta, C.; Richardson, D.; Rilov, G.; Ritchie, E.; Robertson, P. A.; Roman, J.; Ruiz, G.; Schaefer, H.; Schaffelke, B.; Schierenbeck, K. A.; Schmitz, D. C.; Schwindt, E.; Seeb, J.; Smith, L. D.; Smith, G. F.; Stohlgren, T.; Strayer, D. L.; Strong, D.; Sutherland, W. J.; Therriault, T.; Thuiller, W.; Torchin, M.; van der Putten, W. H.; Vila, M.; Von Holle, B.; Wallentinus, I.; Wardle, D.; Williamson, M.; Wilson, J. G.; Winter, M.; Wolfe, L. M.; Wright, J.; Wonham, M.; Zabin, C.; Signatories. (2011) Non-natives: 141 scientists object. Nature 475(7354) 36-36
Stoeckl, N.; Hicks, C. C.; Mills, M.; Fabricius, K.; Esparon, M.; Kroon, F.; Kaur, K.; Costanza, R.. (2011) The economic value of ecosystem services in the Great Barrier Reef: our state of knowledge. 1219 113-133
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This article reviews literature relating to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and aims to assess the current state of knowledge about (1) the "value" of ecosystem services (ES) provided by the GBR and (2) the way in which activities that are carried out in regions adjacent to the GBR affect those values. It finds that most GBR valuation studies have concentrated on a narrow range of ES (e.g., tourism and fishing) and that little is known about other ES or about the social, temporal, and spatial distribution of those services. Just as the reef provides ES to humans and to other ecosystems, so too does the reef receive a variety of ES from adjoining systems (e.g., mangroves). Yet, despite the evidence that the reef's ability to provide ES has been eroded because of recent changes to adjoining ecosystems, little is known about the value of the ES provided by adjoining systems or about the value of recent changes. These information gaps may lead to suboptimal allocations of resource use within multiple realms.
Surdi, J.; Schmitt F., A.; Farley, J.; Alvez, J.; Sa Tschumi, H.. (2011) The flow of ecosystem services in family farming of Encosta da Serra Catarinense. Cadernos de Agroecologia 6(2)
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Considering the predominance of family farming in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, a more sustainable livestock production has proved crucial. The objective of this study was to understand dairy farmer’s awareness about ecosystem services. Sixty dairy farmers working under the Voisin system were randomly selected through structured interviews. Results revealed that farmers perceived that soils were more structured, moist and covered under Voisin system. In addition, the annual silage production and supplementation decreased due to the improvement of naturalized pasture. Farmers also observed an increase in carrying capacity. After the adoption of the Voisin system, farmers began to deliver water through water-tanks in the paddocks, decreasing animal access to water sources. Thus, it was observed that pasture-based milk production improved the farm environment, causing an apparent increase in the flow of services of this pastoral agroecosystems.
Swetnam, R. D.; Fisher, B.; Mbilinyi, B. P.; Munishi, P. K. T.; Willcock, S.; Ricketts, T.; Mwakalila, S.; Balmford, A.; Burgess, N. D.; Marshall, A. R.; Lewis, S. L.. (2011) Mapping socio-economic scenarios of land cover change: A GIS method to enable ecosystem service modelling. Journal of Environmental Management 92(3) 563-574
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We present a GIS method to interpret qualitatively expressed socio-economic scenarios in quantitative map-based terms. (i) We built scenarios using local stakeholders and experts to define how major land cover classes may change under different sets of drivers; (ii) we formalised these as spatially explicit rules, for example agriculture can only occur on certain soil types; (iii) we created a future land cover map which can then be used to model ecosystem services. We illustrate this for carbon storage in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania using two scenarios: the first based on sustainable development, the second based on 'business as usual' with continued forest woodland degradation and poor protection of existing forest reserves. Between 2000 and 2025 4% of carbon stocks were lost under the first scenario compared to a loss of 41% of carbon stocks under the second scenario. Quantifying the impacts of differing future scenarios using the method we document here will be important if payments for ecosystem services are to be used to change policy in order to maintain critical ecosystem services. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Van den Belt, M.; Forgie, V.; Farley, J.. (2011) Valuation of Coastal Ecosystem Services.. Academic Press, Waltham. 12 35-54
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Valuation is about tradeoffs between alternative options, regardless of whether these tradeoffs are consciously made or not. Natural capital contributes substantially to societal and individual well-being by sustaining economies, generating life support functions and innumerable amenities, and assimilating waste. Societies that rely on the market system for resource allocation generally underestimate the contribution of natural capital to human welfare. Valuation exercises are about making these contributions more visible and thereby generate a better understanding of the way we assess, negotiate, measure, and use tradeoffs. Short-term, enduring, localized, individual tradeoffs are more easily perceived and estimated, and markets in many cases automatically calculate a monetary value or the market system can be simulated to provide a value. Tradeoffs and, therefore, valuation of more systemic ecosystem services, provided free by natural capital, require capturing long-term, risky and uncertain, global, and co-evolving community-oriented perceptions, and are much more difficult to make explicit. This chapter aims to cover a valuation continuum and first presents the approaches that fall in the realm of neoclassical economics valuation tools by providing examples of valuation from an ecological economics perspective.
Van der Leeuw, S.; Costanza, R.; Aulenbach, S.; Brewer, S.; Burek, M.; Cornell, S.; Crumley, C.; Dearing, J. A.; Downy, C.; Graumlich, L. J.; Heckbert, S.; Hegmon, M.; Hibbard, K.; Jackson, S. T.; Kubiszewski, I.; Sinclair, P.; Sorlin, S.; Steffen, W.. (2011) Toward an Integrated History to Guide the Future. 16(4)
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Many contemporary societal challenges manifest themselves in the domain of human-environment interactions. There is a growing recognition that responses to these challenges formulated within current disciplinary boundaries, in isolation from their wider contexts, cannot adequately address them. Here, we outline the need for an integrated, transdisciplinary synthesis that allows for a holistic approach, and, above all, a much longer time perspective. We outline both the need for and the fundamental characteristics of what we call "integrated history." This approach promises to yield new understandings of the relationship between the past, present, and possible futures of our integrated human-environment system. We recommend a unique new focus of our historical efforts on the future, rather than the past, concentrated on learning about future possibilities from history. A growing worldwide community of transdisciplinary scholars is forming around building this Integrated History and future of People on Earth (IHOPE). Building integrated models of past human societies and their interactions with their environments yields new insights into those interactions and can help to create a more sustainable and desirable future. The activity has become a major focus within the global change community.
Vermeulen, S. J.; Wollenberg, E. K.. (2011) Benefits of tropical crops for food security. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108(9) E31-E30; author reply E31
Zia, A.; Hirsch, P.; Songorwa, A.; Mutekanga, D. R.; O'Connor, S.; McShane, T.; Brosius, P.; Norton, B.. (2011) Cross-Scale Value Trade-Offs in Managing Social-Ecological Systems: The Politics of Scale in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. 16(4)
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Management of social-ecological systems takes place amidst complex governance processes and cross-scale institutional arrangements that are mediated through politics of scale. Each management scenario generates distinct cross-scale trade-offs in the distribution of pluralistic values. This study explores the hypothesis that conservation-oriented management scenarios generate higher value for international and national scale social organizations, whereas mixed or more balanced management scenarios generate higher value for local scale social organizations. This hypothesis is explored in the management context of Ruaha National Park (RNP), Tanzania, especially the 2006 expansion of RNP that led to the eviction of many pastoralists and farmers. Five management scenarios for RNP, i.e., national park, game reserve, game control area, multiple use area, and open area, are evaluated in a multicriteria decision analytical framework on six valuation criteria: economic welfare; good governance; socio-cultural values; social equity; ecosystem services; and biodiversity protection; and at three spatial scales: local, national, and international. Based upon this evaluation, we discuss the politics of scale that ensue from the implementation of management alternatives with different mixes of conservation and development goals in social-ecological systems.
Zia, A.; Koliba, C.. (2011) Accountable Climate Governance: Dilemmas of Performance Management across Complex Governance Networks. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 13(5) 479-497
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How can accountability be institutionalized across complex governance networks that are dealing with the transboundary pollution problem of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions at multiple spatial, temporal and social scales? To address this question, we propose an accountability framework that enables comparison of the democratic, market and administrative anchorage of actor accountability within and across governance networks. A comparative analysis of performance measures in a sample of climate governance networks is undertaken. This comparative analysis identifies four critical performance management dilemmas in the areas of strategy, uncertain science, integration of multiple scales, and monitoring and verification of performance measures.
Ahrends, A.; Burgess, N. D.; Milledge, S. A. H.; Bulling, M. T.; Fisher, B.; Smart, J. C. R.; Clarke, G. P.; Mhoro, B. E.; Lewis, S. L.. (2010) Predictable waves of sequential forest degradation and biodiversity loss spreading from an African city. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107(33) 14556-14561
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Tropical forest degradation emits carbon at a rate of similar to 0.5 Pg.y(-1), reduces biodiversity, and facilitates forest clearance. Understanding degradation drivers and patterns is therefore crucial to managing forests to mitigate climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. Putative patterns of degradation affecting forest stocks, carbon, and biodiversity have variously been described previously, but these have not been quantitatively assessed together or tested systematically. Economic theory predicts a systematic allocation of land to its highest use value in response to distance from centers of demand. We tested this theory to see if forest exploitation would expand through time and space as concentric waves, with each wave targeting lower value products. We used forest data along a transect from 10 to 220 km from Dar es Salaam (DES), Tanzania, collected at two points in time (1991 and 2005). Our predictions were confirmed: high-value logging expanded 9 km.y(-1), and an inner wave of lower value charcoal production 2 km.y(-1). This resource utilization is shown to reduce the public goods of carbon storage and species richness, which significantly increased with each kilometer from DES [carbon, 0.2 Mg.ha(-1); 0.1 species per sample area (0.4 ha)]. Our study suggests that tropical forest degradation can be modeled and predicted, with its attendant loss of some public goods. In sub-Saharan Africa, an area experiencing the highest rate of urban migration worldwide, coupled with a high dependence on forest based resources, predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of degradation can inform policies designed to extract resources without unsustainably reducing carbon storage and biodiversity.
Aronson, J.; Blignaut, J. N.; de Groot, R. S.; Clewell, A.; Lowry, P. P.; Woodworth, P.; Cowling, R. M.; Renison, D.; Farley, J.; Fontaine, C.; Tongway, D.; Levy, S.; Milton, S. J.; Rangel, O.; Debrincat, B.; Birkinshaw, C.. (2010) The road to sustainability must bridge three great divides. 1185 225-236
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The world's large and rapidly growing human population is exhausting Earth's natural capital at ever-faster rates, and yet appears mostly oblivious to the fact that these resources are limited. This is dangerous for our well-being and perhaps for our survival, as documented by numerous studies over many years. Why are we not moving instead toward sustainable levels of use? We argue here that this disconnection between our knowledge and our actions is largely caused by three "great divides": an ideological divide between economists and ecologists; an economic development divide between the rich and the poor; and an information divide, which obstructs communications between scientists, public opinion, and policy makers. These divides prevent our economies from responding effectively to urgent signals of environmental and ecological stress. The restoration of natural capital (RNC) can be an important strategy in bridging all of these divides. RNC projects and programs make explicit the multiple and mutually reinforcing linkages between environmental and economic well-being, while opening up a promising policy road in the search for a sustainable and desirable future for global society. The bridge-building capacity of RNC derives from its double focus: on the ecological restoration of degraded, overexploited natural ecosystems, and on the full socio-economic and ecological interface between people and their environments.
Bateman, I. J.; Fisher, B.; Fitzherbert, E.; Glew, D.; Naidoo, R.. (2010) Tigers, markets and palm oil: market potential for conservation. 44(2) 230-234
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Increasing demand for cooking oil and biofuels has made palm oil, > 80% of which is grown in South-east Asia, the dominant globally traded vegetable oil However, this region is host to some of the world's most biodiverse and threatened tropical forests Strategic engagement with commercial operations is increasingly recognized to be an essential part of the solution for raising funds for conservation initiatives, raising consumer consciousness and potentially stemming environmental degradation Linking market incentives towards conservation is also of critical importance because it is becoming widely recognized that conservation needs to begin to address the wider countryside (outside protected areas) where human-wildlife interactions are frequent and impacts are large. Using the Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae as both a threatened species in its own right and emblematic for wider species diversity, we show that western consumers are willing to pay a significant premium for products using palm oil grown in a manner that reduces impacts on such species. Results suggest that the price premium associated with a 'tiger-friendly' accreditation may provide a useful additional tool to raise conservation funds and, within the right institutional context, serve as an inducement to address the problem of habitat and species loss
Batker, D.; de la Torre, I.; Costanza, R.; Swedeen, P.; Day, J.; Boumans, R.; Bagstad, K.. (2010) Gaining Ground: Wetlands, Hurricanes, and the Economy: The Value of Restoring the Mississippi River Delta. Environmental Law Reporter 40(11) 11106-11110
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Economies need nature. Natural systems provide foundational economic goods and services, including oxygen, water, land, food, climate stability, storm and flood protection, recreation, aesthetic value, raw materials, minerals, and energy. All built capital is made of natural capital, including cars, buildings, and food. The coastal economy of the Mississippi River Delta also requires hurricane protection, a stable climate, waste assimilation, and other natural services. No economy can function without nature's provision of economic goods and services. This is most apparent in North America's largest river delta. This Article is a brief synthesis of a more extensive report we carried out to evaluate the value of ecosystem services of the Mississippi Delta. That report--the most comprehensive measure of the economic value of Mississippi River Delta natural systems to date--is available at www.eartheconomics.org.
Besaw, L. E.; Rizzo, D. M.; Bierman, P. R.; Hackett, W. R.. (2010) Advances in ungauged streamflow prediction using artificial neural networks. Journal of Hydrology 386(1-4) 27-37
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In this work, we develop and test two artificial neural networks (ANNs) to forecast streamflow in ungauged basins. The model inputs include time-lagged records of precipitation and temperature. In addition, recurrent feedback loops allow the ANN streamflow estimates to be used as model inputs. Publically available climate and US Geological Survey streamflow records from sub-basins in Northern Vermont are used to train and test the methods. Time-series analysis of the climate-flow data provides a transferable and systematic methodology to determine the appropriate number of time-lagged input data. To predict streamflow in an ungauged basin, the recurrent ANNs are trained on climate-flow data from one basin and used to forecast streamflow in a nearby basin with different (more representative) climate inputs. One of the key results of this work, and the reason why time-lagged predictions of steamflow improve forecasts, is these recurrent flow predictions are being driven by time-lagged locally-measured climate data. The successful demonstration of these flow prediction methods with publicly available USGS flow and NCDC climate datasets shows that the ANNs, trained on a climate-discharge record from one basin, prove capable of predicting streamflow in a nearby basin as accurately as in the basin on which they were trained. This suggests that the proposed methods are widely applicable, at least in the humid, temperate climate zones shown in this work. A scaling ratio, based on a relationship between bankfull discharge and basin drainage area, accounts for the change in drainage area from one basin to another. Hourly streamflow predictions were superior to those using daily data for the small streams tested due the loss of critical lag times through upscaling. The ANNs selected in this work always converge, avoid stochastic training algorithms, and are applicable in small ungauged basins. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Blakeslee, A. M. H.; McKenzie, C. H.; Darling, J. A.; Byers, J. E.; Pringle, J. M.; Roman, J.. (2010) A hitchhiker's guide to the Maritimes: anthropogenic transport facilitates long-distance dispersal of an invasive marine crab to Newfoundland. 16(6) 879-891
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Aim To determine timing, source and vector for the recent introduction of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758), to Newfoundland using multiple lines of evidence. Location Founding populations in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada and potential source populations in the north-west Atlantic (NWA) and Europe. Methods We analysed mitochondrial and microsatellite genetic data from European and NWA populations sampled during 1999-2002 to determine probable source locations and vectors for the Placentia Bay introduction discovered in 2007. We also analysed Placentia Bay demographic data and shipping records to look for congruent patterns with genetic analyses. Results Demographic data and surveys suggested that C. maenas populations are established and were in Placentia Bay for several years (c. 2002) prior to discovery. Genetic data corroboratively suggested central/western Scotian Shelf populations (e.g., Halifax) as the likely source area for the anthropogenic introduction. These Scotian Shelf populations were within an admixture zone made up of genotypes from both the earlier (early 1800s) and later (late 1900s) introductions of the crab to the NWA from Europe. Placentia Bay also exhibited this mixed ancestry. Probable introduction vectors included vessel traffic and shipping, especially vessels carrying ballast water. Main conclusions Carcinus maenas overcame considerable natural barriers (i.e., coastal and ocean currents) via anthropogenic transport to become established and abundant in Newfoundland. Our study thus demonstrates how non-native populations can be important secondary sources of introduction especially when aided by human transport. Inference of source populations was possible owing to the existence of an admixture zone in central/western Nova Scotia made up of southern and northern genotypes corresponding with the crab's two historical introductions. Coastal vessel traffic was found to be a likely vector for the crab's spread to Newfoundland. Our study demonstrates that there is considerable risk for continued introduction or reintroduction of C. maenas throughout the NWA.
Buchholz, T.; Da Silva, I.. (2010) Potential of distributed wood-based biopower systems serving basic electricity needs in rural Uganda. Energy for Sustainable Development 14(1) 56-61
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Current efforts to improve electricity services in Uganda evolve around satisfying growing urban demand as well as stabilizing and boosting a low electricity supply. Although virtually non-existent, rural electrification is receiving very little attention. This paper investigates the potential of wood-based biopower fueled from coppicing shrubs on its feasibility to provide affordable basic electricity services to rural Ugandan households. Gasification was the specific technology we assessed. In the calculations, a worst case scenario was chosen for wood-based biopower to compete with alternative sources of electricity: Cost and land use estimates assumed a rather high household consumption (30 kWh/month), a low household size (8 persons), a low area productivity (3 oven-dried tons per ha per year), a low electrical conversion efficiency (15%) and a high demand competing for fertile land with the biopower system. Cost estimates considered a high biomass price (18.5 US$/odt), a low capacity factor for the biopower system of 0.5 (therefore requiring installation of a larger unit) and high capital costs of 2300 US$ per kW installed. Additional pressure on fertile land would be negligible. Such biopower systems can outcompete other sources of electricity from a micro and macro-economic standpoint when looking at the local scale. Results indicate that biopower can deliver better and more energy services at 47 US$/yr and household or 0.11 US$/kWh which is below current average costs for e. g. off-grid lighting in rural Ugandan households. Additionally, only this biopower option offers the ability to households, sell wood to the biopower system and contribute at least four times as much to the local economy than the other electricity options used as terms of comparison. Further research has to focus on developing business plans and loan schemes for such biopower options including sustainable fuelwood supply chains based on coppicing shrubs which have the ability to contribute to agricultural site improvements. The approach outlined in this paper can further serve as a general framework to compare different options of electricity production across technologies and fuel sources especially for rural development purposes incorporating a multitude of aspects. (C) 2010 International Energy Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Buchholz, T.; Weinreich, A.; Tennigkeit, T.. (2010) Modeling heliotropic tree growth in hardwood tree species-A case study on Maesopsis eminii. Forest Ecology and Management 260(10) 1656-1663
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There are many impacts during a tree's life that affect bole development. In Maesopsis eminii, a high-potential timber species in Uganda, studies have shown that the occurrence of strongly bent boles is the overwhelming reason that boles fail quality criteria. This observation is incongruous with the tree architecture model of Roux, which describes M. eminii as a tree with a strong apical dominance, meaning that it has a strong genetically based preference for vertical growth of the terminal sprout relative to side branches. As external causes for bent boles could be excluded, we demonstrate in this study the proof of heliotropic growth. i.e. an active bending towards light, for M. eminii beyond the sapling stage. We develop a model used to describe the effects of competition on bole quality using bole form parameters and basic information about the neighbouring trees, and without having to incorporate crown parameters. By means of calculated bole parameters and a mathematical equation to calculate the intensity and direction of competition, we prove the existence of a heliotropic growth reaction. However, we are not able to predict the intensity of this reaction. Finally, general silvicultural recommendations are discussed for tree species with strong heliotropic growth. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Burkhard, B.; Petrosillo, I.; Costanza, R.. (2010) Ecosystem services - Bridging ecology, economy and social sciences. Ecological Complexity 7(3) 257-259
Cornell, S.; Costanza, R.; Sorlin, S.; van der Leeuw, S.. (2010) Developing a systematic "science of the past" to create our future. 20(3) 426-427
Costanza, R.; Batker, D.; Day, J. W.; Feagin, R. A.; Martinez, M. L.; Roman, J.. (2010) The Perfect Spill: Solutions for Averting the Next Deepwater Horizon. Solutions 1(5) 42-43
Costanza, R.; Farley, J.. (2010) What Should Be Done With the Revenues From a Carbon-Cap-and-Auction System?. Solutions 1(1) 33
Costanza, R.; Limburg, K.. (2010) Ecological Economics reviews: an introduction to the inaugural volume. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1185 vii-viii
Cox, G.; Woods, A.; Holmes, T.; Porter, W.; Erickson, J. D.. (2010) Survey of Public Priorities as a Guide for Future Sustainable Investment Strategies in the Northern Forest. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies 16
Curzon, M. T.; Keeton, W. S.. (2010) Spatial characteristics of canopy disturbances in riparian old-growth hemlock - northern hardwood forests, Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 40(1) 13-25
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Gap dynamics in temperate, late-successional forests influence important riparian functions, including organic matter recruitment and light environments over streams. However, controls on gap dynamics specific to riparian forests are poorly understood. We hypothesized that (i) gaps are larger and more frequent nearer streams, (ii) gaps cluster at within-stand scales, and (iii) tree damage type and gap fraction vary among riparian landforms. All gaps within four 6-9 ha plots in riparian old-growth eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carriere) - northern hardwood forest in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA, were mapped and measured. We recorded species, damage type, and diameter at breast height for gapmakers and dominant perimeter trees. Spatial distribution was assessed with Ripley's K. Spatial autocorrelation in gap area and tree damage type were assessed using Moran's I. Linear regression analysis defined relationships between proximity to streams and gap area and frequency. Expanded gap fraction ranged from 28.3% to 47.6%. Gaps were randomly distributed at scales 525 m and clustered at scales of 63-122 in. Distribution patterns were not consistent at other scales. Convergent and divergent landforms significantly influenced gap fraction, tree damage type, and species distributions. Positive correlations between convergent topography and gap area suggest ail interaction between low-order riparian landforms and gap formation dynamics in late-successional forests.
Daniels, A. E.; Bagstad, K.; Esposito, V.; Moulaert, A.; Rodriguez, C. M.. (2010) Understanding the impacts of Costa Rica's PES: Are we asking the right questions?. Ecological Economics 69(11) 2116-2126
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PES is an increasingly mainstream tool for influencing land-use decisions on private land and Costa Rica's experience provides critical insight. We review findings of PES impacts on forest cover, a proxy for forest-based ecosystem services. National studies conclude that PES has not lowered deforestation rates. Yet in northern Costa Rica, there is evidence of additionality for PH-related avoided deforestation. Moreover, sub-national studies of bi-directional forest cover change, along with farm-level interview data and an understanding of ground-based operations, demonstrate that avoided deforestation is an incomplete measure of PES impact. Sub-national case studies suggest PES is associated with agricultural abandonment and net gains in forest cover via forest regeneration and plantation establishment. Explanations include that forest regeneration has always been an accepted PES modality for some regions. Also, early PES cohorts have an implicit spatial correlation with pre-PES incentives focusing exclusively on reforestation. Without understanding de facto PES implementation, it is impossible to appropriately evaluate PES impacts or discern whether PES outcomes positive or negative are due to PES design or its implementation. This distinction is critical in refining our understanding of both the utility and limitations of PES and has some practical implications for PES-style REDD initiatives. Published by Elsevier B.V.
De Groot, R.; Fisher, B.; Christie, M.; Aronson, J.; Braat, L.; Haines-Young, R.; Gowdy, J.; Maltby, E.; Neuville, A.; Polasky, S.; Portela, R.; Ring, I.. (2010) Integrating the ecological and economic dimensions in biodiversity and ecosystem service valuation. Earthscan, London. Pages 400;
Echelle, A. A.; Hackler, J. C.; Lack, J. B.; Ballard, S. R.; Roman, J.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, D. M., Jr.; Van Den Bussche, R. A.. (2010) Conservation genetics of the alligator snapping turtle: cytonuclear evidence of range-wide bottleneck effects and unusually pronounced geographic structure. 11(4) 1375-1387
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A previous mtDNA study indicated that female-mediated gene flow was extremely rare among alligator snapping turtle populations in different drainages of the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we used variation at seven microsatellite DNA loci to assess the possibility of male-mediated gene flow, we augmented the mtDNA survey with additional sampling of the large Mississippi River System, and we evaluated the hypothesis that the consistently low within-population mtDNA diversity reflects past population bottlenecks. The results show that dispersal between drainages of the Gulf of Mexico is rare (F (STmsat) = 0.43, I broken vertical bar(STmtDNA) = 0.98). Past range-wide bottlenecks are indicated by several genetic signals, including low diversity for microsatellites (1.1-3.9 alleles/locus; H (e) = 0.06-0.53) and mtDNA (h = 0.00 for most drainages; pi = 0.000-0.001). Microsatellite data reinforce the conclusion from mtDNA that the Suwannee River population might eventually be recognized as a distinct taxonomic unit. It was the only population showing fixation or near fixation for otherwise rare microsatellite alleles. Six evolutionarily significant units are recommended on the basis of reciprocal mtDNA monophyly and high levels of microsatellite DNA divergence.
Edwards, D. P.; Fisher, B.; Boyd, E.. (2010) Protecting degraded rainforests: enhancement of forest carbon stocks under REDD. Conservation Letters 3(5) 313-316
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The likely Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism includes strategies for the enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Recent concerns have been expressed that such enhancement, or restoration, of forest carbon could be counterproductive to biodiversity conservation, because forests are managed as "carbon farms" with the application of intensive silvicultural management that could homogenize diverse degraded rainforests. Restoration increases regeneration rates in degraded forest compared to naturally regenerating forest, and thus could yield significant financial returns for carbon sequestered. Here, we argue that such forest restoration projects are, in fact, likely to provide a number of benefits to biodiversity conservation including the retention of biodiversity, the prevention of forest conversion to agriculture, and employment opportunities for poor local communities. As with other forms of forest-based carbon offsets, there are possible moral hazard and leakage problems with restoration. However, due to the multiple benefits, we urge that enhancement of forest carbon stocks be detailed as a major component in the future negotiations of REDD+.
Ellis, A. M.; Vaclavik, T.; Meentemeyer, R. K.. (2010) When is connectivity important? A case study of the spatial pattern of sudden oak death. 119(3) 485-493
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Although connectivity has been examined from many different angles and in many ecological disciplines, few Studies have tested in which systems and tinder what conditions connectivity is important in determining ecological dynamics. Identifying general rules governing when connectivity is important is crucial not only for basic ecology, but also for our ability to manage natural systems, particularly as increasing fragmentation may change the degree to which connectivity influences ecological dynamics. In this study, we used statistical regression, least-cost path analysis, and model selection techniques to test the relative importance of potential connectivity in determining the spatial pattern of sudden oak death, a tree disease that is killing millions of oak and tanoak trees along coastal forests of California and Oregon. We hypothesized that potential connectivity, in addition to environmental conditions, is important in determining the spatial distribution Of Sudden oak death, the importance of connectivity is more apparent when measured using biologically meaningful metric's that account for the effects of landscape structure on disease spread, and the relative importance of environmental variables and connectivity is approximately equal. Results demonstrate that potential connectivity was important in determining the spatial pattern of sudden oak death, though it was relatively less important than environmental variables. Moreover, connectivity was important only when using biologically meaningful metrics as opposed to simple distance-based metrics that ignore landscape structure. These results demonstrate that connectivity can be important in systems not typically considered in connectivity Studies - high-lighting the importance of examining connectivity in a variety of different systems - and demonstrate that the manner in which connectivity is measured may govern our ability to detect its importance.
Farley, J.; Aquino, A.; Daniels, A.; Moulaert, A.; Lee, D.; Krause, A.. (2010) Global mechanisms for sustaining and enhancing PES schemes. Ecological Economics 69(11) 2075-2084
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An international payment for ecosystem service (IPES) schemes may be one of the only mechanisms available to stimulate the provision of vital non-marketed ecosystem services at the global level, as those nations that benefit from global ecosystem services (GES) cannot readily force other sovereign nations to provide them. Currently, international trade offers trillions of dollars in incentives for countries to convert natural capital into marketable goods and services, and few payments to entice countries to conserve natural capital in order to sustain critical non-marketed ecosystem services. We examine the biophysical characteristics of climate change and biodiversity to understand the obstacles to developing effective IPES schemes. We find that none of the existing schemes for providing GES are adequate, given the scale of the problem. A cap and auction scheme for CO(2) emissions among wealthy nations could fund IPES and simultaneously deter carbon emissions. To disburse funds, we should adapt Brazil's ICMS ecologic, and apportion available funds to targeted countries in proportion to how well they meet specific criteria designed to measure the provision of GES. Individual countries can then develop their own policies for increasing provision of these services, ensured of compensation if they do so. Indirect IPES should include funding for freely available technologies that protect or provide GES, such as the low carbon energy alternatives that will be essential for curbing climate change. Markets rely on the price mechanism to generate profits, which rations technology to those who can afford it, reducing adoption rates, innovation and total value. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Farley, J.; Batker, D.; de la Torre, I.; Hudspeth, T.. (2010) Conserving Mangrove Ecosystems in the Philippines: Transcending Disciplinary and Institutional Borders. 45(1) 39-51
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Humans are rapidly depleting critical ecosystems and the life support functions they provide, increasing the urgency of developing effective conservation tools. Using a case study of the conversion of mangrove ecosystems to shrimp aquaculture, this article describes an effort to develop a transdisciplinary, transinstitutional approach to conservation that simultaneously trains future generations of environmental problem solvers. We worked in close collaboration with academics, non-government organizations, local government and local communities to organize a workshop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. The primary objectives of the workshop were to: (1) train participants in the basic principles of ecological economics and its goals of sustainable scale, just distribution and efficient allocation; (2) learn from local community stakeholders and participating scientists about the problems surrounding conversion of mangrove ecosystems to shrimp aquaculture; (3) draw on the skills and knowledge of all participants to develop potential solutions to the problem; and (4) communicate results to those with the power and authority to act on them. We found that the economic and ecological benefits of intact mangroves outweigh the returns to aquaculture. Perversely, however, private property rights to mangrove ecosystems favor inefficient, unjust and unsustainable allocation of the resource-a tragedy of the non-commons. We presented the workshop results to the press and local government, which shut down the aquaculture ponds to conserve the threatened ecosystem. Effective communication to appropriate audiences was essential for transforming research into action. Our approach is promising and can be readily applied to conservation research and advocacy projects worldwide, but should be improved through adaptive management-practitioners must continually build on those elements that work and discard or improve those that fail.
Farley, J.; Costanza, R.. (2010) Payments for ecosystem services: From local to global. Ecological Economics 69(11) 2060-2068
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Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is becoming increasingly popular as a way to manage ecosystems using economic incentives. The environmental economics approach to PES tries to force ecosystem services into the market model, with an emphasis on efficiency. The ecological economics approach, in contrast, seeks to adapt economic institutions to the physical characteristics of ecosystem services prioritizing ecological sustainability and just distribution and requiring a transdisciplinary approach. This paper summarizes the results of a participatory "atelier" workshop held in Costa Rica. We developed a set of principles (the Heredia Declaration) for PES systems and report on evolving initiatives in several countries. We discuss how the distinction between ecosystem goods (which are stock-flow resources) and ecosystem services (which are fund-service resources) and the physical characteristics of the fund-services affect the appropriate institutional form for PES. We conclude that PES systems represent an important way to effectively manage fund-service resources as public goods, and that this represents a significant departure from conventional market institutions. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Farley, J.. (2010) Conservation Through the Economics Lens. 45(1) 26-38
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Although conservation is an inherently transdisciplinary issue, there is much to be gained from examining the problem through an economics lens. Three benefits of such an approach are laid out in this paper. First, many of the drivers of environmental degradation are economic in origin, and the better we understand them, the better we can conserve ecosystems by reducing degradation. Second, economics offers us a when-to-stop rule, which is equivalent to a when-to-conserve rule. All economic production is based on the transformation of raw materials provided by nature. As the economic system grows in physical size, it necessarily displaces and degrades ecosystems. The marginal benefits of economic growth are diminishing, and the marginal costs of ecological degradation are increasing. Conceptually, we should stop economic growth and focus on conservation when the two are equal. Third, economics can help us understand how to efficiently and justly allocate resources toward conservation, and this paper lays out some basic principles for doing so. Unfortunately, the field of economics is dominated by neoclassical economics, which builds an analytical framework based on questionable assumptions and takes an excessively disciplinary and formalistic approach. Conservation is a complex problem, and analysis from individual disciplinary lenses can make important contributions to conservation only when the resulting insights are synthesized into a coherent vision of the whole. Fortunately, there are a number of emerging transdisciplines, such as ecological economics and environmental management, that are dedicated to this task.
Feagin, R. A.; Martinez, M. L.; Mendoza-Gonzalez, G.; Costanza, R.. (2010) Salt Marsh Zonal Migration and Ecosystem Service Change in Response to Global Sea Level Rise: A Case Study from an Urban Region. 15(4)
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Coastal wetland plants are expected to respond to global sea level rise by migrating toward higher elevations. Housing, infrastructure, and other anthropogenic modifications are expected to limit the space available for this potential migration. Here, we explore the ecological and economic effects of projected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report sea level changes at the plant community scale using the highest horizontal (1 m) and vertical (0.01 m) resolution data available, using a 6 x 6 km area as an example. Our findings show that salt marshes do not always lose land with increasing rates of sea level rise. We found that the lower bound of the IPCC 2007 potential rise (0.18 m by 2095) actually increased the total marsh area. This low rise scenario resulted in a net gain in ecosystem service values on public property, whereas market-based economic losses were predicted for private property. The upper rise scenario (0.59 m by 2095) resulted in both public and private economic losses for this same area. Our work highlights the trade-offs between public and privately held value under the various IPCC 2007 climate change scenarios. We conclude that as wetlands migrate inland into urbanized regions, their survival is likely to be dependent on the rate of return on property and housing investments.
Fisher, B.; Bateman, I. J.; Turner, K.. (2010) Valuing Ecosystem Services: benefits, values, space and time.. Routledge, London, U. K.. Pages 256;
Fisher, B.; Kulindwa, K.; Mwanyoka, I.; Turner, R. K.; Burgess, N. D.. (2010) Common pool resource management and PES: Lessons and constraints for water PES in Tanzania. Ecological Economics 69(6) 1253-1261
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Research into common pool resources from the field and in the laboratory has provided a series of insights for the successful management of such resources. The consequences of action and inaction in managing common pool resources are often most strongly felt (gains or losses) by local people. Several ecosystem services can be considered CPRs but in some cases the benefits of (mis)management are enjoyed by one group while the costs are levied on another group. Here we discuss some of the key findings of the CPR literature and how these relate to key considerations for using PES as a management tool. We focus on the role that ecosystems play in regulating water flows in two basins in Tanzania where feasibility studies have been conducted for the potential implementation of PES for water. We find that the lessons from CPR research shed light on some of the key implementation problems for PES mechanisms, and provide a useful guide for highlighting important user-resource considerations especially in contexts similar to East Africa, (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Fisher, B.. (2010) African exception to drivers of deforestation. 3 375-376
Fisher, B.. (2010) Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. 47(1) 149-150
Foster, B.; Wang, D.; Keeton, W.S.; Ashton, M.S.. (2010) Implementing sustainable forestry using six management concepts in an adaptive management framework.. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 29 79-108
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Certification and principles, criteria and indicators (PCI) describe desired ends for sustainable forest management (SFM) but do not address potential means to achieve those ends. As a result, forest owners and managers participating in certification and employing PCI as tools to achieving SFM may be doing so inefficiently: achieving results by trial-and-error rather than by targeted management practices; dispersing resources away from priority objectives; and passively monitoring outcomes rather than actively establishing quantitative goals. In this literature review, we propose six concepts to guide SFM implementation. These concepts include: Best Management Practices (BMPs)/Reduced Impact Logging (RIL), biodiversity conservation, forest protection, multi-scale planning, participatory forestry, and sustained forest production. We place these concepts within an iterative decision-making framework of planning, implementation, and assessment, and provide brief definitions of and practices delimited by each concept. A case study describing SFM in the neo-tropics illustrates a potential application of our six concepts. Overall our paper offers an approach that will help forest owners and managers implement the ambiguous SFM concept.
Galford, G. L.; Melillo, J. M.; Kicklighter, D. W.; Cronin, T. W.; Cerri, C. E. P.; Mustard, J. F.; Cerri, C. C.. (2010) Greenhouse gas emissions from alternative futures of deforestation and agricultural management in the southern Amazon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107(46) 19649-19654
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The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural areas in the world and represents a potentially large future source of greenhouse gases from land clearing and subsequent agricultural management. In an integrated approach, we estimate the greenhouse gas dynamics of natural ecosystems and agricultural ecosystems after clearing in the context of a future climate. We examine scenarios of deforestation and postclearing land use to estimate the future (2006-2050) impacts on carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, using a process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model (TEM). We estimate a net emission of greenhouse gases from Mato Grosso, ranging from 2.8 to 15.9 Pg CO2-equivalents (CO2-e) from 2006 to 2050. Deforestation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions over this period, but land uses following clearing account for a substantial portion (24-49%) of the net greenhouse gas budget. Due to land-cover and land-use change, there is a small foregone carbon sequestration of 0.2-0.4 Pg CO2-e by natural forests and cerrado between 2006 and 2050. Both deforestation and future land-use management play important roles in the net greenhouse gas emissions of this frontier, suggesting that both should be considered in emissions policies. We find that avoided deforestation remains the best strategy for minimizing future greenhouse gas emissions from Mato Grosso.
Galford, G. L.; Melillo, J.; Mustard, J. F.; Cerri, C. E. P.; Cerri, C. C.. (2010) The Amazon Frontier of Land-Use Change: Croplands and Consequences for Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 14
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The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural frontiers in the world. The authors assess changes in cropland area and the intensification of cropping in the Brazilian agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso using remote sensing and develop a greenhouse gas emissions budget. The most common type of intensification in this region is a shift from single-to double-cropping patterns and associated changes in management, including increased fertilization. Using the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, the authors created a green-leaf phenology for 2001-06 that was temporally smoothed with a wavelet filter. The wavelet-smoothed green-leaf phenology was analyzed to detect cropland areas and their cropping patterns. The authors document cropland extensification and double-cropping intensification validated with field data with 85% accuracy for detecting croplands and 64% and 89% accuracy for detecting single-and double-cropping patterns, respectively. The results show that croplands more than doubled from 2001 to 2006 to cover about 100 000 km(2) and that new double-cropping intensification occurred on over 20% of croplands. Variations are seen in the annual rates of extensification and double-cropping intensification. Greenhouse gas emissions are estimated for the period 2001-06 due to conversion of natural vegetation and pastures to row-crop agriculture in Mato Grosso averaged 179 Tg CO(2)-e yr(-1),over half the typical fossil fuel emissions for the country in recent years.
Keeton, W. S.; Chernyavskyy, M.; Gratzer, G.; Main-Knorn, M.; Shpylchak, M.; Bihun, Y.. (2010) Structural characteristics and aboveground biomass of old-growth spruce-fir stands in the eastern Carpathian mountains, Ukraine. Plant Biosystems 144(1) 148-159
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Temperate old-growth forests are known to have ecological characteristics distinct from younger forests, but these have been poorly described for the remaining old-growth Picea abies-Abies alba forests in the eastern Carpathian mountains. In addition, recent studies suggest that old-growth forests may be more significant carbon sinks than previously recognized. This has stimulated interest in quantifying aboveground carbon stocks in primary forest systems. We investigated the structural attributes and aboveground biomass in two remnant old-growth spruce-fir stands and compared these against a primary (never logged) mature reference stand. Our sites were located in the Gorgany Nature Reserve in western Ukraine. Overstory data were collected using variable radius plots; coarse woody debris was sampled along line intercept transects. Differences among sites were assessed using non-parametric statistical analyses. Goodness-of-fit tests were used to evaluate the form of diameter distributions. The results strongly supported the hypothesis that old-growth temperate spruce-fir forests have greater structural complexity compared to mature forests, including higher densities of large trees, more complex horizontal structure, and elevated aboveground biomass. The late-successional sites we sampled exhibited rotated sigmoid diameter distributions; these may reflect natural disturbance dynamics. Old-growth Carpathian spruce-fir forests store on average approximately 155-165 Mg ha-1 of carbon in aboveground tree parts alone. This is approximately 50% higher than mature stands. Given the scarcity of primary spruce-fir forests in the Carpathian region, remaining stands have high conservation value, both as habitat for late-successional species and as carbon storage reservoirs.
Kemkes, R. J.; Farley, J.; Koliba, C. J.. (2010) Determining when payments are an effective policy approach to ecosystem service provision. Ecological Economics 69(11) 2069-2074
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There are several policy tools available for the provision of ecosystem services. The economic characteristics of the ecosystem service being provided, such as rivalry and excludability, along with the spatial scale at which benefits accrue can help determine the appropriate policy approach. In this paper we provide a brief introduction to ecosystem services and discuss the policy tools available for providing them along with the dimensions, political feasibility and appropriateness of each tool. Throughout the paper we focus primarily on payments as a mechanism for ecosystem service provision. We present a framework for determining the characteristics of an ecosystem service and when payments are a viable policy tool option based on the characteristics. Additionally, we provide examples of when payments do not provide a socially desirable level of ecosystem benefits. We conclude with a summary of policy recommendations, specifically desirable property rights and payment types based on the particular classification of an ecosystem service. We also discuss the advantages of creating monopsony power to reduce transaction costs, delineating and bundling ecosystem services and utilizing existing intermediaries. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Koliba, C.; Meek, J.; Zia, A.. (2010) Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy.. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.
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What do public administrators and policy analysts have in common? Their work is undertaken within networks formed when different organizations align to accomplish some kind of policy function. To be effective, they must find ways to navigate complexity and generate effective results. Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy describes a variety of trends and movements that have contributed to the complexity of these systems and the challenges that must be faced as a result. Providing a theoretical and empirical foundation in governance networks, the book offers a conceptual framework for describing governance networks and provides a holistic way to conceive their construction. The text details the skills and functions of public administrators in the context of networked relationships and presents the theoretical foundations to analyze governance networks. It identifies the reforms and trends in governing that led to governance networks, explains the roles that various actors take on through networked relationships, highlights the challenges involved in the failure of networked activities, and illustrates how policy tools are mobilized by these relationships. Be a part of building governance networks 2.0! The authors website contains support materials such as PowerPoint presentations, writable case study templates, and other useful items related to building the fields capacity to describe, evaluate, and design governance networks using the framework of this book. You can post case studies of governance networks, draw on others case study materials, and learn about research and educational opportunities. Based on research and real-life experience, the book highlights the interplay between public actors and policy tools. The authors demystify this complex topic of governance networks and explore the practical applications of the conceptual framework. Practical and accessible, the book presents concepts in such a way that readers can engage in these ideas, apply them, and deepen their understanding of the dynamics unfolding around them.
Kubiszewski, I.; Cleveland, C. J.; Endres, P. K.. (2010) Meta-analysis of net energy return for wind power systems. 35(1) 218-225
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This analysis reviews and synthesizes the literature on the net energy return for electric power generation by wind turbines. Energy return on investment (EROI) is the ratio of energy delivered to energy costs. We examine 119 wind turbines from 50 different analyses, ranging in publication date from 1977 to 2007. We extend on previous work by including additional and more recent analyses, distinguishing between important assumptions about system boundaries and methodological approaches, and viewing the EROI as function of power rating. Our survey shows an average EROI for all studies (operational and conceptual) of 25.2 (n = 114; std. dev = 22.3). The average EROI for just the operational studies is 19.8 (n = 60; std. dev = 13.7). This places wind in a favorable position relative to fossil fuels, nuclear, and solar power generation technologies in terms of EROI. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kubiszewski, I.; Farley, J.; Costanza, R.. (2010) The production and allocation of information as a good that is enhanced with increased use. Ecological Economics 69(6) 1344-1354
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Information has some unique characteristics. Unlike most other goods and services, it is neither rival (use by one prevents use by others) nor non-rival (use by one does not affect use by others), but is enhanced with increased use, or 'additive'. Therefore a unique allocation system for both the production and consumption of information is needed. Under the current market-based allocation system, production of information is often limited through the exclusive rights produced by patents and copyrights. This limits scientists' ability to share and build on each other's knowledge. We break the problem down into three separate questions: (1) do markets generate the type of information most important for modern society? (2) are markets the most appropriate institution for producing that information? and (3) once information is produced, are markets the most effective way of maximizing the social value of that information? We conclude that systematic market failures make it unlikely that markets will generate the most important types of information, while the unique characteristics of information reduce the cost-effectiveness of markets in generating information and in maximizing its social value. We then discuss alternative methods that do not have these shortcomings, and that would lead to greater overall economic efficiency, social justice and ecological sustainability. These methods include monetary prizes, publicly funded research from which the produced information is released into the public domain, and status driven incentive structures like those in academia and the "open-source" community. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lee, M. S.; Drizo, A.; Rizzo, D. M.; Druschel, G. K.; Hayden, N.; Twohig, E.. (2010) Evaluating the efficiency and temporal variation of pilot-scale constructed wetlands and steel slag phosphorus removing filters for treating dairy wastewater. Water Research 44(14) 4077-4086
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The performance and temporal variation of three hybrid and three integrated, saturated flow, pilot-scale constructed wetlands (CWs) were tested for treating dairy farm effluent. The three hybrid systems each consisted of two CWs in-series, with horizontal and vertical flow. Integrated systems consisted of a CW (horizontal and vertical flow) followed by a steel slag filter for removing phosphorus. Time series temporal semivariogram analyses of measured water parameters illustrated different treatment efficiencies existed over the course of one season. As a result, data were then divided into separate time period groups and CW systems were compared using ANOVA for parameter measurements within each distinct time period group. Both hybrid and integrated CWs were efficient in removing organics; however, hybrid systems had significantly higher performance ( p < 0.05) during peak vegetation growth. Compared to hybrid CWs, integrated CWs achieved significantly higher DRP reduction ( p < 0.05) throughout the period of investigation and higher ammonia reduction ( p < 0.05) in integrated CWs was observed in late summer. Geochemical modeling demonstrates hydroxyapatite and vivianite minerals forming on steel slag likely control the fate of phosphate ions given the reducing conditions prevalent in the system. The model also demonstrates how the wastewater:slag ratio can be adjusted to maximize phosphorus removal while staying at a near-neutral pH. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Liu, S.; Costanza, R.; Farber, S.; Troy, A.. (2010) Valuing ecosystem services Theory, practice, and the need for a transdisciplinary synthesis. 1185 54-78
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The concept of ecosystem services has shifted our paradigm of how nature matters to human societies. Instead of viewing the preservation of nature as something for which we have to sacrifice our well-being, we now perceive the environment as natural capital, one of society's important assets. But ecosystem services are becoming increasingly scarce. In order to stop this trend, the challenge is to provoke society to acknowledge the value of natural capital. Ecosystem services valuation (ESV) is the method to tackle such a challenge. ESV is the process of assessing the contributions of ecosystem services to sustainable scale, fair distribution, and efficient allocation. It is a tool that (1) provides for comparisons of natural capital to physical and human capital in regard to their contributions to human welfare; (2) monitors the quantity and quality of natural capital over time with respect to its contribution to human welfare; and (3) provides for evaluation of projects that will affect natural capital stocks. This review covers: (1) what has been done in ESV research in the last 50 years; (2) how it has been used in ecosystem management; and (3) prospects for the future. Our survey of the literature has shown that over time, there has been movement toward a more transdisciplinary approach to ESV research which is more consistent with the nature of the problems being addressed. On the other hand, the contribution of ESV to ecosystem management has not been as significant as hoped nor as clearly defined. Conclusions drawn from the review are as follows: first, ESV researchers will have to transcend disciplinary boundaries and synthesize tools, skills, and methodologies from various disciplines; second, ESV research has to become more problem-driven rather than tool-driven because ultimately the success of ESV will be judged on how well it facilitates real-world decision making and the conservation of natural capital.
Liu, S.; Costanza, R.; Troy, A.; D'Aagostino, J.; Mates, W.. (2010) Valuing New Jersey's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital: A Spatially Explicit Benefit Transfer Approach. 45(6) 1271-1285
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We intend to estimate the value of ecosystem services in the U.S. State of New Jersey using spatially explicit benefit transfer. The aggregated net rent, a conservative underestimate for the total economic value of the state's natural environment, ranged from $11.6 to $19.6 billion/year, conditional on how inclusive we were in selecting the primary studies used to calculate the central tendency values to transfer. In addition to calculating the range, mean, and standard deviation for each of 12 ecosystem services for 11 Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) types, we also conduct a gap analysis of how well ecosystem service values are represented in the literature. We then map these values by assuming a mean value for each LULC and apply this to spatial data. As to sensitivity analysis, we calculate the net present value of New Jersey's natural environment utilizing three different methods of discounting. These research results provide a useful, albeit imperfect, basis for assessing the value of ecosystem services and natural capital, and their comparison with the value of conventional human and built capitals.
Liu, S.; Costanza, R.. (2010) Ecosystem services valuation in China. Ecological Economics 69(7) 1387-1388
Lovell, S. T.; DeSantis, S.; Nathan, C. A.; Olson, M. B.; Mendez, V. E.; Kominami, H. C.; Erickson, D. L.; Morris, K. S.; Morris, W. B.. (2010) Integrating agroecology and landscape multifunctionality in Vermont: An evolving framework to evaluate the design of agroecosystems. 103(5) 327-341
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Agroecosystems cover vast areas of land worldwide and are known to have a large impact on the environment, yet these highly modified landscapes are rarely considered as candidates for landscape design. While intentionally-designed agricultural landscapes could serve many different functions, few resources exist for evaluating the design of these complex landscapes, particularly at the scale of the whole-farm. The objective of this paper is to introduce an evolving framework for evaluating the design of agroecosystems based on a critical review of the literature on landscape rnultifunctionality and agroecology. We consider how agroecosystems might be designed to incorporate additional functions while adhering to agroecology principles for managing the landscape. The framework includes an assessment tool for evaluating farm design based on the extent of fine-scale land use features and their specific functions, to consider the present state of the farm, to plan for future conditions, or to compare alternative futures for the design of the farm. We apply this framework to two farms in Vermont that are recognized locally as successful, multifunctional landscapes. The Intervale Center, an agricultural landscape located within the city limits, serves as an incubator for new farm startups and provides unique cultural functions that benefit the local community. Butterworks Farm, a private operation producing organic yogurt and other food products, achieves important ecological functions through an integrated crop-livestock system. These farms and many others in Vermont serve as models of a framework that integrates landscape multifunctionality and agroecology in the design of the landscape. In the discussion section, we draw from the literature and our work to propose a set of important themes that might be considered for future research. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lovell, S. T.; Mendez, V. E.; Erickson, D. L.; Nathan, C.; DeSantis, S.. (2010) Extent, pattern, and multifunctionality of treed habitats on farms in Vermont, USA. 80(2) 153-171
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Agroecosystems can serve as multifunctional landscapes when treed habitats such as woodlots, hedgerows, riparian buffers, windbreaks, and orchards, are conserved on farms. We investigated the extent, pattern, and multifunctionality of on-farm treed habitats for 16 Vermont farms in the Lamoille watershed of the Lake Champlain Basin. The site was selected because the land use pattern is representative of the region, containing a mixture of agriculture and forest in different habitat types. We used a GIS-based approach to delineate treed habitats on farms and conducted semi-structured interviews with farmers to explore their perception of the functions of treed habitats. Through an evaluation of the relationship between farm characteristics and spatial attributes of treed habitats, we found farm size to be an important variable. Larger farms had more land in treed habitats, while the pattern of these habitats was more complex on smaller farms. Average elevation of the farm, an indicator of biophysical conditions, was a stronger predictor of the extent of treed habitats than farm characteristics. From interviews, we found that farmers benefited from alternative forest products, both for direct consumption and sale, including firewood, timber, maple sugar, edible fruits and nuts, and wood crafts. Most farmers also recognized cultural and ecological functions provided by treed habitats. These results have implications for developing policies to promote the conservation of treed habitats, considering the preferences of the landowner or farmer.
McBride, M.; Hession, W. C.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2010) Riparian reforestation and channel change: How long does it take?. Geomorphology 116(3-4) 330-340
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Repeated measurements of two small streams in northeastern Vermont document change in channel width and suggest variable rates of widening because of passive reforestation over four decades. Historic data on channel width are available for several tributaries to Sleepers River in Danville, VT, USA from the 1960s. In 2004 and 2008, we re-measured channel dimensions in two of these tributaries, in two reaches of upper Pope Brook and along seven reaches of an unnamed tributary (W12). Four reaches had reforested since 1966; two reaches remained nonforested. The other three reaches have been forested since at least the 1940s. Comparisons between 1966 and 2004 showed that reforested reaches widened significantly, and comparisons between 2004 and 2008 showed continued widening, but at a greater rate. Between 1966 and 2004, reforested reaches widened at an average rate of 4.1 cm/year, while the rate more than doubled for the last four years (8.7 cm/year). Additionally, turbulence data collected during five peak flows in the spring of 2005 showed significantly greater turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in the reforested reach than in either the forested or nonforested reach. Our data add supporting information to the conceptual model of stream W12 that describes a process of incision, widening, and recovery of a stream reach transitioning from nonforested to forested riparian vegetation. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mendez, V. E.; Bacon, C. M.; Olson, M. B.; Morris, K. S.; Shattuck, A.. (2010) Agrobiodiversity and Shade Coffee Smallholder Livelihoods: A Review and Synthesis of Ten Years of Research in Central America. 62(3) 357-376
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We used households as the primary unit of analysis to synthesize agrobiodiversity research in small-scale coffee farms and cooperatives of Nicaragua and El Salvador. Surveys, focus groups, and plant inventories were used to analyze agrobiodiversity and its contribution to livelihoods. Households managed high levels of agrobiodiversity, including 100 shade tree and epiphyte species, food crops, and medicinals. Small farms contained higher levels of agrobiodiversity than larger, collectively managed cooperatives. Households benefited from agrobiodiversity through consumption and sales. To better support agrobiodiversity conservation, our analysis calls for a hybrid approach integrating bottom-up initiatives with the resources from top-down projects.
Mendez, V. E.; Bacon, C. M.; Olson, M. B.; Petchers, S.; Herrador, D.; Carranza, C.; Trujillo, L.; Guadarrama-Zugasti, C.; Cordon, A.; Mendoza, A.. (2010) Effects of Fair Trade and organic certifications on small-scale coffee farmer households in Central America and Mexico. 25(3) 236-251
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We provide a review of sustainable coffee certifications and results from a quantitative analysis of the effects of Fair Trade, organic and combined Fair Trade/organic certifications on the livelihood strategies of 469 households and 18 cooperatives of Central America and Mexico. Certified households were also compared with a non-certified group in each country. To analyze the differences in coffee price, volume, gross revenue and education between certifications, we used the Kruskal-Wallis ( K-W) non-parametric test and the Mann-Whitney U non-parametric test as a post-hoc procedure. Household savings, credit, food security and incidence of migration were analyzed through Pearson's chi-square test. Our study corroborated the conditions of economic poverty among small-scale coffee farmer households in Central America and Mexico. All certifications provided a higher price per pound and higher gross coffee revenue than non-certified coffee. However, the average volumes of coffee sold by individual households were low, and many certified farmers did not sell their entire production at certified prices. Certifications did not have a discernable effect on other livelihood-related variables, such as education, and incidence of migration at the household level, although they had a positive influence on savings and credit. Sales to certified markets offer farmers and cooperatives better prices, but the contribution derived from these premiums has limited effects on household livelihoods. This demonstrates that certifications will not single-handedly bring significant poverty alleviation to most coffee-farming families. Although certified coffee markets alone will not resolve the livelihood challenges faced by smallholder households, they could still contribute to broad-based sustainable livelihoods, rural development and conservation processes in coffee regions. This can be done by developing more active partnerships between farmers, cooperatives, certifications and environmental and rural development organizations and researchers in coffee regions. Certifications, especially Fair Trade/organic, have proven effective in supporting capacity building and in serving as networks that leverage global development funding for small-scale coffee-producing households.
Mouser, P. J.; Rizzo, D. M.; Druschel, G. K.; Morales, S. E.; Hayden, N.; O'Grady, P.; Stevens, L.. (2010) Enhanced detection of groundwater contamination from a leaking waste disposal site by microbial community profiles. Water Resources Research 46
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Groundwater biogeochemistry is adversely impacted when municipal solid waste leachate, rich in nutrients and anthropogenic compounds, percolates into the subsurface from leaking landfills. Detecting leachate contamination using statistical techniques is challenging because well strategies or analytical techniques may be insufficient for detecting low levels of groundwater contamination. We sampled profiles of the microbial community from monitoring wells surrounding a leaking landfill using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Results show in situ monitoring of bacteria, archaea, and the family Geobacteraceae improves characterization of groundwater quality. Bacterial T-RFLP profiles showed shifts correlated to known gradients of leachate and effectively detected changes along plume fringes that were not detected using hydrochemical data. Experimental sediment microcosms exposed to leachate-contaminated groundwater revealed a shift from a beta-Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria dominated community to one dominated by Firmicutes and delta-Proteobacteria. This shift is consistent with the transition from oxic conditions to an anoxic, iron-reducing environment as a result of landfill leachate-derived contaminants and associated redox conditions. We suggest microbial communities are more sensitive than hydrochemistry data for characterizing low levels of groundwater contamination and thus provide a novel source of information for optimizing detection and long-term monitoring strategies at landfill sites.
Mulder, K.; Hagens, N.; Fisher, B.. (2010) Burning Water: A Comparative Analysis of the Energy Return on Water Invested. Ambio 39(1) 30-39
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While various energy-producing technologies have been analyzed to assess the amount of energy returned per unit of energy invested, this type of comprehensive and comparative approach has rarely been applied to other potentially limiting inputs such as water, land, and time. We assess the connection between water and energy production and conduct a comparative analysis for estimating the energy return on water invested (EROWI) for several renewable and non-renewable energy technologies using various Life Cycle Analyses. Our results suggest that the most water-efficient, fossil-based technologies have an EROWI one to two orders of magnitude greater than the most water-efficient biomass technologies, implying that the development of biomass energy technologies in scale sufficient to be a significant source of energy may produce or exacerbate water shortages around the globe and be limited by the availability of fresh water.
Nunery, J. S.; Keeton, W. S.. (2010) Forest carbon storage in the northeastern United States: Net effects of harvesting frequency, post-harvest retention, and wood products. Forest Ecology and Management 259(8) 1363-1375
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Temperate forests are an important carbon sink, yet there is debate regarding the net effect of forest management practices on carbon storage. Few studies have investigated the effects of different silvicultural systems on forest carbon stocks, and the relative strength of in situ forest carbon versus wood products pools remains in question. Our research describes (1) the impact of harvesting frequency and proportion of post-harvest structural retention on carbon storage in northern hardwood-conifer forests, and (2) tests the significance of including harvested wood products in carbon accounting at the stand scale. We stratified Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots to control for environmental, forest structural and compositional variables, resulting in 32 FIA plots distributed throughout the northeastern U.S. We used the USDA Forest Service's Forest Vegetation Simulator to project stand development over a 160 year period under nine different forest management scenarios. Simulated treatments represented a gradient of increasing structural retention and decreasing harvesting frequencies, including a "no harvest" scenario. The simulations incorporated carbon flux between aboveground forest biomass (dead and live pools) and harvested wood products. Mean carbon storage over the simulation period was calculated for each silvicultural scenario. We investigated tradeoffs among scenarios using a factorial treatment design and two-way ANOVA. Mean carbon sequestration was significantly (alpha = 0.05) greater for "no management" compared to any of the active management scenarios. Of the harvest treatments, those favoring high levels of structural retention and decreased harvesting frequency stored the greatest amounts of carbon. Classification and regression tree analysis showed that management scenario was the strongest predictor of total carbon storage, though site-specific variables were important secondary predictors. In order to isolate the effect of in situ forest carbon storage and harvested wood products, we did not include the emissions benefits associated with substituting wood fiber for other construction materials or energy sources. Modeling results from this study show that harvesting frequency and structural retention significantly affect mean carbon storage. Our results illustrate the importance of both post-harvest forest structure and harvesting frequency in carbon storage, and are valuable to land owners interested in managing forests for carbon sequestration. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Reynolds, T. W.; Farley, J.; Huber, C.. (2010) Investing in human and natural capital: An alternative paradigm for sustainable development in Awassa, Ethiopia. Ecological Economics 69(11) 2140-2150
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Ethiopia remains underdeveloped due to limitations in natural, human, social and built capital. A 2006 scientific atelier conducted in the city of Awassa. Ethiopia investigated investments in human and natural capital as a sustainable development strategy. Local stakeholders identified firewood shortages, degradation of croplands, rising lake levels encroaching on croplands and poor water quality as major impediments to development. They further identified ecological degradation as a key component of these problems, and they acknowledged multiple vicious cycles compounding the environmental and economic threats to the Awassa community. Proposed solutions included investment in natural capital in the form of reforestation activities, investment in human capital in the form of promoting more efficient wood stoves along with increasing public awareness of environmental threats, and investments in social capital in the form of inter-institutional coordination to address environmental problems. All recommended investments rely primarily on national resources, in distinct contrast to the extensive imports required for most built capital investments. Unfortunately, Awassa lacks the surplus necessary for major capital investments of any kind. The atelier therefore helped local participants identify potential funders and write grant proposals for various projects, though none have been funded so far. Reversing the ecological degradation on the scale necessary for sustained economic development in Ethiopia however will require a steady flow of substantial investments, and cannot rely solely on the short term generosity of funders. International payments for carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services could help provide the necessary resources. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ricketts, T. H.; Soares-Filho, B.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Nepstad, D.; Pfaff, A.; Petsonk, A.; Anderson, A.; Boucher, D.; Cattaneo, A.; Conte, M.; Creighton, K.; Linden, L.; Maretti, C.; Moutinho, P.; Ullman, R.; Victurine, R.. (2010) Indigenous lands, protected areas, and slowing climate change. 8(3) e1000331-e1000331
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Recent climate talks in Copenhagen reaffirmed the crucial role of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Creating and strengthening indigenous lands and other protected areas represents an effective, practical, and immediate REDD strategy that addresses both biodiversity and climate crises at once.
Roman, J.; Ehrlich, P. E.; Pringle, R.; Avise, J. A.. (2010) Facing extinction: Nine steps to save biodiversity. Solutions 1(1) 32-45
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Human history has followed a pattern—which began in Africa but is now global in scope—of exploiting nature and depleting resources. As we have expanded our influence over the world, we have also extinguished species and populations at an alarming rate. Despite attempts to reduce biodiversity loss, the trend is likely to continue: nearly 20% of all humans—more than a billion—now live within biodiversity hotspots, and their growth rate is faster than the population at large. This article presents nine steps to reduce biodiversity loss, with a goal of categorizing human-caused extinctions as wrongs, such as the slave trade and child labor, that are unacceptable to society. These steps include developing a system of parks that highlight the planet’s biological legacy, much as historical landmarks celebrate human history. Legal prohibitions that are fairly and capably enforced will also be essential in protecting rare and declining species. Biodiversity endowments—from national governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private enterprises—can help support parks and native species in perpetuity. Like a good sports team, conservationists need to defend extant wilderness areas, but they also need to play offense by restoring ecosystems, reclaiming keystone and umbrella species, and making human landscapes more hospitable to biodiversity. In the long run, the most effective forms of conservation will be those that engage local stakeholders; the cultivation of sustainable ecosystems and their services must be promoted along with conservation of endangered species and populations. The emerging field of ecological economics can unite these goals by revealing the connections between human well-being and conservation.
Roman, J.; McCarthy, J. J.. (2010) The Whale Pump: Marine Mammals Enhance Primary Productivity in a Coastal Basin. PloS One 5(10)
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It is well known that microbes, zooplankton, and fish are important sources of recycled nitrogen in coastal waters, yet marine mammals have largely been ignored or dismissed in this cycle. Using field measurements and population data, we find that marine mammals can enhance primary productivity in their feeding areas by concentrating nitrogen near the surface through the release of flocculent fecal plumes. Whales and seals may be responsible for replenishing 2.3x10(4) metric tons of N per year in the Gulf of Maine's euphotic zone, more than the input of all rivers combined. This upward "whale pump" played a much larger role before commercial harvest, when marine mammal recycling of nitrogen was likely more than three times atmospheric N input. Even with reduced populations, marine mammals provide an important ecosystem service by sustaining productivity in regions where they occur in high densities.
Shammin, Md R.; Herendeen, Robert A.; Hanson, Michelle J.; Wilson, Eric J. H.. (2010) A multivariate analysis of the energy intensity of sprawl versus compact living in the US for 2003. Ecological Economics 69(12) 2363-2373
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We explore the energy intensity of sprawl versus compact living by analyzing the total energy requirements of U.S. households for the year 2003. The methods used are based on previous studies on energy cost of living. Total energy requirement is calculated as a function of individual energy intensities of goods and services derived from economic input-output analysis and expenditures for those goods and services. We use multivariate regression analysis to estimate patterns in household energy intensities. We define sprawl in terms of location in rural areas or in areas with low population size. We find that even though sprawl-related factors account for about 83% of the average household energy consumption, sprawl is only 17-19% more energy intensive than compact living based on how people actually lived. We observe that some of the advantages of reduced direct energy use by people living in high density urban centers are offset by their consumption of other non-energy products. A more detailed analysis reveals that lifestyle choices (household type, number of vehicles, and family size) that could be independent of location play a significant role in determining household energy intensity. We develop two models that offer opportunities for further analysis. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Turner, R. K.; Morse-Jones, S.; Fisher, B.. (2010) Ecosystem valuation A sequential decision support system and quality assessment issues. 1185 79-101
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Understanding the economic value of nature and the services it provides to humanity has become increasingly important for local, national, and global policy and decision making. It has become obvious that quantifying and integrating these services into decision making will be crucial for sustainable development. Problems arise in that it is difficult to obtain meaningful values for the goods and services that ecosystems provide and for which there is no formal market. A wide range of ecosystem services fall into this category. Additional problems arise when economic methods are applied inappropriately and when the importance of ecosystem maintenance for human welfare is underestimated. In this article we identify a place for monetary valuation within the pluralistic approach supported by ecological economics and assess progress to date in the application of environmental valuation to ecosystem service provision. We first review definitions of ecosystem services in order to make an operational link to valuation methods. We then discuss the spatially explicit nature of ecosystem services provision and benefits capture. We highlight the importance of valuing marginal changes and the role for macroscale valuation, nonlinearities in service benefits, and the significance of nonconvexities (threshold effects). We also review guidance on valuation studies quality assurance, and discuss the problems inherent in the methodology as exposed by the findings of behavioral economics, as well as with benefits transfer-the most common way valuation studies are applied in the policy process. We argue for a sequential decision support system that can lead to a more integrated and rigorous approach to environmental valuation and biophysical measurement of ecosystem services. This system itself then needs to be encompassed within a more comprehensive multicriteria assessment dialogue and process.
Westdijk, K.; Koliba, C.; Hamshaw, K.. (2010) Collecting Data to Inform Decision Making and Action:. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 14(2) 5-33
Wu, N.; Gao, J.; Sudebilige; Ricketts, T. H.; Olwero, N.; Luo, Z.. (2010) Evaluation of ecosystem provisioning service and its economic value. 21(2) 409-414
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Aiming at the fact that the current approaches of evaluating the efficacy of ecosystem provisioning service were lack of spatial information and did not take the accessibility of products into account, this paper established an evaluation model to simulate the spatial distribution of ecosystem provisioning service and its economic value, based on ArcGIS 9. 2 and taking the supply and demand factors of ecosystem products into account. The provision of timber product in Laojunshan in 2000 was analyzed with the model. In 2000, the total physical quantity of the timber' s provisioning service in Laojunshan was 11. 12 x 10(4) m(3) . a(-1), occupying 3.2% of the total increment of timber stock volume. The total provisioning service value of timber was 6669. 27 x 10(4) yuan, among which, coniferous forest contributed most (90. 41%). Due to the denser distribution of populations and roads in the eastern area of Laojunshan, some parts of the area being located outside of conservancy district, and forests being in scattered distribution, the spatial distribution pattern of the physical quantity of timber' s provisioning service was higher in the eastern than in the western area.
Zia, A.; Todd, A. M.. (2010) Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: How to improve communication across ideological divides?. Public Understanding of Science 19(6) 743-761
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While ideology can have a strong effect on citizen understanding of science, it is unclear how ideology interacts with other complicating factors, such as college education, which influence citizens' comprehension of information. We focus on public understanding of climate change science and test the hypotheses: [H(1)] as citizens' ideology shifts from liberal to conservative, concern for global warming decreases; [H(2)] citizens with college education and higher general science literacy tend to have higher concern for global warming; and [H(3)] college education does not increase global warming concern for conservative ideologues. We implemented a survey instrument in California's San Francisco Bay Area, and employed regression models to test the effects of ideology and other socio-demographic variables on citizen concern about global warming, terrorism, the economy, health care and poverty. We are able to confirm H(1) and H(3), but reject H(2). Various strategies are discussed to improve the communication of climate change science across ideological divides.
Ali, S. H.. (2009) Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan's Madrassahs. Oxford University Press, New Haven, CT.
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Islamic educational institutions have come under intense public scrutiny in recent years because of their perceived linkage to militancy. However, much of the research thus far has relied upon anecdotal accounts and investigative journalism. In particular, Pakistani madrassahs (or seminaries), have been the focus of much media coverage. Islam and Education aims to provide an empirically-grounded analysis of madrassahs in Pakistan, thereby informing the larger discussion of the role of Islamic education in conflict causality. Unlike earlier works that have focused primarily on the curriculum of madrassahs, this book provides a comprehensive examination of Islamic education as an integrated social movement. The ultimate aim of Islam and Education is to prevent the escalation of existing regional conflict as well as the perceived conflict between Islam and the West, while providing guidance to policymakers regarding their attempt to reform educational institutions.
Ali, S.. (2009) Better environmental treaties. (Winter) 9
Ali, S.. (2009) Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future.. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. Pages 304;
Armitage, D. R.; Plummer, R.; Berkes, F.; Arthur, R. I.; Charles, A. T.; Davidson-Hunt, I. J.; Diduck, A. P.; Doubleday, N. C.; Johnson, D. S.; Marschke, M.; McConney, P.; Pinkerton, E. W.; Wollenberg, E. K.. (2009) Adaptive co-management for social-ecological complexity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(2) 95-102
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Building trust through collaboration, institutional development, and social learning enhances efforts to foster ecosystem management and resolve multi-scale society-environment dilemmas. One emerging approach aimed at addressing these dilemmas is adaptive co-management. This method draws explicit attention to the learning ( experiential and experimental) and collaboration ( vertical and horizontal) functions necessary to improve our understanding of, and ability to respond to, complex social-ecological systems. Here, we identify and outline the core features of adaptive co-management, which include innovative institutional arrangements and incentives across spatiotemporal scales and levels, learning through complexity and change, monitoring and assessment of interventions, the role of power, and opportunities to link science with policy.
Beddoe, R.; Costanza, R.; Farley, J.; Garza, E.; Kent, J.; Kubiszewski, I.; Martinez, L.; McCowen, T.; Murphy, K.; Myers, N.; Ogden, Z.; Stapleton, K.; Woodward, J.. (2009) Overcoming systemic roadblocks to sustainability: The evolutionary redesign of worldviews, institutions, and technologies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(8) 2483-2489
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A high and sustainable quality of life is a central goal for humanity. Our current socio-ecological regime and its set of interconnected worldviews, institutions, and technologies all support the goal of unlimited growth of material production and consumption as a proxy for quality of life. However, abundant evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold, further material growth no longer significantly contributes to improvement in quality of life. Not only does further material growth not meet humanity's central goal, there is mounting evidence that it creates significant roadblocks to sustainability through increasing resource constraints (i.e., peak oil, water limitations) and sink constraints (i.e., climate disruption). Overcoming these roadblocks and creating a sustainable and desirable future will require an integrated, systems level redesign of our socio-ecological regime focused explicitly and directly on the goal of sustainable quality of life rather than the proxy of unlimited material growth. This transition, like all cultural transitions, will occur through an evolutionary process, but one that we, to a certain extent, can control and direct. We suggest an integrated set of worldviews, institutions, and technologies to stimulate and seed this evolutionary redesign of the current socio-ecological regime to achieve global sustainability.
Beddoe, R.; Costanza, R.; Farley, J.; Garza, E.; Kent, J.; Kubiszewski, I.; Martinez, L.; McCowen, T.; Murphy, K.; Myers, N.; Ogden, Z.; Stapleton, K.; Woodward, J.. (2009) Reply to Knecht: Achieving sustainable health. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(28) E81-E81
Beier, C. M.; Lovecraft, A. L.; Chapin, F. S.. (2009) Growth and Collapse of a Resource System: an Adaptive Cycle of Change in Public Lands Governance and Forest Management in Alaska. 14(2)
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Large-scale government efforts to develop resources for societal benefit have often experienced cycles of growth and decline that leave behind difficult social and ecological legacies. To understand the origins and outcomes of these failures of resource governance, scholars have applied the framework of the adaptive cycle. In this study, we used the adaptive cycle as a diagnostic approach to trace the drivers and dynamics of forest governance surrounding a boom-bust sequence of industrial forest management in one of the largest-scale resource systems in U. S. history: the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. Our application of the adaptive cycle combined a historical narrative tracing dynamics in political, institutional, and economic subsystems and a longitudinal analysis of an indicator of overall system behavior (timber harvests). We found that federal policies in concert with global market changes drove transformative change in both forest governance (policy making) and forest management (practices), through creation and dissolution of subsidized long-term lease contracts. Evidence of the systemic resilience provided by these leases was found in the analysis of industry responses to market volatility before and after Tongass-specific federal reforms. Although the lease contracts stabilized the Tongass system for a period of time, they fostered a growing degree of rigidity that contributed to a severe industrial collapse and the subsequent emergence of complex social traps. Broader lessons from the Tongass suggest that large-scale changes occurred only when the nested economic and policy cycles were in coherence, and a systemic effort to minimize social and ecological variability ultimately resulted in catastrophic collapse of governance. This collapse resulted in a pervasive and challenging legacy that prevents Tongass reorganization and limits the adaptive capacity of the larger social-ecological system of southeastern Alaska. Although this legacy has inhibited system renewal for two decades, recent trends indicate the emergence of new opportunities for progress toward sustainable governance of the Tongass National Forest.
Besaw, L. E.; Rizzo, D. M.; Kline, M.; Underwood, K. L.; Doris, J. J.; Morrissey, L. A.; Pelletier, K.. (2009) Stream classification using hierarchical artificial neural networks: A fluvial hazard management tool. Journal of Hydrology 373(1-2) 34-43
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Watershed managers and planners have long sought decision-making tools for forecasting changes in stream-channels over large spatial and temporal scales. In this research, we apply non-parametric, clustering and classification artificial neural networks to assimilate large amounts of disparate data types for use in fluvial hazard management decision-making. Two types of artificial neural networks (a counter-propagation algorithm and a Kohonen self-organizing map) are used in hierarchy to predict reach-scale stream geomorphic condition, inherent vulnerability and sensitivity to adjustments using expert knowledge in combination with a variety of geomorphic assessment field data. Seven hundred and eighty-nine Vermont stream reaches (+7500 km) have been assessed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' geomorphic assessment protocols, and are used in the development of this work. More than 85% of the reach-scale stream geomorphic condition and inherent vulnerability predictions match expert evaluations. The method's usefulness as a QA/QC tool is discussed. The Kohonen self-organizing map clusters the 789 reaches into groupings of stream sensitivity (or instability). By adjusting the weight of input variables, experts can fine-tune the classification system to better understand and document similarities/differences among expert opinions. The use of artificial neural networks allows for an adaptive watershed management approach, does not require the development of site-specific, physics-based, stream models (i.e., is data-driven), and provides a standardized approach for classifying river network sensitivity in various contexts. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Buchholz, T.; Luzadis, V. A.; Volk, T. A.. (2009) Sustainability criteria for bioenergy systems: results from an expert survey. Journal of Cleaner Production 17 S86-S98
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Environmental impacts associated with the use of fossil fuels, rising prices, potential limitations in supply and concerns about regional and national security are driving the development and use of biomass for bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts. However, the use of biomass does not automatically imply that its production, conversion and use are sustainable. In order to operationalize sustainability assessments of biomass systems, it is crucial to identify critical criteria, but keep their number and measurement at a manageable level. The selection of these criteria can vary depending on individual's expertise, geographical region where they work, and spatial scale they are focused on. No clear consensus has yet emerged on what experts consider as critical indicators of sustainability. Objectives of this paper were to analyze how key experts perceive the 35 sustainability criteria for bioenergy found in emerging sustainability assessment frameworks and to identify levels of agreement and uncertainty. Experts were asked to rate the criteria for attributes of relevance, practicality, reliability, and importance. Perceptions of the importance of the 35 criteria varied among the experts surveyed. Only two criteria, energy balance and greenhouse gas balance, were perceived as critical by more than half of the respondents. Social criteria and locally applied criteria were generally ranked low for all four attributes. Seven of the 12 criteria scored as most important focused on environmental issues, four were social and only one was economic. Of the 12 most important criteria, seven were ranked low in practicality and reliability indicating that mechanisms to assess a number of important criteria need to be developed. The spatial scale the experts worked at and their profession explained most of the differences in importance ranking between experts, while regional focus had minimal effect. Criteria that were ranked low for importance, were characterized by a lack of consensus, suggesting the need for further debate regarding their inclusion in sustainability assessments. Outcomes of the survey provide a foundation for further discussions and development of sustainability assessments for bioenergy systems and may also provide a basis for assessing individual bioenergy projects within their specific geographic, ecological, societal, and technological context and scale. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Buchholz, T.; Rametsteiner, E.; Volk, T. A.; Luzadis, V. A.. (2009) Multi Criteria Analysis for bioenergy systems assessments. Energy Policy 37(2) 484-495
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Sustainable bioenergy systems are, by definition, embedded in social, economic, and environmental contexts and depend on support of many stakeholders with different perspectives. The resulting complexity constitutes a major barrier to the implementation of bioenergy projects. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the potential of Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) to facilitate the design and implementation of sustainable bioenergy projects. Four MCA tools (Super Decisions, DecidelT, Decision Lab, NAIADE) are reviewed for their suitability to assess sustainability of bioenergy systems with a special focus on multi-stakeholder inclusion. The MCA tools are applied using data from a multi-stakeholder bioenergy case study in Uganda. Although contributing to only a part of a comprehensive decision process, MCA can assist in overcoming implementation barriers by (i) structuring the problem, (ii) assisting in the identification of the least robust and/or most uncertain components in bioenergy systems and (iii) integrating stakeholders into the decision process. Applying the four MCA tools to a Ugandan case study resulted in a large variability in outcomes. However, social criteria were consistently identified by all tools as being decisive in making a bioelectricity project viable. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.. (2009) A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity. Nature 458(7242) 1107-1108
Costanza, R.. (2009) Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse. Nature 461(7261) 174-175
Costanza, R.. (2009) Evolution is intelligent design. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24(8) 414-415
Daily, G. C.; Polasky, S.; Goldstein, J.; Kareiva, P. M.; Mooney, H. A.; Pejchar, L.; Ricketts, T. H.; Salzman, J.; Shallenberger, R.. (2009) Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(1) 21-28
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Over the past decade, efforts to value and protect ecosystem services have been promoted by many as the last, best hope for making conservation mainstream - attractive and commonplace worldwide. In theory, if we can help individuals and institutions to recognize the value of nature, then this should greatly increase investments in conservation, while at the same time fostering human well-being. In practice, however, we have not yet developed the scientific basis, nor the policy and finance mechanisms, for incorporating natural capital into resource- and land-use decisions on a large scale. Here, we propose a conceptual framework and sketch out a strategic plan for delivering on the promise of ecosystem services, drawing on emerging examples from Hawai'i. We describe key advances in the science and practice of accounting for natural capital in the decisions of individuals, communities, corporations, and governments.
Dewoolkar, M. M.; George, L.; Hayden, N. J.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2009) Vertical Integration of Service-Learning into Civil and Environmental Engineering Curricula. International Journal of Engineering Education 25(6) 1257-1269
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Department level reform efforts funded by the National Science Foundation were instituted for the civil and environmental engineering (CEE) programs at the University of Vermont. The overall goal of the reform was to educate and have students apply a systems approach to civil and environmental problems. A key strategy for practicing a systems approach was through service-learning (S-L) projects that were introduced into existing courses. The reform began in 2005 and now includes S-L projects in required courses in each of the four years of the programs. Students have worked with community partners (e. g. Vermont towns and non-profit organizations) on inquiry-based, open-ended, real-world S-L projects. Student work and assessments showed that the S-L projects provided ideal platforms for CEE undergraduate students to grasp systems concepts while accomplishing academic goals, civic engagement and improving personal/interpersonal skills. The S-L projects also contributed toward meeting the program accreditation criteria (ABET outcomes 3a-k).
Ellis, A.; Focks, D.; Garcia, A.; Scott, T.. (2009) TRANSFORMING MODELS INTO USER-FRIENDLY PROGRAMS FOR EVALUATING DISEASE CONTROL STRATEGIES AT THE LOCAL SCALE. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81(5) 122-122
Fisher, B.; Balmford, A.; Green, R. E.; Trevelyan, R.. (2009) Conservation science training: the need for an extra dimension. 43(3) 361-363
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Because of the complex interactions between socio-economic systems and remaining natural systems, conservation biology will need to be better integrated within a wider discipline of conservation science that is inherently integrated with the social sciences. Key to this progress will be the graduate training given to conservation scientists. We surveyed graduate students at the annual Student Conference on Conservation Science at Cambridge University in March 2007 to look at how current conservation science students view this need for integration. Our survey indicates that students want social science training alongside that in biology or ecology and that their current training in social science is inadequate for their future work in conservation.
Fisher, B.; Bolt, K.; Bradbury, R. B.; Gardner, T. A.; Green, J. M. H.; Hole, D. G.; Naidoo, R.. (2009) Two Cultures of Conservation. 23(5) 1069-1071
Fisher, B.; Turner, R. K.; Morling, P.. (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics 68(3) 643-653
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The concept of ecosystems services has become an important model for linking the functioning of ecosystems to human welfare. Understanding this link is critical for a wide-range of decision-making contexts. While there have been several attempts to come up with a classification scheme for ecosystem services, there has not been an agreed upon, meaningful and consistent definition for ecosystem services. In this paper we offer a definition of ecosystem services that is likely to be operational for ecosystem service research and several classification schemes. We argue that any attempt at classifying ecosystem services should be based on both the characteristics of the ecosystems of interest and a decision context for which the concept of ecosystem services is being mobilized. Because of this there is not one classification scheme that will be adequate for the many contexts in which ecosystem service research may be utilized. We discuss several examples of how classification schemes will be a function of both ecosystem and ecosystem service characteristics and the decision-making context. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hong, B.; Limburg, K. E.; Erickson, J. D.; Gowdy, J. M.; Nowosielski, A. A.; Polimeni, J. M.; Stainbrook, K. M.. (2009) Connecting the ecological-economic dots in human-dominated watersheds: Models to link socio-economic activities on the landscape to stream ecosystem health. 91(2) 78-87
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We present an interdisciplinary modeling framework to investigate how human socio-economic activities influence the spatial pattern of urbanization, and how consequent changes inland use affect water quality and stream ecosystem condition. The framework is composed of three submodels considering (1) the social and economic structures based upon a social accounting matrix, (2) land use change and urban sprawl based upon a binary logit regression, and (3) stream ecosystem condition in the catchment area based upon the NAWQA (National Water Quality Assessment) dataset. We applied our integrated model to Dutchess County, New York, USA, as a case study. Our study, in spite of its limitations and uncertainties, demonstrates the importance of a quantitative holistic approach in linking human and natural systems and estimating tradeoffs between economic benefits and environmental quality. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Horton, J. L.; Clinton, B. D.; Walker, J. F.; Beier, C. M.; Nilsen, E. T.. (2009) Variation in Soil and Forest Floor Characteristics Along Gradients of Ericaceous, Evergreen Shrub Cover in the Southern Appalachians. 74(4) 340-352
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Ericaceous shrubs can influence soil properties in many ecosystems. In this study, we examined how soil and forest floor properties vary among sites with different ericaceous evergreen shrub basal area in the southern Appalachian mountains. We randomly located plots along transects that included open understories and understories with varying amounts of Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron) and Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) at three sites. The three sites were a mid-elevation ridge, a low-elevation cove, and a high-elevation southwest-facing slope. Basal area of R. maximum was more correlated with soil properties of the forest floor than was K. latifolia. Increasing R. maximum basal area was correlated with increasing mass of lower quality litter and humus as indicated by higher C:N ratios. Moreover, this correlation supports our prediction that understory evergreen shrubs may have considerable effect on forest floor resource heterogeneity in mature stands.
Koliba, C.; Gajda, R.. (2009) “Communities of Practice” as an Analytical Construct: Implications for Theory and Practice. International Journal of Public Administration 32(2) 97-135
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The “community of practice” (CoP) has emerged as a potentially powerful unit of analysis linking the individual and the collective because it situates the role of learning, knowledge transfer, and participation among people as the central enterprise of collective action. The authors?uo; surface tensions and highlight unanswered questions regarding CoP theory, concluding that it relies on a largely normative and under-operationalized set of premises. Avenues for theory development and the empirical testing of assertions are provided.
Koliba, C.; Meek, J. W.; Zia, A.. (2009) Gordian Knot or Integrated Theory? Critical Conceptual Considerations for Governance Network Analysis. Rutgers, Newark, NJ. Pages 277-300;
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In recent decades, theorists and researchers have begun to shift emphasis away from the analysis and descriptions of government roles and responsibilities to processes of governance unfolding amidst complex networks of individuals, organizations and institutions. Observing this trend, George Frederickson observes that the current status of theory development of network governance is “neither theoretically tidy nor parsimonious,” and “at this point there isn’t a single theory that puts its arms around third party governance” (Frederickson, 2007, p. 11). Despite efforts to define critical characteristics of “policy subsystems,” “policy networks,” “public management networks,” and “governance networks,” we are left to conclude that the development of a theoretical framework through which to describe, evaluate and analyze governance networks is a particularly ambitious undertaking, possessing several kinds of “Gordian knot” dilemmas. In this chapter, the authors frame these challenges in terms of questions concerning the differentiation of macro-level forms (markets, hierarchies and networks), accounting for the possibilities of mixed administrative authorities (combinations of vertical and horizontal relations), multi-sector relationships, and multiple policy functions, and challenges associated with mixed social scales. The current ambiguities around these questions are explored and related propositions for addressing each is offered.
Koliba, C.; Zia, A.. (2009) Dispelling the Myth of the Invisible Hand: An Argument for Democratically Legitimate Inter-Organizational Governance Networks.. Administrative Theory & Praxis 31(3) 417-423
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The legitimacy of democratic governments hinges on the capacity of public institutions and their elected and appointed leaders to successfully fulfill their sovereign obligations. Dating back to Alexander Hamilton’s insistence on creating the Department of Treasury, these sovereign obligations have presumably been extended into matters pertaining to the health of the national economy. Since the Great Depression, national economic policies have been designed and implemented with regularity. These policies have ranged from large scale public works projects of the New Deal, to the creation of economic regulation subsystems during the post WWII era, , to the de-regulation and privatization movements of the re-reinventing governments era.. Economic policies have often been framed in terms of certain philosophies, political ideologies and governance theories that run the gamut from Keynesian, Neo-classical, Real Business Cycle, and New Public Management conceptions of government and market relationships. We argue that this recent history needs to be taken into consideration as questions about the implications of the economic crisis for the democratic legitimacy of governments are raised. We conclude that the current economic crisis is leading to the repudiation of certain assumptions concerning markets, democracies, and the role of government. However, we assert that, any critique of neo-classical economic and market theory needs to be grounded in certain assumptions regarding governance and the “polycentric” governance networks that have emerged over the course of the past forty years. We suggest that as a result of an increasing reliance on indirect and third party governance structures (Salamon, 2002), the roles and responsibilities of democratic governments in addressing pressing public problems have been drastically altered. We argue that the question of democratic legitimacy has shifted focus from being a matter solely relevant to governments to being an attribute of governance processes (Cleveland, 1973; Frederickson, 1999). Grounded in a now three decades-old body of literature that views governances processes as unfolding in inter-organizational policy or governance networks (Heclo, 1978; Rhodes, 1997; Milward and Provan, 199-; Agronoff and McGuire, 2003; Sorenson and Torfing, 2008), we suggest that the question of how and to what extent the legitimacy of the public sector thrives or suffers depends on the capabilities of government actors to reassert their capacity to regulate regulatory subsystems, including both market and non-market transactions, to effectively manage contracts, and infuse governance processes with sufficient “democratic anchorage” (Sorensen and Torfing, 2005).
Kuemmerle, T.; Chaskovskyy, O.; Knorn, J.; Radeloff, V. C.; Kruhlov, I.; Keeton, W. S.; Hostert, P.. (2009) Forest cover change and illegal logging in the Ukrainian Carpathians in the transition period from 1988 to 2007. Remote Sensing of Environment 113(6) 1194-1207
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Illegal logging is a major environmental and economic problem, and exceeds in some countries the amounts of legally harvested timber. In Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, illegal logging increased and reforestation on abandoned farmland was widespread after the breakdown of socialism, and the region's forest cover trends remain overall largely unclear. Our goal here was to map forest cover change and to assess the extent of illegal logging and reforestation in the Ukrainian Carpathians. We used Landsat TM/ETM+ images and Support Vector Machines (SVM) to derive forest change trajectories between 1988 and 2007 for the entire Ukrainian Carpathians. We calculated logging and reforestation rates, and compared Landsat-based forest trends to official statistics and inventory maps. Our classification resulted in reliable forest/nonforest maps (overall accuracies between 97.1%-98.01%) and high clear cut detection rates (on average 89.4%). Forest cover change was widespread in the Ukrainian Carpathians between 1988 and 2007. We found forest cover increase in peripheral areas, forest loss in the interior Carpathians, and increased logging in remote areas. Overall, our results suggest that unsustainable forest use from socialist times likely persisted in the post-socialist period, resulting in a continued loss of older forests and forest fragmentation. Landsat-based forest trends differed substantially from official forest resource statistics. Illegal logging appears to have been at least as extensive as documented logging during the early 1990s and so-called sanitary clear-cuts represent a major loophole for overharvesting and logging in restricted areas. Reforestation and illegal logging are frequently not accounted for in forest resource statistics, highlighting limitations of these data. Combating illegal logging and transitioning towards sustainable forestry requires better monitoring and up-to-date accounting of forest resources, in the Carpathians and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and remote sensing can be a key technology to achieve these goals. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lonsdorf, E.; Kremen, C.; Ricketts, T. H.; Winfree, R.; Williams, N.; Greenleaf, S.. (2009) Modelling pollination services across agricultural landscapes. 103(9) 1589-1600
Link to Publication View Abstract
Crop pollination by bees and other animals is an essential ecosystem service. Ensuring the maintenance of the service requires a full understanding of the contributions of landscape elements to pollinator populations and crop pollination. Here, the first quantitative model that predicts pollinator abundance on a landscape is described and tested. Using information on pollinator nesting resources, floral resources and foraging distances, the model predicts the relative abundance of pollinators within nesting habitats. From these nesting areas, it then predicts relative abundances of pollinators on the farms requiring pollination services. Model outputs are compared with data from coffee in Costa Rica, watermelon and sunflower in California and watermelon in New Jersey-Pennsylvania (NJPA). Results from Costa Rica and California, comparing field estimates of pollinator abundance, richness or services with model estimates, are encouraging, explaining up to 80 % of variance among farms. However, the model did not predict observed pollinator abundances on NJPA, so continued model improvement and testing are necessary. The inability of the model to predict pollinator abundances in the NJPA landscape may be due to not accounting for fine-scale floral and nesting resources within the landscapes surrounding farms, rather than the logic of our model. The importance of fine-scale resources for pollinator service delivery was supported by sensitivity analyses indicating that the model's predictions depend largely on estimates of nesting and floral resources within crops. Despite the need for more research at the finer-scale, the approach fills an important gap by providing quantitative and mechanistic model from which to evaluate policy decisions and develop land-use plans that promote pollination conservation and service delivery.
Mazet, J. A. K.; Clifford, D. L.; Coppolillo, P. B.; Deolalikar, A. B.; Erickson, J. D.; Kazwala, R. R.. (2009) A "One Health" Approach to Address Emerging Zoonoses: The HALI Project in Tanzania. 6(12)
Mendez, V. E.; Shapiro, E. N.; Gilbert, G. S.. (2009) Cooperative management and its effects on shade tree diversity, soil properties and ecosystem services of coffee plantations in western El Salvador. 76(1) 111-126
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We compared how management approaches affected shade tree diversity, soil properties, and provisioning and carbon sequestration ecosystem services in three shade coffee cooperatives. Collectively managed cooperatives utilized less diverse shade, and pruned coffee and shade trees more intensively, than individual farms. Soil properties showed significant differences among the cooperatives, with the following properties contributing to differentiation: N, pH, P, K, and Ca. Higher tree richness was associated with higher soil pH, CEC, Ca, and Mg, and lower K. Higher tree densities were associated with lower N, K, and organic matter. Although we found differences in the incidence of provisioning services (e.g., fruit), all plantations generated products other than coffee. No differences were observed between C-stocks. The history and institutional arrangements of cooperatives can influence management approaches, which affect ecosystem properties and services. Our study corroborates that interdisciplinary investigations are essential to understand the socio-ecological context of tropical shade coffee landscapes.
Mwakalila, S.; Burgess, N.; Ricketts, T.; Olwero, N.; Swetnam, R. D.; Mbilinyi, B. P.; Marchant, R.; Mtalo, F.; White, S.; Munishi, P. K.; Marshall, A.; Malimbwi, R. E.; Smith, C. M.; Jambiya, G.; Madoffe, S.; Fisher, B.; Kajembe, G.; Morse-Jones, S.; Kulindwa, K.; Green, J. M. H.; Balmford, A.. (2009) Linking Science with Stakeholders to Sustain Natural Capital.. 23 22-27
Nelson, E.; Mendoza, G.; Regetz, J.; Polasky, S.; Tallis, H.; Cameron, D. R.; Chan, K. M. A.; Daily, G. C.; Goldstein, J.; Kareiva, P. M.; Lonsdorf, E.; Naidoo, R.; Ricketts, T. H.; Shaw, M. R.. (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(1) 4-11
Link to Publication View Abstract
Nature provides a wide range of benefits to people. There is increasing consensus about the importance of incorporating these "ecosystem services" into resource management decisions, but quantifying the levels and values of these services has proven difficult. We use a spatially explicit modeling tool, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST), to predict changes in ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, and commodity production levels. We apply InVEST to stakeholder-defined scenarios of land-use/land-cover change in the Willamette Basin, Oregon. We found that scenarios that received high scores for a variety of ecosystem services also had high scores for biodiversity, suggesting there is little tradeoff between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. Scenarios involving more development had higher commodity production values, but lower levels of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. However, including payments for carbon sequestration alleviates this tradeoff. Quantifying ecosystem services in a spatially explicit manner, and analyzing tradeoffs between them, can help to make natural resource decisions more effective, efficient, and defensible.
O'Neil-Dunne, J.; Pelletier, K.; MacFaden, S.; Troy, A.; Grove, J. M.. (2009) Object-based high-resolution land-cover mapping: operational considerations. Pages 6 pp.-6 pp.;
Link to Publication View Abstract
There has been a marked increase in availability of high-resolution remotely-sensed datasets over the past eight years. The ability to efficiently extract accurate and meaningful land-cover information from these datasets is crucial if the full potential of these datasets is to be harnessed. Land-cover datasets, particularly high-resolution ones, must be statistically accurate and depict a realistic representation of the landscape if they are to be used by decision makers and trusted by the general public. Furthermore, if such datasets are to be accessible and relevant, mechanisms must exist that facilitate cost-effective and timely production. Object-based image analysis (OBIA) techniques offer the greatest potential for generating accurate and meaningful land-cover datasets in an efficient manner. They overcome the limitations of traditional pixel-based classification methods by incorporating not only spectral data but also spatial and contextual information, and they offer substantial efficiency gains compared to manual interpretation. Drawing on our experience in applying OBIA techniques to high-resolution data, we believe any automated approach to land-cover mapping must: 1) effectively replicate the human image analyst; 2) incorporate datasets from multiple sources; and 3) be capable of processing large datasets. To meet this functionality, an operational OBIA system should: 1) employ expert systems; 2) support vector and raster datasets; and 3) leverage enterprise computing architecture.
Pongsiri, M. J.; Roman, J.; Ezenwa, V. O.; Goldberg, T. L.; Koren, H. S.; Newbold, S. C.; Ostfeld, R. S.; Pattanayak, S. K.; Salkeld, D. J.. (2009) Biodiversity Loss Affects Global Disease Ecology. Bioscience 59(11) 945-954
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Changes in the type and prevalence of human diseases have occurred during shifts in human social organization, for example, from hunting and gathering to agriculture and with urbanization during the Industrial Revolution. The recent emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases appears to be driven by globalization and ecological disruption. We propose that habitat destruction and biodiversity loss associated with biotic homogenization can increase the incidence and distribution of infectious diseases affecting humans. The clearest connection between biotic homogenization and infectious disease is the spread of nonindigenous vectors and pathogens. The loss of predators and hosts that dilute pathogen transmission can also increase the incidence of vectorborne illnesses. Other mechanisms include enhanced abiotic conditions for pathogens and vectors and higher host-pathogen encounter rates. Improved understanding of these causal mechanisms can inform decisionmaking on biodiversity conservation as an effective way to protect human health.
Porter, J.; Costanza, R.; Sandhu, H.; Sigsgaard, L.; Wratten, S.. (2009) The Value of Producing Food, Energy, and Ecosystem Services within an Agro-Ecosystem. Ambio 38(4) 186-193
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Agricultural ecosystems produce food, fiber, and non-marketed ecosystem services (ES). Agriculture also typically involves high negative external costs associated with, for example, fossil fuel use. We estimated, via field-scale ecological monitoring and economic value-transfer methods, the market and nonmarket ES value of a combined food and energy (CFE) agro-ecosystem that simultaneously produces food, fodder, and bioenergy. Such novel CFE agro-ecosystems can provide a significantly increased net crop, energy, and nonmarketed ES compared with conventional agriculture, and require markedly less fossil-based inputs. Extrapolated to the European scale, the value of nonmarket ES from the CFE system exceeds current European farm subsidy payments. Such integrated food and bioenergy systems can thus provide environmental value for money for European Union farming and nonfarming communities.
Ray, D. G.; Seymour, R. S.; Scott, N. A.; Keeton, W. S.. (2009) Mitigating Climate Change with Managed Forests: Balancing Expectations, Opportunity, and Risk. Journal of Forestry 107(1) 50-51
Rockstrom, J.; Steffen, W.; Noone, K.; Persson, A.; Chapin, F. S., III; Lambin, E. F.; Lenton, T. M.; Scheffer, M.; Folke, C.; Schellnhuber, H. J.; Nykvist, B.; de Wit, C. A.; Hughes, T.; van der Leeuw, S.; Rodhe, H.; Sorlin, S.; Snyder, P. K.; Costanza, R.; Svedin, U.; Falkenmark, M.; Karlberg, L.; Corell, R. W.; Fabry, V. J.; Hansen, J. W.; Walker, B. D.; Liverman, D.; Richardson, K.; Crutzen, P.; Foley, J. A.. (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461(7263) 472-475
Rockstrom, J.; Steffen, W.; Noone, K.; Persson, A.; Chapin, F. S., III; Lambin, E. F.; Lenton, T. M.; Scheffer, M.; Folke, C.; Schellnhuber, H. J.; Nykvist, B.; de Wit, C. A.; Hughes, T.; van der Leeuw, S.; Rodhe, H.; Sorlin, S.; Snyder, P. K.; Costanza, R.; Svedin, U.; Falkenmark, M.; Karlberg, L.; Corell, R. W.; Fabry, V. J.; Hansen, J. W.; Walker, B. D.; Liverman, D.; Richardson, K.; Crutzen, P.; Foley, J. A.. (2009) Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity. 14(2)
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Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems. We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific understanding, we propose quantifications for seven of them. These seven are climate change (CO(2) concentration in the atmosphere <350 ppm and/or a maximum change of +1 W m(-2) in radiative forcing); ocean acidification (mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite >= 80% of pre-industrial levels); stratospheric ozone (<5% reduction in O(3) concentration from pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson Units); biogeochemical nitrogen (N) cycle (limit industrial and agricultural fixation of N(2) to 35 Tg N yr(-1)) and phosphorus (P) cycle (annual P inflow to oceans not to exceed 10 times the natural background weathering of P); global freshwater use (<4000 km(3) yr(-1) of consumptive use of runoff resources); land system change (<15% of the ice-free land surface under cropland); and the rate at which biological diversity is lost (annual rate of <10 extinctions per million species). The two additional planetary boundaries for which we have not yet been able to determine a boundary level are chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading. We estimate that humanity has already transgressed three planetary boundaries: for climate change, rate of biodiversity loss, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle. Planetary boundaries are interdependent, because transgressing one may both shift the position of other boundaries or cause them to be transgressed. The social impacts of transgressing boundaries will be a function of the social-ecological resilience of the affected societies. Our proposed boundaries are rough, first estimates only, surrounded by large uncertainties and knowledge gaps. Filling these gaps will require major advancements in Earth System and resilience science. The proposed concept of "planetary boundaries" lays the groundwork for shifting our approach to governance and management, away from the essentially sectoral analyses of limits to growth aimed at minimizing negative externalities, toward the estimation of the safe space for human development. Planetary boundaries define, as it were, the boundaries of the "planetary playing field" for humanity if we want to be sure of avoiding major human-induced environmental change on a global scale.
Stovall, J. P.; Keeton, W. S.; Kraft, C. E.. (2009) Late-successional riparian forest structure results in heterogeneous periphyton distributions in low-order streams. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 39(12) 2343-2354
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Late-successional riparian forests often regulate autotrophic microhabitats in low-order streams through shading provided by canopies. However, few studies have linked forest structure with periphyton microhabitat in adjoining streams. Our hypotheses were that (1) the heterogeneous horizontal structure in old-growth forests creates more spatially variable below-canopy light environments compared with mature forests and (2) site-specific light availability over streams correlates with spatial distributions of periphyton microhabitat. We surveyed 15 low-order stream reaches in late-successional northern hardwood-hem lock forests in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA. We measured forest structure and the below-canopy light environment at all reaches and the periphyton chlorophyll a concentration on artificial substrates in eight reaches. While stand age was not statistically significant, multivariate models of horizontal forest structure (e.g., gap distribution) and topography showed strong relationships (R(2) > 0.70) with the below-canopy light environment across all late-successional forests. Furthermore, metrics of below-canopy light availability explained a small but statistically significant proportion of the variation in chlorophyll a concentration. This variation in chlorophyll a indicates that complex late-successional riparian forests, both mature and old-growth, create a mosaic of heterotrophic (shaded) and autotrophic (lighted) microhabitats along low-order streams. These results reveal important and previously unrecognized links between stream habitat heterogeneity and the horizontal heterogeneous late-successional forest structure.
Strassburg, B.; Turner, R. K.; Fisher, B.; Schaeffer, R.; Lovett, A.. (2009) Reducing emissions from deforestation-The "combined incentives" mechanism and empirical simulations. 19(2) 265-278
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Despite accounting for 17-25% of anthropogenic emissions, deforestation was not included in the Kyoto Protocol. The UN Convention on Climate Change is considering its inclusion in future agreements and asked its scientific board to study methodological and scientific issues related to positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation. Here we present an empirically derived mechanism that offers a mix of incentives to developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation, conserve and possibly enhance their ecosystem's carbon stocks. We also use recent data to model its effects on the 20 most forested developing countries. Results show that at low CO(2) prices (similar to US$ 8/t CO(2)) a successful mechanism could reduce more than 90% of global deforestation at an annual cost of US$ 30 billion. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Turner, K.; Fisher, B.. (2009) An ecosystem services approach: income inequality and poverty. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U.K.. Pages 311;
Villa, F.; Athanasiadis, I. N.; Rizzoli, A. E.. (2009) Modelling with knowledge: A review of emerging semantic approaches to environmental modelling. Environmental Modelling & Software 24(5) 577-587
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Models, and to a lesser extent datasets, embody sophisticated statements of environmental knowledge. Yet, the knowledge they incorporate is rarely self-contained enough for them to be understood and used by humans or machines - without the modeller's mediation. This severely limits the options in reusing environmental models and connecting them to datasets or other models. The notion of "declarative modelling" has been suggested as a remedy to help design, communicate, share and integrate models. Yet, not all these objectives have been achieved by declarative modelling in its current implementations. Semantically aware environmental modelling is a way of designing, implementing and deploying environmental datasets and models based on the independent, standardized formalization of the underlying environmental science. It can be seen as the result of merging the rationale of declarative modelling with modern knowledge representation theory, through the mediation of the integrative vision of a Semantic Web. In this paper, we review the present and preview the future of semantic modelling in environmental science: from the mediation approach, where formal knowledge is the key to automatic integration of datasets, models and analytical pipelines, to the knowledge-cl riven approach, where the knowledge is the key not only to integration, but also to overcoming scale and paradigm differences and to novel potentials for model design and automated knowledge discovery. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Voigt, B.; Troy, A.; Miles, B.; Reiss, A.. (2009) Testing an Integrated Land Use and Transportation Modeling Framework for a Small Metropolitan Area. (2133) 83-91
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This paper describes the implementation of a land use and transportation modeling framework developed for Chittenden County, Vermont, to test for differences in modeled output when employing a dynamically linked travel demand model (TDM) versus an assumption of static regional accessibilities over time. With the use of the land use model UrbanSim, two versions of a 40-year simulation for the county, one with a TDM and one without, were compared. In the first version, UrbanSim was integrated with the TransCAD four-step TDM; this allowed regional accessibilities to be recalculated at regularly scheduled intervals. In the second version, TransCAD was used to compute year 2000 accessibilities; these values were held constant for the duration of the model run. The results indicated some significant differences in the modeled outputs. In particular, although centrally located traffic analysis zones (TAZs) reveal relatively little difference between the two models, the differential within peripheral TAZs is both more pronounced and more heterogeneous. The pattern displayed suggests that some peripheral TAZs have higher modeled development with a TDM because the TDM accounts for the increased proximity of destinations, thereby making them amenable to development. Meanwhile, some peripheral TAZs have lower modeled development with a TDM because they already have good accessibility (e.g., access via Interstate), but the model without the TDM does not account for increased congestion.
Warren, D. R.; Kraft, C. E.; Keeton, W. S.; Nunery, J. S.; Likens, G. E.. (2009) Dynamics of wood recruitment in streams of the northeastern US. Forest Ecology and Management 258(5) 804-813
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Wood is an important component of forested stream ecosystems, and stream restoration efforts often incorporate large wood. In most cases, however, stream restoration projects are implemented without information regarding the amount of wood that historically occurred or the natural rates of wood recruitment. This study uses a space-for-time analysis to quantify large wood loading to 28 streams in the northeastern US with a range of in-stream and riparian forest characteristics. We document the current volume and frequency of occurrence of large wood in streams with riparian forests varying in their stage of stand development as well as stream size and gradient. Linear models relating stream wood characteristics to stream geomorphic and forest characteristics were compared using Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) model selection. The AIC analysis indicated that the volume and frequency of large wood and wood accumulations (wood jams) in streams was most closely associated with the age of the dominant canopy trees in the riparian forest (best models: log(10)(large wood volume (m(3) 100 m(-1))) = (0.0036 x stand age) - 0.2281, p < 0.001, r(2) = 0.80; and large wood frequency (number per 100 m) = (0.1326 x stand age) + 7.3952, p < 001, r(2) = 0.63). Bankfull width was an important factor accounting for wood volume per unit area (m(3) ha(-1)) but not the volume of wood per length of stream (100 m(-1)). The empirical models developed in this study were unsuccessful in predicting wood loading in other regions, most likely due to difference in forest characteristics and the legacy of forest disturbance. However, these models may be applicable in other streams in the northeastern US or in streams with comparable riparian forests, underlying geology, and disturbance regimes-factors that could alter long-term wood loading dynamics. Our results highlight the importance of understanding region-specific processes when planning stream restoration and stream management projects. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wollenberg, E.; Campbell, B.; Dounias, E.; Gunarso, P.; Moeliono, M.; Sheil, D.. (2009) Interactive Land-Use Planning in Indonesian Rain-Forest Landscapes: Reconnecting Plans to Practice. 14(1)
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Indonesia's 1999-2004 decentralization reforms created opportunities for land-use planning that reflected local conditions and local people's needs. We report on seven years of work in the District of Malinau in Indonesian Borneo that attempted to reconnect government land-use plans to local people's values, priorities, and practices. Four principles are proposed to support more interactive planning between government and local land users: Support local groups to make their local knowledge, experience, and aspirations more visible in formal land-use planning and decision making; create channels of communication, feedback, and transparency to support the adaptive capacities and accountability of district leadership and institutions; use system frameworks to understand the drivers of change and resulting scenarios and trade-offs; and link analysis and intervention across multiple levels, from the local land user to the district and national levels. We describe the application of these principles in Malinau and the resulting challenges.
Zencey, E.. (2009) Fixing Locke: Civil Liberties for a Finite Planet. Routledge, New York, NY. Pages 180-201;
Zencey, E.. (2009) I left work early to buy snow tires. 294(6) 6-9
Zhou, W.; Ganlin, H.; Troy, A.; Cadenasso, M. L.. (2009) Object-based land cover classification of shaded areas in high spatial resolution imagery of urban areas: a comparison study. Remote Sensing of Environment 113(8) 1769-77
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A significant proportion of high spatial resolution imagery in urban areas can be affected by shadows. Considerable research has been conducted to investigate shadow detection and removal in remotely sensed imagery. Few studies, however, have evaluated how applications of these shadow detection and restoration methods can help eliminate the shadow problem in land cover classification of high spatial resolution images in urban settings. This paper presents a comparison study of three methods for land cover classification of shaded areas from high spatial resolution imagery in an urban environment. Method 1 combines spectral information in shaded areas with spatial information for shadow classification. Method 2 applies a shadow restoration technique, the linear-correlation correction method to create a ldquoshadow-freerdquo image before the classification. Method 3 uses multisource data fusion to aid in classification of shadows. The results indicated that Method 3 achieved the best accuracy, with overall accuracy of 88%. It provides a significantly better means for shadow classification than the other two methods. The overall accuracy for Method 1 was 81.5%, slightly but not significantly higher than the 80.5% from Method 2. All of the three methods applied an object-based classification procedure, which was critical as it provides an effective way to address the problems of radiometric difference and spatial misregistration associated with multisource data fusion (Method 3), and to incorporate thematic spatial information (Method 1). [All rights reserved Elsevier].
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.; Grove, J. M.; Jenkins, J. C.. (2009) Can Money Buy Green? Demographic and Socioeconomic Predictors of Lawn-Care Expenditures and Lawn Greenness in Urban Residential Areas. 22(8) 744-760
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It is increasingly important to understand how household characteristics influence lawn characteristics, as lawns play an important ecological role in human-dominated landscapes. This article investigates household and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics as predictors of residential lawn-care expenditures and lawn greenness. The study area is the Gwynns Falls watershed, which includes portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD. We examined indicators of population, social stratification (income, education and race), lifestyle behavior, and housing age as predictors of lawn-care expenditures and lawn greenness. We also tested the potential of PRIZM market cluster data as predictors for these two dependent variables. Lawn greenness was found to be significantly associated with lawn-care expenditures, but with a relatively weak positive correlation. We also found lifestyle behavior indicators to be the best predictors for both dependent variables. PRIZM data, especially the lifestyle segmentation, also proved to be useful predictors for both.
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.. (2009) Development of an object-based framework for classifying and inventorying human-dominated forest ecosystems. 30(23) 6343-60
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This paper presents the development of a framework for classifying and inventorying Eastern US forestland based on the level of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation using high spatial resolution remote sensing data and a multiscale object-based classification system. We implemented the framework using a suburban area in Baltimore County, Maryland, USA as a case study. We developed a three-level hierarchical scheme of image objects. The object-based, multiscale classification and inventory framework provides an effective and flexible way of showing different mixes of human development and forest cover in a hierarchical fashion for human-dominated forest ecosystems. At the finest scale (level 1), the classification nomenclature describes basic land cover feature types, which are divided up into trees and individual features that fragment forests. The overall accuracy of the classification was 91.25%. At level 2, forest patches were delineated and classified into different categories based on the degree of human disturbance. At level 3, major roads were used to segment the study area into larger objects, which were classified on the basis of relative composition and spatial arrangement of forests and fragmenting features. This study provides decision makers, planners and the public with a new methodological framework that can be used to more precisely classify and inventory forest cover. The comparisons of the estimates of forest cover from our analyses with those from the 2001 National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) show that aggregated figures of forest cover are misleading and that much of what is mapped as forest is highly degraded and is more suburban than natural in its land use.
Ali, S. H.. (2008) The Siachen Peace Park proposal: Moving from concept to reality. Environment 50(3) 43-43
Allnutt, T. F.; Ferrier, S.; Manion, G.; Powell, G. V. N.; Ricketts, T. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Harper, G. J.; Irwin, M. E.; Kremen, C.; Labat, J. N.; Lees, D. C.; Pearce, T. A.; Rakotondrainibe, F.. (2008) A method for quantifying biodiversity loss and its application to a 50-year record of deforestation across Madagascar. Conservation Letters 1(4) 173-181
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Madagascar is a top global conservation priority for high rates of deforestation and endemism. Deforestation has been extensive, but impacts of forest loss on biodiversity have not been well quantified, especially for nonvertebrates. We use generalized dissimilarity modeling (GDM) as a basis for estimating forest biodiversity remaining at different points in time. We predict that 9.1% of species in Madagascar have been committed to extinction from deforestation between 1950 and 2000. This quantity is higher than losses expected from random deforestation of the same total area, indicating that deforestation has been biased towards environmentally and biologically distinct areas. In contrast to traditional area-based methods, these techniques allow one to estimate biodiversity loss based on the location of deforestation and thus can inform land-use policies that aim to minimize biodiversity impacts of deforestation or development.
Bacon, C. M.; Mendez, V. E.; Flores Gomez, M. E.; Stuart, D.; Diaz Flores, S. R.. (2008) Are Sustainable Coffee Certifications Enough to Secure Farmer Livelihoods? The Millenium Development Goals and Nicaragua's Fair Trade Cooperatives. 5(2) 259-274
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In December 2001, green coffee commodity prices hit a 30-year low. This deepened the livelihood crisis for millions of coffee farmers and rural communities. The specialty coffee industry responded by scaling up several sustainable coffee certification programs, including Fair Trade. This study uses household-and community-level research conducted in Nicaragua from 2000 to 2006 to assess the response to the post-1999 coffee crisis. A participatory action research team surveyed 177 households selling into conventional and Fair Trade markets in 2006. In an effort to dialogue with specialty coffee industry and mainstream development agencies, results are framed within the context of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Findings suggest that households connected to Fair Trade cooperatives experienced several positive impacts in education, infrastructure investment, and monetary savings. However, several important livelihoods insecurities, including low incomes, high emigration, and food insecurity, persisted among all small-scale producers.
Balogh-Brunstad, Z.; Keller, C. K.; Bormann, B. T.; O'Brien, R.; Wang, D.; Hawley, G. J.. (2008) Chemical weathering and chemical denudation dynamics through ecosystem development and disturbance. 22(1)
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Mineral weathering and chemical denudation of terrestrial environments are understood by both geochemists and ecologists to be affected by rooted plant growth. We used unique 20-year "sandbox'' experiments to test the predictions of both disciplines regarding the influence of tree growth and harvest on chemical weathering and denudation of Ca(2+), Mg(2+) and K(+). Results showed 3 temporal phases: 1) weathering-dominated rapid uptake of mineral nutrients with retention in trees and soil, and low denudation; 2) biocycling-dominated nutrient uptake with slower tree growth, and chemical fluxes reduced to near zero; and 3) denudation-dominated loss of nutrient reserves after harvest by disruption of biotic regulation. Overall, a red pine sandbox used and retained its resources more effectively than a reference non-vascular system. The results suggest that disturbance may be an important factor controlling chemical denudation rates. Temporal variations of the fluxes highlight difficulties of extrapolating weathering and denudation rates over long timescales.
Barnes, P.; Costanza, R.; Hawken, P.; Orr, D.; Ostrom, E.; Umana, A.; Young, O.. (2008) Creating an Earth Atmospheric Trust. Science 319(5864) 724-724
Beier, C. M.; Patterson, T. M.; Chapin, F. S.. (2008) Ecosystem services and emergent vulnerability in managed ecosystems: A geospatial decision-support tool. 11(6) 923-938
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Managed ecosystems experience vulnerabilities when ecological resilience declines and key flows of ecosystem services become depleted or lost. Drivers of vulnerability often include local management actions in conjunction with other external, larger-scale factors. To translate these concepts to management applications, we developed a conceptual model of feedbacks linking the provision of ecosystem services, their use by society, and anthropogenic change. From this model we derived a method to integrate existing geodata at relevant scales and in locally meaningful ways to provide decision-support for adaptive management efforts. To demonstrate our approach, we conducted a case study assessment of southeast Alaska, where managers are concerned with sustaining fish and wildlife resources in areas where intensive logging disturbance has occurred. Individual datasets were measured as indicators of one of three criteria: ecological capacity to support fish/wildlife populations (provision); human acquisition of fish/wildlife resources (use); and intensity of logging and related land-use change (disturbance). Relationships among these processes were analyzed using two methods-a watershed approach and a high-resolution raster-to identify where provision, use and disturbance were spatially coupled across the landscape. Our results identified very small focal areas of social-ecological coupling that, based on post-logging dynamics and other converging drivers of change, may indicate vulnerability resulting from depletion of ecosystem services. We envision our approach can be used to narrow down where adaptive management might be most beneficial, allowing practitioners with limited funds to prioritize efforts needed to address uncertainty and mitigate vulnerability in managed ecosystems.
Beier, C. M.; Sink, S. E.; Hennon, P. E.; D'Amore, D. V.; Juday, G. P.. (2008) Twentieth-century warming and the dendroclimatology of declining yellow-cedar forests in southeastern Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 38(6) 1319-1334
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Decline of yellow-ceder (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ((D. Don) Spach) has occured on 200 000 ha of temperate rainforests across southeastern Alaska. Because declining forests appeared soon after the Little lee Age and are limited mostly to low elevations (whereas higher elevation forests remain healthy), recent studies have hypothesized a climatic mechanism involving early dehardening, reduced snowpack, and freezing injury. This hypothesis assumes that a specific suite of microclimatic conditions occurs during late winter and declining cedar populations across the region have responded similarly to these conditions. Based on the first geographically extensive tree ring chronologies constructed for southeastern Alaska, we tested these assumptions by investigating regional climatic trends and the growth responses of declining cedar populations to this climatic variations. Warming winter trends were observed for southeastern Alaska, resulting in potentially injurious conditions for yellow-cedar due to reduced snowfall and frequent occurrence of severe thaw-freeze events. Declining cedar forests shared a common regional chronology for which late-winter weather was the best predictor of annual growth of surviving trees. Overall, our findings verify the influence of elevational gradients of temperature and snow cover on exposure to climatic stressors, support the climatic hypothesis across large spatical and temporal scales, and suggest cedar decline may expand with continued warming.
Beier, C. M.. (2008) Influence of Political Opposition and Compromise on Conservation Outcomes in the Tongass National Forest, Alaska. 22(6) 1485-1496
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To understand how a highly contentious policy process influenced a major conservation effort, I examined the origins, compromises, and outcomes of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA) for the Tongass National Forest. Tongass wilderness designation was among the most controversial issues in the ANILCA debate, and it faced strong opposition from influential lawmakers, land managers, and Alaska residents. To investigate the influence of this opposition on Tongass conservation outcomes, I conducted a gap analysis of Tongass reserves and a policy analysis of the ANILCA debate and traced the influence of specific interests through the amendments, negotiations, and resulting compromises needed to enact ANILCA. Overall, I found that Tongass reserves comprise a broadly representative cross-section of ecosystems and species habitats in southeastern Alaska. Redrawn reserve boundaries, industry subsidies, and special access regulations reflected compromises to minimize the impact of wilderness conservation on mining, timber, and local stakeholder interests, respectively. Fragmentation of the Admiralty Island National Monument-the most ecologically valuable and politically controversial reserve-resulted from compromises with Alaskan Native (indigenous peoples of Alaska) corporations and timber interests. Despite language to accommodate "reasonable access" to wilderness reserves, ongoing access limitations highlight the concerns of Alaska residents that opposed ANILCA several decades ago. More broadly, the Tongass case suggests that early and ambitious conservation action may offset strong political opposition; compromises needed to establish key reserves often exacerbate development impacts in unprotected areas; and efforts to minimize social conflicts are needed to safeguard the long-term viability of conservation measures.
Besaw, L. E.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2008) Counterpropagation neural network for stochastic conditional simulation: an application with Berea sandstone. ICDM Workshops. 2007 7th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops Pages 449-54;
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A neural network trained using the counterpropagation algorithm to produce stochastic conditional simulations is applied and evaluated on a real dataset. This type of network is a non-parametric clustering algorithm not constrained by assumptions (i.e. normal distributions) and is well suited for risk and uncertainty analysis given spatially auto-correlated data. Detailed geophysical measurements from a slab of Berea sandstone are used to allow comparison with a traditional geostatistical method of producing conditional simulations known as sequential Gaussian simulation. Equiprobable simulations and estimated fields of air permeability are generated using an anisotropic spatial structure extracted from a subset of observation data. Results from the counterpropagation network are statistically similar to the geostatistical methods and original reference fields. The combination of simplicity and computational speed make the method ideally suited for environmental subsurface characterization and other earth science applications with spatially auto-correlated variables.
Cadenasso, M. L.; Pickett, S. T. A.; Groffman, P. M.; Band, L. E.; Brush, G. S.; Galvin, M. E.; Grove, J. M.; Hagar, G.; Marshall, V.; McGrath, B. P.; Oneil-Dunne, J. P. M.; Stack, W. P.; Troy, A. R.. (2008) Exchanges across land-water-scape boundaries in urban systems - Strategies for reducing nitrate pollution. 1134 213-232
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Conservation in urban areas typically focuses on biodiversity and large green spaces.. However, opportunities exist throughout urban areas to enhance ecological functions. An important function of urban landscapes is retaining nitrogen thereby reducing nitrate pollution to streams and coastal waters. Control of nonpoint nitrate pollution in urban areas was originally based on the documented importance of riparian zones in agricultural and forested ecosystems. The watershed and boundary frameworks have been used to guide stream research and a riparian conservation strategy to reduce nitrate pollution in urban streams. But is stream restoration and riparian-zone conservation enough? Data from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and other urban stream research indicate that urban riparian zones do not necessarily prevent nitrate from entering, nor remove nitrate from, streams. Based on this insight, policy makers in Baltimore extended the conservation strategy throughout larger watersheds, attempting to restore functions that no longer took place in riparian boundaries. Two urban revitalization projects are presented as examples aimed at reducing nitrate pollution to stormwater, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay. An adaptive cycle of ecological urban design synthesizes the insights from the watershed and boundary frameworks, from new data, and from the conservation concerns of agencies and local communities. This urban example of conservation based on ameliorating nitrate water pollution extends the initial watershed-boundary approach along three dimensions: 1) from riparian to urban land-water-scapes; 2) from discrete engineering solutions to ecological design approaches; and 3) from structural solutions to inclusion of individual, household, and institutional behavior.
Clark, J. S.; Rizzo, D. M.; Watzin, M. C.; Hession, W. C.. (2008) Spatial distribution and geomorphic condition of fish habitat in streams: An analysis using hydraulic modelling and geostatistics. River Research and Applications 24(7) 885-899
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Reach-scale physical habitat assessment scores are increasingly used to make decisions about management. We characterized the spatial distribution of hydraulic habitat characteristics at the reach and sub-reach scales for four fish species using detailed two-dimensional hydraulic models and spatial analysis techniques (semi-variogram analyses). We next explored whether these hydraulic characteristics were correlated with commonly used reach-scale geomorphic assessment (RGA) scores, rapid habitat assessment (RHA) scores, or indices of fish biodiversity and abundance. River2D was used to calculate weighted usable areas (WUAs) at median flows, Q(50), for six Vermont streams using modelled velocity, depth estimates, channel bed data and habitat suitability curves for blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus), brown trout (Salmo trutta), common shiner (Notropis cornutus) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) at both the adult and spawn stages. All stream reaches exhibited different spatial distributions of WUA ranging from uniform distribution of patches of high WUA to irregular distribution of more isolated patches. Streams with discontinuous, distinct patches of high score WUA had lower fish biotic integrity measured with the State of Vermont's Mixed Water Index of Biotic Integrity (MWIBI) than streams with a more uniform distribution of high WUA. In fact, the distribution of usable habitats may be a determining factor for fish communities. A relationship between predicted WUAs averaged at the reach scale and RGA or RHA scores was not found. Future research is needed to identify the appropriate spatial scales to capture the connections between usable patches of stream channel habitat. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Ali, S.; Beer, C.; Bond, L.; Boumans, R.; Danigelis, N. L.; Dickson, J.; Elliott, C.; Farley, J.; Gayer, D. E.; Glenn, L. M.; Hudspeth, T. R.; Mahoney, D. F.; McCahill, L.; McIntosh, B.; Reed, B.; Rizvi, A. T.; Rizzo, D. M.; Simpatico, T.; Snapp, R.. (2008) An Integrative Approach to Quality of Life Measurement, Research, and Policy. SAPIENS 1(1) 17-21
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While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive. Diverse “objective” and “subjective” indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred renewed interest. Drawing from multiple disciplines, we present an integrative definition of QOL that combines measures of human needs with subjective well-being or happiness. QOL is proposed as a multiscale, multi-dimensional concept that contains interacting objective and subjective elements. We relate QOL to the opportunities that are provided to meet human needs in the forms of built, human, social and natural capital (in addition to time) and the policy options that are available to enhance these opportunities. Issues related to defining, measuring, and scaling these concepts are discussed, and a research agenda is elaborated. Policy implications include strategies for investing in opportunities to maximize QOL enhancement at the individual, community, and national scales.
Costanza, R.; Perez-Maqueo, O.; Luisa Martinez, M.; Sutton, P.; Anderson, S. J.; Mulder, K.. (2008) The value of coastal wetlands for hurricane protection. Ambio 37(4) 241-248
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Coastal wetlands reduce the damaging effects of hurricanes on coastal communities. A regression model using 34 major US hurricanes since 1980 with the natural log of damage per unit gross domestic product in the hurricane swath as the dependent variable and the natural logs of wind speed and wetland area in the swath as the independent variables was highly significant and explained 60% of the variation in relative damages. A loss of 1 ha of wetland in the model corresponded to an average USD 33 000 (median = USID 5000) increase in storm damage from specific storms. Using this relationship, and taking into account the annual probability of hits by hurricanes of varying intensities, we mapped the annual value of coastal wetlands by 1 km x 1 km pixel and by state. The annual value ranged from USD 250 to USID 51 000 ha(-1) yr(-1) with a mean of USID 8240 ha(-1) yr(-1) (median = USID 230 ha(-1) yr(-1)) significantly larger than previous estimates. Coastal wetlands in the US were estimated to currently provide USID 23.2 billion yr(-1) in storm protection services. Coastal wetlands function as valuable, selfmaintaining "horizontal levees" for storm protection, and also provide a host of other ecosystem services that vertical levees do not. Their restoration and preservation is an extremely cost-effective strategy for society.
Costanza, R.. (2008) Ecosystem services: Multiple classification systems are needed. Biological Conservation 141(2) 350-352
Costanza, R.. (2008) Stewardship for a "Full" World. 107(705) 30-35
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"The mainstream model of development... is based on a number of assumptions [that] emerged during a period-the early industrial revolution-when the world was still relatively empty of humans and their built infrastructure.".
Darling, J. A.; Bagley, M. J.; Roman, J.; Tepolt, C. K.; Geller, J. B.. (2008) Genetic patterns across multiple introductions of the globally invasive crab genus Carcinus. 17(23) 4992-5007
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The European green crab Carcinus maenas is one of the world's most successful aquatic invaders, having established populations on every continent with temperate shores. Here we describe patterns of genetic diversity across both the native and introduced ranges of C. maenas and its sister species, C. aestuarii, including all known non-native populations. The global data set includes sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene, as well as multilocus genotype data from nine polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci. Combined phylogeographic and population genetic analyses clarify the global colonization history of C. maenas, providing evidence of multiple invasions to Atlantic North America and South Africa, secondary invasions to the northeastern Pacific, Tasmania, and Argentina, and a strong likelihood of C. maenas x C. aestuarii hybrids in South Africa and Japan. Successful C. maenas invasions vary broadly in the degree to which they retain genetic diversity, although populations with the least variation typically derive from secondary invasions or from introductions that occurred more than 100 years ago.
Doris, J. J.; Rizzo, D. M.; Dewoolkar, M. M.. (2008) Forecasting vertical ground surface movement from shrinking/swelling soils with artificial neural networks. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics 32(10) 1229-1245
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Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are used to estimate vertical ground surface movement when soils expand and contract due to changes in soil moisture content caused by changing climate conditions. Several counterpropagation ANN test cases were investigated to map climate data (i.e. temperature and rainfall) to vertical ground surface movement at field sites in Texas and Australia. Three of the four ANN test cases use a historical time series of climate data to forecast ground surface elevation relative to a specified datum. The fourth ANN test case predicts the rate of ground surface movement, and requires post-processing of the predicted rates to calculate ground surface elevation relative to a specified datum. The counterpropagation network has demonstrated a successful mapping of temperature and rainfall data to vertical ground surface movement at a field site when it is trained with a subset of data from the same field site (test cases 1 and 2). The results of training an ANN on one field site and testing it on another field site (test cases 3 and 4) demonstrate the ability of the ANN to capture trends in vertical ground surface movement. When compared with the predictions from a physics-based method (shrink test-water content method) that requires measurements/ estimates of changes in soil water content, the ANN-based predictions (based on climatic changes) captured the trends in the field measurements of shrinking-swelling soil surface movements equally well. These findings are promising and merit further investigation with data from additional field sites. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Ellis, A. M.. (2008) Incorporating density dependence into the oviposition preference - offspring performance hypothesis. 77(2) 247-256
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1. Although theory predicts a positive relationship between oviposition preferences and the developmental performance of offspring, the strength of this relationship may depend not only on breeding site quality, but also on the complex interactions between environmental heterogeneity and density-dependent processes. Environmental heterogeneity may not only alter the strength of density dependence, but may also fundamentally alter density-dependent relationships and the preference-performance relationship. 2. Here I present results from a series of field experiments testing the effects of environmental heterogeneity and density-dependent feedback on offspring performance in tree-hole mosquitoes. Specifically, I asked: (i) how do oviposition activity, patterns of colonization and larval density differ among habitats and among oviposition sites with different resources; and (ii) how is performance influenced by the density of conspecifics, the type of resource in the oviposition site, and the type of habitat in which the oviposition site is located? 3. Performance did not differ among habitats at low offspring densities, but was higher in deciduous forest habitats than in evergreen forest habitats at high densities. Oviposition activity and larval densities were also higher in deciduous forests, suggesting a weak preference for these habitats. 4. The observed divergence of fitness among habitats with increasing density may select for consistent but weak preferences for deciduous habitats if regional abundances vary temporally. This would generate a negative preference-performance relationship when population densities are low, but a positive relationship when population densities are high. 5. This study demonstrates that failure to recognize that fitness differences among habitats may themselves be density-dependent may bias our assumptions about the ecological and evolutionary processes determining oviposition preferences in natural systems.
Ellis, A. M.. (2008) Linking movement and oviposition behaviour to spatial population distribution in the tree hole mosquito Ochlerotatus triseriatus. 77(1) 156-166
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1. Researchers often use the spatial distribution of insect offspring as a measure of adult oviposition preferences, and then make conclusions about the consequences of these preferences for population growth and the relationship between life-history traits (e.g. oviposition preference and offspring performance). However, several processes other than oviposition preference can generate spatial patterns of offspring density (e.g. dispersal limitations, spatially heterogeneous mortality rates). Incorrectly assuming that offspring distributions reflect oviposition preferences may therefore compromise our ability to understand the mechanisms determining population distributions and the relationship between life-history traits. 2. The purpose of this study was to perform an empirical study at the whole-system scale to examine the movement and oviposition behaviours of the eastern tree hole mosquito Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Say) and test the importance of these behaviours in determining population distribution relative to other mechanisms. 3. A mark-release-recapture experiment was performed to distinguish among the following alternative hypotheses that may explain a previously observed aggregated distribution of tree hole mosquito offspring: (H-1) mosquitoes prefer habitats with particular vegetation characteristics and these preferences determine the distribution of their offspring; (H-2) mosquitoes distribute their eggs randomly or evenly throughout their environment, but spatial differences in developmental success generate an aggregated pattern of larval density; (H-3) mosquitoes randomly colonize habitats, but have limited dispersal capability causing them to distribute offspring where founder populations were established; (H-4) wind or other environmental factors may lead to passive aggregation, or spatial heterogeneity in adult mortality (H-5), rather than dispersal, generates clumped offspring distributions. 4. Results indicate that the distribution of tree hole mosquito larvae is determined in part by adult habitat selection (H-1), but do not exclude additional effects from passive aggregation (H-4), or spatial patterns in adult mortality (H-5). 5. This research illustrates the importance of studying oviposition behaviour at the population scale to better evaluate its relative importance in determining population distribution and dynamics. Moreover, this study demonstrates the importance of linking behavioural and population dynamics for understanding evolutionary relationships among life-history traits (e.g. preference and offspring performance) and predicting when behaviour will be important in determining population phenomena.
Farley, J.; Miles, B.. (2008) Science and Problem Solving in a Political World: Insights from Katrina. 11(S08) 3-20
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While as scientists ecological economists pursue objectivity and empiricism, as problem solvers we strive to move our policy solutions to pressing problems onto the political agenda. To what extent is a rigorous scientific understanding of sustainability issues necessary and sufficient for creating more sustainable policies? If it is not, what are the obligations of scientists who understand the threats to sustainability to act on their understanding? We use a case study of Katrina to show that impartial science alone is inadequate to achieve our ends. Ecological economics and market fundamentalists are those currently receiving the most consideration, which exacerbates the problems as defined by ecological economists. As scientists and problem solvers, ecological economists must empirically study the public policy process to learn how to promote our policy solutions. We therefore assess two schools of thought concerning public policy - the market model and polis model. The market model of the public policy process assumes that policy makers rationally analyze the options available to achieve a specific goal then choose the one that maximizes utility. The polis model in contrast assumes that policy makers are not consistently rational but respond instead to the strategic presentation of situations using stories and symbols more than value-neutral facts. We argue that the polis model is a more accurate empirical interpretation of the policy process, and therefore, to be good scientific problem solvers, ecological economists must rely on emotionally charged stories that explain the significance of their scientific research instead of impartial presentation of empirical evidence.
Farley, J.. (2008) The Role of Prices in Conserving Critical Natural Capital. 22(6) 1399-1408
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Until recent decades, economic decision makers have largely ignored the nonmarket benefits provided by nature, resulting in unprecedented threats to ecological life-support functions. The economic challenge today is to decide how much ecosystem structure can be converted to economic production and how much must be conserved to provide essential ecosystem services. Many economists and a growing number of life scientists hope to address this challenge by estimating the marginal value of environmental benefits and then using this information to make economic decisions. I assessed this approach first by examining the role and effectiveness of the price mechanism in a well-functioning market economy, second by identifying the issues that prevent markets from pricing many ecological benefits, and third by focusing on problems inherent to valuing services generated by complex and poorly understood ecosystems subject to irreversible change. I then focus on critical natural capital (CNC), which generates benefits that are essential to human welfare and have few if any substitutes. When imminent ecological thresholds threaten CNC, conservation is essential and marginal valuation becomes inappropriate. Once conservation needs have been met, remaining ecosystem structure is potentially available for economic production. Demand for this available supply will determine prices. In other words, conservation needs should be price determining, not price determined. Conservation science must help identify CNC and the quantity and quality of ecosystem structure required to ensure its sustained provision.
Fisher, B.; Turner, K.; Zylstra, M.; Brouwer, R.; de Groot, R.; Farber, S.; Ferraro, P.; Green, R.; Hadley, D.; Harlow, J.; Jefferiss, P.; Kirkby, C.; Morling, P.; Mowatt, S.; Naidoo, R.; Paavola, J.; Strassburg, B.; Yu, D.; Balmford, A.. (2008) ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND ECONOMIC THEORY: INTEGRATION FOR POLICY-RELEVANT RESEARCH. Ecological Applications 18(8) 2050-2067
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It has become essential in policy and decision-making circles to think about the economic benefits (in addition to moral and scientific motivations) humans derive from well-functioning ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem services has been developed to address this link between ecosystems and human welfare. Since policy decisions are often evaluated through cost -benefit assessments, an economic analysis can help make ecosystem service research operational. In this paper we provide some simple economic analyses to discuss key concepts involved in formalizing ecosystem service research. These include the distinction between services and bene. ts, understanding the importance of marginal ecosystem changes, formalizing the idea of a safe minimum standard for ecosystem service provision, and discussing how to capture the public bene. ts of ecosystem services. We discuss how the integration of economic concepts and ecosystem services can provide policy and decision makers with a fuller spectrum of information for making conservation -conversion trade-offs. We include the results from a survey of the literature and a questionnaire of researchers regarding how ecosystem service research can be integrated into the policy process. We feel this discussion of economic concepts will be a practical aid for ecosystem service research to become more immediately policy relevant.
Fisher, B.; Turner, R. K.. (2008) Ecosystem services: Classification for valuation. Biological Conservation 141(5) 1167-1169
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This letter is in response to an article by Ken Wallace titled "Classifications of ecosystem services: problems and solutions" (Biological Conservation 139, 2007). This letter discusses the points we see as problematic with Wallace's framework and sets out our conceptualization of linking ecosystem services with human welfare. In this letter we suggest that utilizing the terms intermediate services, final services and benefits should go a long way to clearing up much of the ambiguity in ecosystem services typologies, especially for economic valuation purposes. As Wallace points out, clearly defining and organizing the concept of ecosystem services is not just a semantic decision, but it is integral to operationalizing something that can clearly illuminate tradeoffs in natural resource management. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fisher, B.. (2008) Deep economy: The wealth of communities and the durable future. 17(3) 422-424
Foster, B.; Wang, D.; Keeton, W.. (2008) An exploratory, post-harvest comparison of ecological and economic characteristics of FSC certified and uncertified northern hardwood stands.. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 26(3) 171-191
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As more forest entities worldwide consider pursuing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, a critical question remains on whether stand-level management impacts differ between certified and uncertified forests. To begin to answer this question, we measured forest structure on three FSC-certified stands, three uncertified stands, and six adjacent unharvested reference stands (12 stands total) composed primarily of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) on non-industrial private properties in central Vermont, USA. The certified and uncertified partial harvests reduced total tree biomass and live tree carbon storage by one-third compared to reconstructed pre-harvest conditions. Both treatments also contained significantly lower densities of saplings and some mid-size trees compared to non-harvested references due to similar impacts from harvesting. The net present value of merchantable sugar maple over 10 year projections was consistently lower on certified than uncertified stands, but this difference was insignificant at discount rates from 4–8%. The certified stands contained significantly greater total residual volumes of coarse woody debris (standing and downed) than uncertified stands, although the debris was smaller than that found in unmanaged mature forests. Overall, our data suggest that FSC-certified harvested stands in northern hardwood forests have similar sugar maple timber value, aboveground live tree carbon storage value, similar live tree structure, and greater residual coarse woody debris than uncertified harvested stands.
Galford, G. L.; Mustard, J. F.; Melillo, J. M.; Gendrin, A.; Cerri, C. C.; Cerri, C. E. P.. (2008) Wavelet analysis of MODIS time series to detect expansion and intensification of row-crop agriculture in Brazil. Remote Sensing of Environment 112(2) 576-587
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Since 2000, the southwestern Brazilian Amazon has undergone a rapid transformation from natural vegetation and pastures to row-crop agricultural with the potential to affect regional biogeochemistry. The goals of this research are to assess wavelet algorithms applied to MODIS time series to determine expansion of row-crops and intensification of the number of crops grown. MODIS provides data from February 2000 to present, a period of agricultural expansion and intensification in the southwestern Brazilian Amazon. We have selected a study area near Comodoro, Mato Grosso because of the rapid growth of row-crop agriculture and availability of ground truth data of agricultural land-use history. We used a 90% power wavelet transform to create a wavelet-smoothed time series for five years of MODIS EVI data. From this wavelet-smoothed time series we determine characteristic phenology of single and double crops. We estimate that over 3200 km(2) were converted from native vegetation and pasture to row-crop agriculture from 2000 to 2005 in our study area encompassing 40,000 km(2). We observe an increase of 2000 km(2) of agricultural intensification, where areas of single crops were converted to double crops during the study period. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hermans, C.; Howarth, R. B.; Noordewier, T.; Erickson, J. D.. (2008) Constructing Preferences in Structured Group Deliberative Processes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Pages 50-79;
Keeton, W. S.. (2008) Evaluation of tree seedling mortality and protective strategies in riparian forest restoration. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 25(3) 117-123
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Riparian forest restoration can be severely constrained by tree seedling mortality. I evaluated the effects of tree shelters and planting density on herbivory and seedling mortality at a restoration site in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont. Eighteen experimental units were established along a 5th-order stream and planted with bare-root seedlings of seven species associated with northern hardwood floodplain forests. Two treatments were applied in a factorial design: shelters versus no shelters and high versus low planting density. Mortality and herbivory data were collected over three growing seasons. Survivorship declined to 56.4% after three growing seasons and varied significantly by species. Planting density, presence/absence of shelters, and their interaction had significant effects on survival, browse, or girdling intensity when tested for all species combined. Browse rates were high (44%), whereas girdling rates were low (3.4%). Both browse (P < 0.001) and girdling (P = 0.022) contributed to seedling mortality. High rates of deer browse on seedlings in shelters were due, in part, to the short height (60 cm) of the shelters, suggesting a need for taller shelters. A large portion (39%) of dead seedlings were neither browsed nor girdled, signaling the importance of other mortality agents. An adaptive approach is recommended to compensate for high seedling mortality and the limited effectiveness of protective devices.
Kollat, J. B.; Reed, P. M.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2008) Addressing model bias and uncertainty in three dimensional groundwater transport forecasts for a physical aquifer experiment. Geophysical Research Letters 35(17)
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This work contributes a combination of laboratory-based aquifer tracer experimentation and bias-aware Ensemble Kalman Filtering (EnKF) to demonstrate that systematic modeling errors ( or bias) in source loading dynamics and the spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity pose severe challenges for groundwater transport forecasting under uncertainty. The impacts of model bias were evaluated using an ammonium chloride tracer experiment conducted in a three dimensional laboratory tank aquifer with 105 near real-time sampling locations. This study contributes a bias-aware EnKF framework that (i) dramatically enhances the accuracy of concentration breakthrough forecasts in the presence of systematic, spatio-temporally correlated modeling errors, (ii) clarifies in space and time where transport gradients are maximally impacted by model bias, and (iii) expands the size and scope of flow- and-transport problems that can be considered in the future.
Kusters, K.; Ruiz Perez, M.; de Foresta, H.; Dietz, T.; Ros-Tonen, M.; Belcher, B.; Manalu, P.; Nawir, A.; Wollenberg, E.. (2008) Will agroforests vanish? The case of Damar agroforests in Indonesia. 36(3) 357-370
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Resin producing agroforestry in the Krui area of Sumatra in Indonesia is presented as an environmentally friendly, income generating land-use system which contributes to both development and conservation objectives. We studied the change in household income portfolios in three communities in the Krui area. The studies revealed that in the period 1995-2004 agroforestry remained the main source of income. We predict, however, that due to declining resin productivity per hectare, and rising price and demand for timber, an increasing number of farmers will cut their mature agroforests in the near future. At the same time our data suggests that farmers will continue tree planting activities. In result old agroforests may vanish while new ones will be established.
Loucks, C.; Ricketts, T. H.; Naidoo, R.; Lamoreux, J.; Hoekstra, J.. (2008) Explaining the global pattern of protected area coverage: relative importance of vertebrate biodiversity, human activities and agricultural suitability. 35(8) 1337-1348
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Aim Twelve per cent of the Earth's terrestrial surface is covered by protected areas, but neither these areas nor the biodiversity they contain are evenly distributed spatially. To guide future establishment of protected areas, it is important to understand the factors that have shaped the spatial arrangement of the current protected area system. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the ability of vertebrate biodiversity measures, resource consumption and agricultural potential to explain the global coverage pattern of protected areas. Location Global. Methods For each of 762 World Wildlife Fund terrestrial ecoregions of the world, we measured protected area coverage, resource consumption, terrestrial vertebrate species richness, number of endemic species, number of threatened species, net primary production, elevation and topographic heterogeneity. We combined these variables into 39 a priori models to describe protected area coverage at the global scale, and for six biogeographical realms. Using the Akaike information criterion and Akaike weights, we identified the relative importance and influence of each variable in describing protected area coverage. Results Globally, the number of endemic species was the best variable describing protected area coverage, followed by the number of threatened species. Species richness and resource consumption were of moderate importance and agricultural potential had weak support for describing protected area coverage at a global scale. Yet, the relative importance of these factors varied among biogeographical realms. Measures of vertebrate biodiversity (species richness, endemism and threatened species) were among the most important variables in all realms, except the Indo-Malayan, but had a wide range of relative importance and influence. Resource consumption was inversely related to protected area coverage across all but one realm (the Palearctic), most strongly in the Nearctic realm. Agricultural potential, despite having little support in describing protected area coverage globally, was strongly and positively related to protection in the Palearctic and Neotropical realms, as well as in the Indo-Malayan realm. The Afrotropical, Indo-Malayan and Australasian realms showed no clear, strong relationships between protected area coverage and the independent variables. Main conclusions Globally, the existing protected area network is more strongly related to biodiversity measures than to patterns of resource consumption or agricultural potential. However, the relative importance of these factors varies widely among the world's biogeographical realms. Understanding the biases of the current protected area system may help to correct for them as future protected areas are added to the global network.
McBride, M.; Hession, W. C.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2008) Riparian reforestation and channel change: A case study of two small tributaries to Sleepers River, northeastern Vermont, USA. Geomorphology 102(3-4) 445-459
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Measurements of two small streams in northeastern Vermont, collected in 1966 and 2004-2005, document considerable change in channel width following a period of passive reforestation. Channel widths of several tributaries to Sleepers River in Danville, VT, USA, were previously measured in 1966 when the area had a diverse patchwork of forested and nonforested riparian vegetation. Nearly 40 years later, we remeasured bed widths and surveyed large woody debris (LWD) in two of these tributaries, along 500 m of upper Pope Brook and along nearly the entire length (3 km) of an unnamed tributary (W12). Following the longitudinal survey, we collected detailed channel and riparian information for nine reaches along the same two streams. Four reaches had reforested since 1966: two reaches remained nonforested. The other three reaches have been forested since at least the 1940s. Results show that reforested reaches were significantly wider than as measured in 1966, and they are more incised than all other forested and nonforested reaches. Visual observations, cross-sectional surveys, and LWD characteristics indicate that reforested reaches continue to change in response to riparian reforestation. The three reaches with the oldest forest were widest for a given drainage area, and the nonforested reaches were Substantially narrower. Our observations culminated in a conceptual model that describes a multiphase process of incision, widening, and recovery following riparian reforestation of nonforested areas. Results from this case study may help inform stream restoration efforts by providing insight into potentially unanticipated changes in channel size associated with the replanting of forested riparian buffers adjacent to small streams. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Naidoo, R.; Balmford, A.; Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Green, R. E.; Lehner, B.; Malcolm, T. R.; Ricketts, T. H.. (2008) Global mapping of ecosystem services and conservation priorities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105(28) 9495-9500
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Global efforts to conserve biodiversity have the potential to deliver economic benefits to people (i.e., "ecosystem services"). However, regions for which conservation benefits both biodiversity and ecosystem services cannot be identified unless ecosystem services can be quantified and valued and their areas of production mapped. Here we review the theory, data, and analyses needed to produce such maps and find that data availability allows us to quantify imperfect global proxies for only four ecosystem services. Using this incomplete set as an illustration, we compare ecosystem service maps with the global distributions of conventional targets for biodiversity conservation. Our preliminary results show that regions selected to maximize biodiversity provide no more ecosystem services than regions chosen randomly. Furthermore, spatial concordance among different services, and between ecosystem services and established conservation priorities, varies widely. Despite this lack of general concordance, "win-win" areas-regions important for both ecosystem services and biodiversity-can be usefully identified, both among ecoregions and at finer scales within them. An ambitious interdisciplinary research effort is needed to move beyond these preliminary and illustrative analyses to fully assess synergies and trade-offs in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.
North, M. P.; Keeton, W. S.. (2008) Emulating Natural Disturbance Regimes: an Emerging Approach for Sustainable Forest Management. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 32;
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Sustainable forest management integrates ecological, social, and economic objectives. To achieve the former, researchers and practitioners are modifying silvicultural practices based on concepts from successional and landscape ecology to provide a broader array of ecosystem functions than is associated with conventional approaches. One such innovation is disturbance-based management. Under this approach, forest practices that emulate natural ecological processes, such as local disturbance regimes, are viewed as more likely to perpetuate the evolutionary environment and ecosystem functions of the forest matrix. We examine how this concept has been applied in three U.S. forest types: Pacific Northwest temperate coniferous, Western mixed-conifer, and Northeastern northern hardwood forests. In general, stand-level treatments have been widely used and often closely mimic historic disturbance because forest structure and composition guidelines have been well defined from reconstructive research. Disturbance-based landscape management, however, has not yet been closely approximated in the three forest types we examined. Landscape implementation has been constrained by economic, ownership, safety, and practical limitations. Given these constraints we suggest that disturbance-based management concepts are best applied as an assessment tool with variable implementation potential. Silviculture practices can be compared against the frequency, scale, and level of biological legacies characteristic of natural disturbance regimes to evaluate their potential impact on ecosystem sustainability.
O'Faircheallaigh, C.; Trebeck, K.; Haley, S.; Magdanz, J.; Coumans, C.; Howitt, R.; Lawrence, R.; Gibson, G.; Kemp, D.; Anglebeck, B.; Barker, T.; Filer, C.; Burton J.; Banks, G.; McAteer, E.; Ali, S. H.; Anguelovski, I.; Crate, S. A.; Yakovleva, N.. (2008) Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industries and Corporate Social Responsibility. Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, United Kingdom . Pages 272;
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Indigenous peoples have historically gained little from large-scale resource development on their traditional lands, and have suffered from its negative impacts on their cultures, economies and societies. During recent decades indigenous groups and their allies have fought hard to change this situation: in some cases by opposing development entirely; in many others by seeking a fundamental change in the distribution of benefits and costs from resource exploitation. In doing so they have utilised a range of approaches, including efforts to win greater recognition of indigenous rights in international fora; pressure for passage of national and state or provincial legislation recognising indigenous land rights and protecting indigenous culture; litigation in national and international courts; and direct political action aimed at governments and developers, often in alliance with non-governmental organisations (NGOs). At the same time, and partly in response to these initiatives, many of the corporations that undertake large-scale resource exploitation have sought to address concerns regarding the impact of their activities on indigenous peoples by adopting what are generally referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. This book focuses on such corporate initiatives. It does not treat them in isolation, recognising that their adoption and impact is contextual, and is related both to the wider social and political framework in which they occur and to the activities and initiatives of indigenous peoples. It does not treat them uncritically, recognising that they may in some cases consist of little more than exercises in public relations. However, neither does it approach them cynically, recognising the possibility that, even if CSR policies and activities reflect hard-headed business decisions, and indeed perhaps particularly if they do so, they can generate significant benefits for indigenous peoples if appropriate accountability mechanisms are in place. In undertaking an in-depth analysis of CSR and indigenous peoples in the extractive industries, the book seeks to answer the following questions. What is the nature and extent of CSR initiatives in the extractive industries and how should they be understood? What motivates companies to pursue CSR policies and activities? How do specific political, social and legal contexts shape corporate behaviour? What is the relationship between indigenous political action and CSR? How and to what extent can corporations be held accountable for their policies and actions? Can CSR help bring about a fundamental change in the distribution of benefits and costs from large-scale resource exploitation and, if so, under what conditions can this occur? Earth Matters gathers key experts from around the world who discuss corporate initiatives in Alaska, Ecuador, Australia, Canada, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Russia. The book explores the great diversity that characterises initiatives and policies under the name of corporate social responsibility , the highly contingent and contextual nature of corporate responses to indigenous demands, and the complex and evolving nature of indigenous corporate relations. It also reveals much about the conditions under which CSR can contribute to a redistribution of benefits and costs from large-scale resource development. Earth Matters will be essential reading for those working in and studying the extractive industry worldwide, as well as those readers looking for a state-of-the-art description of how CSR is functioning in perhaps its most difficult setting.
Ricketts, T. H.; Regetz, J.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Cunningham, S. A.; Kremen, C.; Bogdanski, A.; Gemmill-Herren, B.; Greenleaf, S. S.; Klein, A. M.; Mayfield, M. M.; Morandin, L. A.; Ochieng, A.; Potts, S. G.; Viana, B. F.. (2008) Landscape effects on crop pollination services: are there general patterns? (vol 11, pg 499, 2008). Ecology Letters 11(10) 1121-1121
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Pollination by bees and other animals increases the size, quality, or stability of harvests for 70% of leading global crops. Because native species pollinate many of these crops effectively, conserving habitats for wild pollinators within agricultural landscapes can help maintain pollination services. Using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, we synthesize the results of 23 studies – representing 16 crops on five continents – to estimate the general relationship between pollination services and distance from natural or semi-natural habitats. We find strong exponential declines in both pollinator richness and native visitation rate. Visitation rate declines more steeply, dropping to half of its maximum at 0.6 km from natural habitat, compared to 1.5 km for richness. Evidence of general decline in fruit and seed set – variables that directly affect yields – is less clear. Visitation rate drops more steeply in tropical compared with temperate regions, and slightly more steeply for social compared with solitary bees. Tropical crops pollinated primarily by social bees may therefore be most susceptible to pollination failure from habitat loss. Quantifying these general relationships can help predict consequences of land use change on pollinator communities and crop productivity, and can inform landscape conservation efforts that balance the needs of native species and people.
Ricketts, T. H.; Regetz, J.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Cunningham, S. A.; Kremen, C.; Bogdanski, A.; Gemmill-Herren, B.; Greenleaf, S. S.; Klein, A. M.; Mayfield, M. M.; Morandin, L. A.; Ochieng, A.; Viana, B. F.. (2008) Landscape effects on crop pollination services: are there general patterns?. Ecology Letters 11(5) 499-515
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Pollination by bees and other animals increases the size, quality, or stability of harvests for 70% of leading global crops. Because native species pollinate many of these crops effectively, conserving habitats for wild pollinators within agricultural landscapes can help maintain pollination services. Using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, we synthesize the results of 23 studies - representing 16 crops on five continents - to estimate the general relationship between pollination services and distance from natural or semi-natural habitats. We find strong exponential declines in both pollinator richness and native visitation rate. Visitation rate declines more steeply, dropping to half of its maximum at 0.6 km from natural habitat, compared to 1.5 km for richness. Evidence of general decline in fruit and seed set - variables that directly affect yields - is less clear. Visitation rate drops more steeply in tropical compared with temperate regions, and slightly more steeply for social compared with solitary bees. Tropical crops pollinated primarily by social bees may therefore be most susceptible to pollination failure from habitat loss. Quantifying these general relationships can help predict consequences of land use change on pollinator communities and crop productivity, and can inform landscape conservation efforts that balance the needs of native species and people.
Rizzoli, A. E.; Donatelli, M.; Athanasiadis, I. N.; Villa, F.; Huber, D.. (2008) Semantic links in integrated modelling frameworks. 78(2-3) 412-423
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It is commonly accepted that modelling frameworks offer a powerful tool for modellers, researchers and decision makers, since they allow the management, re-use and integration of mathematical models from various disciplines and at different spatial and temporal scales. However, the actual re-usability of models depends on a number of factors such as the accessibility of the source code, the compatibility of different binary platforms, and often it is left to the modellers own discipline and responsibility to structure a complex model in such a way that it is decomposed in smaller re-usable sub-components. What reusable and interchangeable means is also somewhat vague; although several approaches to build modelling frameworks have been developed, little attention has been dedicated to the intrinsic re-usability of components, in particular between different modelling frameworks. In this paper, we focus on how models can be linked together to build complex integrated models. We stress that even if a model component interface is clear and reusable from a software standpoint, this is not a sufficient condition for reusing a component across different integrated modelling frameworks. This reveals the need for adding rich semantics in model interfaces. (C) 2008 IMACS. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Silvano, R. A. M.; Silva, A. L.; Ceroni, M.; Begossi, A.. (2008) Contributions of ethnobiology to the conservation of tropical rivers and streams. 18(3) 241-260
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1. This study aimed to link basic ethnobiological research on local ecological knowledge (LEK) to the conservation of Brazilian streams, based on two case studies: original data on LEK of fishermen about freshwater fish in the Negro River, Amazon, and previously published data about LEK of farmers on the ecological relationship between forest and streams in the Macabuzinho catchment, Atlantic Forest. 2. Information was obtained from fishermen through interviews using standard questionnaires containing open-ended questions. Informants for interview were selected either following some defined criteria or applying the 'snowball' method. 3. Fishermen's LEK about the diets and habitats of 14 fish species in the Negro River provided new biological information on plant species that are eaten by fish, in addition to confirming some ecological patterns from the biological literature, such as dependence of fish on forests as food sources. 4. In the Atlantic Forest, a comparison between farmers' LEK and a rapid stream assessment in the farmers' properties indicated that farmers tended to overestimate the ecological integrity of their streams. Farmers recognized at least 11 forest attributes that correspond to the scientific concept of ecosystem services. Such information may be useful to promote or enhance dialogue among farmers, scientists and managers. 5. These results may contribute to the devising of ecosystem management measures in the Negro River, aimed to conserve both rivers and their associated floodplain forests, involving local fishermen. In the Atlantic Forest, we proposed some initiatives, such as to allow direct economic use of their forests to conciliate conflicting perceptions of farmers about ecological benefits versus economic losses from reforestation. Despite their cultural, environmental and geographical differences, the two study cases are complementary and cost-effective and promising approaches to including LEK in the design of ecological research. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Smith, K. J.; Keeton, W. S.; Twery, M. J.; Tobi, D. R.. (2008) Understory plant responses to uneven-aged forestry alternatives in northern hardwood-conifer forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 38(6) 1303-1318
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The understory layer encompasses the majority of plain species diversity ill forested ecosystems and may be sensitive to timber harvest disturbance. We hypothesize that (i) uneven-aged, low-intensity silvicultural systems can maintain understory plant diversity and support late-successional species following harvest disturbance; (ii) retaining and enhancing stand structural complexity can increase understory plant diversity in northern hardwood-conifer forests; and (iii) plant responses are influenced by interactions among canopy structure, soils, and climate processes. Experimental treatments include single-tree selection and group selection, both modified to increase structural retention, and a third technique designed to promote late-successional forest structure and function, structural complexity enhancement. Four replications of each treatment were applied to 2 ha units in Vermont and New York, USA. Understory vegetation was monitered 2 years pre- and 4 years post-treatment. Results show that over time, understory responses were strongly affected by overstory treatment and less influenced by soils and drought. All treatments succeeded at maintaining overall composition and diversity. However, late-successional diversity increased significantly in structural complexity enhancement units compared with group selection units. These results indicate that while conventional uneven-aged systems can maintain understory plant diversity, variations that retain or enhance structural complexity may be effective at retaining late-successional species.
Smith, K. M.; Keeton, W. S.; Donovan, T. M.; Mitchell, B.. (2008) Stand-level forest structure and avian habitat: Scale dependencies in predicting occurrence in a heterogeneous forest. Forest Science 54(1) 36-46
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We explored the role of stand-level forest structure and spatial extent of forest sampling in models of avian occurrence in northern hardwood-conifer forests for two species: black-throated blue warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) and ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus). We estimated site occupancy from point counts at 20 sites and characterized the forest structure at these sites at three spatial extents (0.2, 3.0, and 12.0 ha). Weight of evidence was greatest for habitat models using forest stand structure at the 12.0-ha extent and diminished only slightly at the 3.0-ha extent, a scale that was slightly larger than the average territory size of both species. Habitat models characterized at the 0.2-ha extent had low support, yet are the closest in design to those used in many of the habitat studies we reviewed. These results suggest that the role of stand-level vegetation may have been underestimated in the past, which will be of interest to land managers who use habitat models to assess the suitability of habitat for species of concern.
Stevens, L.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2008) Local adaptation to biocontrol agents: A multi-objective datadriven optimization model for the evolution of resistance. Ecological Complexity 5(3) 252-259
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Spatial and temporal variability in the application of biological control agents such as parasites or pathogenic bacteria can cause the evolution of resistance in pest organisms. Because biocontrol will be more effective if organisms are not resistant, it is desirable to examine the evolution of resistance under different application strategies. We present a computational method that integrates a genetic algorithm with experimental data for predicting when local populations are likely to evolve resistance to biocontrol pathogens. The model incorporates parameters that can be varied as part of pest control measures such as the distribution and severity of the biocontrol agent (e.g., pathogenic fungi). The model predicts the evolution of pathogen defense as well as indirect selection on several aspects of the organism's genetic system. Our results show that both variability of selection within populations as well as mean differences among populations are important in the evolution of defenses against biocontrol pathogens. The mean defense is changed through the pest organism's genotype and the variance is affected by components of the genetic system, namely, the resiliency, recombination rate and number of genes. The data-driven model incorporates experimental data on pathogen susceptibility and the cost of defense. The results suggest that spatial variability rather than uniform application of biological control will limit the evolution of resistance in pest organisms. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Troy, A.; Grove, J. M.. (2008) Property values, parks, and crime: A hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD. 87(3) 233-245
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While urban parks are generally considered to be a positive amenity, past research suggests that some parks are perceived as a neighborhood liability. Using hedonic analysis of property data in Baltimore, MD, we attempted to determine whether crime rate mediates how parks are valued by the housing market. Transacted price was regressed against park proximity, area-weighted robbery and rape rates for the Census block groups encompassing the parks, and an interaction term, adjusting for a number of other variables. Four models were estimated, including one where selling price was log-transformed but distance to park was not, one where both were log-transformed, a Box-Cox regression, and a spatially adjusted regression. All results indicate that park proximity is positively valued by the housing market where the combined robbery and rape rates for a neighborhood are below a certain threshold rate but negatively valued where above that threshold. Depending on which model is used, this threshold occurs at a crime index value of between 406 and 484 (that is, between 406% and 484% of the national average: the average rate by block group for Baltimore is 475% of the national average). For all models, the further the crime index value is from the threshold value for a particular property, the steeper the relationship is between park proximity and home value. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Turner, K.; Georgiou, S.; Fisher, B.. (2008) Valuing Ecosystem Services: The Case of Multi-functional Wetlands. Earthscan, London, UK. Pages 229;
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Ecosystem services can be broadly defined as the aspects of ecosystems that provide benefits to people. This book provides guidance on the valuation of ecosystem services, using the case of multifunctional wetlands to illustrate and make recommendations regarding the methods and techniques that can be applied to appraise management options. It provides a review of ecosystem service valuation rationale, including its importance from both a policy and project appraisal perspective, and a useful reference when considering policy and appraisal of ecosystem management options. It shows how legal obligations and other high-level management targets should be taken into account in valuation exercises, thus giving important policy context to the management options. The authors set out what they call an Ecosystem Services Approach to the full appraisal of the role of ecosystem services in the economy and society. Although concentrating on wetlands, the approaches suggested provide an assessment framework that can be applied to other types of ecosystem assets.
Turner, R. K.; Fisher, B.. (2008) Environmental economics - To the rich man the spoils. Nature 451(7182) 1067-1068
Warren, D. R.; Keeton, W. S.; Kraft, C. E.. (2008) A comparison of line-intercept and census techniques for assessing large wood volume in streams. Hydrobiologia 598 123-130
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Most surveys of large wood in streams are conducted by counting and measuring every piece of large wood within a reach, a technique that is effective but time-consuming. In this study we evaluated an alternative method that takes less time and can be employed in studies in which an estimate of total large wood volume along a stream reach is the primary metric of interest. In first- through third-order streams we estimated in-stream large wood volume and large wood frequency, comparing large wood census estimates to those from a modified a line-intercept technique that has been commonly used in terrestrial forest surveys. Estimates of large wood volume from line transects located in the geographic center of the stream (parallel to stream axis and equidistant from bankfull margins) were highly correlated with those from the wood census (P < 0.001, r(2) = 0.88, Pearson's r = 0.935), but produced slightly greater estimates of large wood volume (regression slope = 1.28, SE = 0.16). Line-intercept estimates of large wood frequency (number per 100 m of stream) were significantly correlated to the wood census counts, but the line-intercept method underestimated frequency by about 50% (P = 0.016). Differences in the estimated large wood volume between line-intercept and wood census surveys were associated with variability in the diameter of the large wood, but unrelated to stream bankfull width, for the range of stream sizes evaluated in this study (approximate to 2 to 11 m). Our results suggest that in small constrained streams, line-intercept surveys are an effective method for estimating in-stream large wood volume and that these estimates better approximate results from whole-stream census techniques where the diameter of in-stream wood is relatively consistent.
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.; Grove, M.. (2008) A comparison of object-based with pixel-based land cover change detection in the Baltimore metropolitan area using multitemporal high resolution remote sensing data. Pages IV:683-6;
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This paper presents the methods and results of two post-classification change detection approaches, using multitemporal high-spatial resolution Emerge aerial imagery in the Gwynns Falls watershed, which includes portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. The results indicated that the object-based approach provides a better means for change detection than a traditional pixel-based method because it provides an effective way to incorporate spatial information and expert knowledge into the change detection process. The overall accuracy of the change map produced by the object-based method was 90.0%, with Kappa statistic of 0.854, whereas the overall accuracy and Kappa statistic of that by the pixel-based method were 81.3% and 0.712, respectively.
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.; Grove, M.. (2008) Modeling residential lawn fertilization practices: Integrating high resolution remote sensing with socioeconomic data. 41(5) 742-752
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This article investigates how remotely sensed lawn characteristics, such as parcel lawn area and parcel lawn greenness, combined with household characteristics, can be used to predict household lawn fertilization practices on private residential lands. This study involves two watersheds, Glyndon and Baisman's Run, in Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. Parcel lawn area and lawn greenness were derived from high-resolution aerial imagery using an object-oriented classification approach. Four indicators of household characteristics, including lot size, square footage of the house, housing value, and housing age were obtained from a property database. Residential lawn care survey data combined with remotely sensed parcel lawn area and greenness data were used to estimate two measures of household lawn fertilization practices, household annual fertilizer nitrogen application amount (N_yr) and household annual fertilizer nitrogen application rate (N_ha_yr). Using multiple regression with multi-model inferential procedures, we found that a combination of parcel lawn area and parcel lawn greenness best predicts N_yr, whereas a combination of parcel lawn greenness and lot size best predicts variation in N_ha_yr. Our analyses show that household fertilization practices can be effectively predicted by remotely sensed lawn indices and household characteristics. This has significant implications for urban watershed managers and modelers.
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.; Grove, M.. (2008) Object-based land cover classification and change analysis in the Baltimore metropolitan area using multitemporal high resolution remote sensing data. 8(3) 1613-1636
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Accurate and timely information about land cover pattern and change in urban areas is crucial for urban land management decision-making, ecosystem monitoring and urban planning. This paper presents the methods and results of an object-based classification and post-classification change detection of multitemporal high-spatial resolution Emerge aerial imagery in the Gwynns Falls watershed from 1999 to 2004. The Gwynns Falls watershed includes portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. An object-based approach was first applied to implement the land cover classification separately for each of the two years. The overall accuracies of the classification maps of 1999 and 2004 were 92.3% and 93.7%, respectively. Following the classification, we conducted a comparison of two different land cover change detection methods: traditional (i.e., pixel-based) post-classification comparison and object-based post-classification comparison. The results from our analyses indicated that an object-based approach provides a better means for change detection than a pixel based method because it provides an effective way to incorporate spatial information and expert knowledge into the change detection process. The overall accuracy of the change map produced by the object-based method was 90.0%, with Kappa statistic of 0.854, whereas the overall accuracy and Kappa statistic of that by the pixel-based method were 81.3% and 0.712, respectively.
Zhou, W.; Troy, A.. (2008) An object-oriented approach for analysing and characterizing urban landscape at the parcel level. 29(11) 3119-3135
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This paper presents an object-oriented approach for analysing and characterizing the urban landscape structure at the parcel level using high-resolution digital aerial imagery and LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data. Additional spatial datasets including property parcel boundaries and building footprints were used to both facilitate object segmentation and obtain greater classification accuracy. The study area is the Gwynns Falls watershed, which includes portions of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, MD. A three-level hierarchical network of image objects was generated, and objects were classified. At the two lower levels, objects were classified into five classes, building, pavement, bare soil, fine textured vegetation and coarse textured vegetation, respectively. The object-oriented classification approach proved to be effective for urban land cover classification. The overall accuracy of the classification was 92.3%, and the overall Kappa statistic was 0.899. Land cover proportions as well as vegetation characteristics were then summarized by property parcel. This exercise resulted in a knowledge base of rules for urban land cover classification, which could potentially be applied to other urban areas.
Armsworth, P. R.; Chan, K. M. A.; Daily, G. C.; Ehrlich, P. R.; Kremen, C.; Ricketts, T. H.; Sanjayan, M. A.. (2007) Ecosystem-service science and the way forward for conservation. 21(6) 1383-1384
Bagstad, K. J.; Ceroni, M.. (2007) Opportunities and challenges in applying the genuine progress indicator/index of sustainable economic welfare at local scales. International Journal of Environment, Workplace, and Employment 3(2) 132-53
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The closely related genuine progress indicator (GPI) and index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) provide monetised estimates of societal well-being based on economic, social and environmental criteria. Although the first ISEW/GPI estimates were completed at the national scale, there has been recent interest in applying GPI locally and regionally. Similar to national policy decisions, local fiscal, environmental and land use choices can strongly influence well-being. Local GPI estimates present several challenges, including data quality and availability, interpretation of certain components and appropriate application of results. We present a case study from seven counties in northern Vermont, USA from 1950 to 2000. This case study facilitates comparison between county, state and national GPI, and across a small urban-rural gradient. The case study illustrates both the difficulties and value of applying GPI/ISEW at local scales. We find that for recent years in an industrialised nation, it is possible to construct robust GPI estimates that allow comparisons of well-being across regions.
Besaw, L. E.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2007) Stochastic simulation and spatial estimation with multiple data types using artificial neural networks. Water Resources Research 43(11)
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A novel data-driven artificial neural network ( ANN) that quantitatively combines large numbers of multiple types of soft data is presented for performing stochastic simulation and/or spatial estimation. A counterpropagation ANN is extended with a radial basis function to estimate parameter fields that reproduce the spatial structure exhibited in autocorrelated parameters. Applications involve using three geophysical properties measured on a slab of Berea sandstone and the delineation of landfill leachate at a site in the Netherlands using electrical formation conductivity as our primary variable and six types of secondary data ( e. g., hydrochemistry, archaea, and bacteria). The ANN estimation fields are statistically similar to geostatistical methods ( indicator simulation and cokriging) and reference fields ( when available). The method is a nonparametric clustering/ classification algorithm that can assimilate significant amounts of disparate data types with both continuous and categorical responses without the computational burden associated with the construction of positive definite covariance and cross-covariance matrices. The combination of simplicity and computational speed makes the method ideally suited for environmental subsurface characterization and other Earth science applications with spatially autocorrelated variables.
Buchholz, T. S.; Volk, T. A.; Luzadis, V. A.. (2007) A participatory systems approach to modeling social, economic, and ecological components of bioenergy. Energy Policy 35(12) 6084-6094
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Availability of and access to useful energy is a crucial factor for maintaining and improving human well-being. Looming scarcities and increasing awareness of environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional sources of non-renewable energy have focused attention on renewable energy sources, including biomass. The complex interactions of social, economic, and ecological factors among the bioenergy system components of feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy allocation have been a major obstacle to the broader development of bioenergy systems. For widespread implementation of bioenergy to occur there is a need for an integrated approach to model the social, economic, and ecological interactions associated with bioenergy. Such models can serve as a planning and evaluation tool to help decide when, where, and how bioenergy systems can contribute to development. One approach to integrated modeling is by assessing the sustainability of a bioenergy system. The evolving nature of sustainability can be described by an adaptive systems approach using general systems principles. Discussing these principles reveals that participation of stakeholders in all components of a bioenergy system is a crucial factor for sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is an effective tool to implement this approach. This approach would enable decision-makers to evaluate bioenergy systems for sustainability in a participatory, transparent, timely, and informed manner. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Ceroni, M.; Liu, S.; Costanza, R.. (2007) Ecological and economic roles of biodiversity in agroecosystems. Pages 446-472;
Costanza, R.; Farley, J.. (2007) Ecological economics of coastal disasters: Introduction to the special issue. Ecological Economics 63(2-3) 249-253
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Coastal disasters are increasing in frequency and magnitude-measured in terms of human lives lost, destroyed infrastructure, ecological damage and disrupted social networks. Hurricane Katrina and the Indian ocean tsunami illustrate the severe and widespread impacts of such disasters on human well-being. The proximate cause of most of these disasters is "forces of nature". However, human decisions, driven largely by economic forces, do much to aggravate these natural disasters-for example, coastal mangroves and wetlands protect coastal communities from wave surges and winds, but are rapidly being converted for the production of market goods, and anthropogenic climate change driven by the energy use of our economy may exacerbate coastal disasters in several ways. The goal of economics should be to improve the sustainable well-being of humans. Our well-being is generated in part by the production of market goods and services, but also by the goods and services provided by nature, by social networks and norms, by knowledge and health-in short: built, natural, social and human capital, respectively. in seeking to increase human well-being solely, by maximizing the monetary value of market goods (built capital), our current economic system may be doing more to undermine our sustainable well-being than to improve it, a point made clear by the growing negative impacts of coastal disasters. An economic system should allocate available resources in a way that equitably and efficiently provides for the sustainable well-being of people by protecting and investing in all four types of capital. This is what ecological economics seeks to do. This article introduces ten papers that apply the four capital framework to the analysis of coastal disasters, seeking to understand their impacts and how to mitigate them, how to predict and plan for them, and how to use this information to redesign coastal areas in a more sustainable and desirable way. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Ali, S.; Beer, C.; Bond, L.; Boumans, R.; Danigelis, N. L.; Dickinson, J.; Elliott, C.; Farley, J.; Gayer, D. E.; Glenn, L. M.; Hudspeth, T.; Mahoney, D.; McCahill, L.; McIntosh, B.; Reed, B.; Rizvi, S. A. T.; Rizzo, D. M.; Simpatico, T.; Snapp, R.. (2007) Quality of life: An approach integrating opportunities, human needs, and subjective well-being. Ecological Economics 61(2-3) 267-276
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Enhancing Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit goal for individuals, communities, nations, and the world. But defining QOL and measuring progress toward meeting this goal have been elusive. Diverse "objective" and "subjective" indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred interest. Drawing from multiple disciplines, we present an integrative definition of QOL that combines measures of human needs with subjective well-being or happiness. QOL is proposed as a multi-scale, multi-dimensional concept that contains interacting objective and subjective elements. We relate QOL to the opportunities that are provided to meet human needs in the forms of built, human, social and natural capital (in addition to time) and the policy options that are available to enhance these opportunities. Issues related to defining, measuring, and scaling these concepts are discussed, and a research agenda is elaborated. Policy implications include strategies for investing in opportunities to maximize QOL enhancement at the individual, community, and national scales. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Mulder, K.; Liu, S.; Christopher, T.. (2007) Biodiversity and ecosystem services: A multi-scale empirical study of the relationship between species richness and net primary production. Ecological Economics 61(2-3) 478-491
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Biodiversity (BD) and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) are intricately linked in complex ecosystems such that a change in the state of one of these variables can be expected to have an impact on the other. Using multiple regression analysis at the site and ecoregion scales in North America, we estimated relationships between BD (using plant species richness as a proxy) and NPP (as a proxy for ecosystem services). At the site scale, we found that 57% of the variation in NPP was correlated with variation in BD after effects of temperature and precipitation were accounted for. At the ecoregion scale, 3 temperature ranges were found to be important. At low temperatures (-2.1 degrees C average) BD was negatively correlated with NPP. At mid-temperatures (5.3 degrees C average) there was no correlation. At high temperatures (13 degrees C average) BD was positively correlated with NPP, accounting for approximately 26% of the variation in NPP after effects of temperature and precipitation were accounted for. The general conclusion of positive links between BD and ecosystem functioning from earlier experimental results in micro and mesocosms was qualified by our results, and strengthened at high temperature ranges. Our results can also be linked to estimates of the total value of ecosystem services to derive an estimate of the value of the biodiversity contribution to these services. We tentatively conclude from this that a 1% change in BD in the high temperature range (which includes most of the world's BD) corresponds to approximately a 1/2% change in the value of ecosystem services. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.; Graumlich, L. J.; Steffen, W.. (2007) Sustainability or Collapse: Lessons from Integrating the History of Humans and the Rest of Nature. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Pages 3-18;
Costanza, R.; Graumlich, L.; Steffen, W.; Crumley, C.; Dearing, J.; Hibbard, K.; Leemans, R.; Redman, C.; Schimel, D.. (2007) Sustainability or to collapse: What can we learn from integrating the history of humans and the rest of nature?. Ambio 36(7) 522-527
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Understanding the history of how humans have interacted with the rest of nature can help clarify the options for managing our increasingly interconnected global system. Simple, deterministic relationships between environmental stress and social change are inadequate. Extreme drought, for instance, triggered both social collapse and ingenious management of water through irrigation. Human responses to change, in turn, feed into climate and ecological systems, producing a complex web of multidirectional connections in time and space. Integrated records of the co-evolving human-environment system over millennia are needed to provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the present and for forecasting the future. This requires the major task of assembling and integrating regional and global historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental records. Humans cannot predict the future. But, if we can adequately understand the past, we can use that understanding to influence our decisions and to create a better, more sustainable and desirable future.
Costanza, R.; Leemans, R.; Boumans, R.; Gaddis, E.. (2007) Integrated Global Models. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Pages 417-446;
Costanza, R.. (2007) Assessing and Communicating Data Quality: Toward a System of Data Quality Grading. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. (96) 39-50
Costanza, R.. (2007) Capitalism 3.0: A guide to reclaiming the commons. Nature 446(7136) 613-614
Costanza, R.. (2007) Editorial. Ambio 36(7) 521-521
Farley, J.; Baker, D.; Batker, D.; Koliba, C.; Matteson, R.; Mills, R.; Pittman, J.. (2007) Opening the policy window for ecological economics: Katrina as a focusing event. Ecological Economics 63(2-3) 344-354
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Ecological economics and its allied trans-disciplinary fields are well established in academia, but so far have failed to have significant influence on policy makers. Public policy research and theory suggest that three process streams must converge in order to shape the political agenda and change policy [Kingdon, J. 1984. Agenda, Alternatives, and Public Policies. Boston: Little, Brown]. First, the "problem" stream emerges when an existing condition is defined as a problem - a discrepancy between current reality and a desired goal - and critical policy makers accept the definition of the problem. The "policy" stream emerges as consensus grows around policy instruments to solve the problem. The "politics" stream emerges as the "national mood" and leading politicians accept the gravity of the problem and are willing to implement the policies required to address it. When these three streams converge, a policy window is created that can move issues onto the political agenda and into formal policy. A focusing event, like Katrina, can bring these three process streams together. However, different strategic representations of the situation may allow entirely different problem definitions and policies to dominate the political agenda. This paper analyzes the extent to which Katrina has opened a policy window for ecological economics. We find that Katrina has strengthened the three streams necessary to create a policy window for ecological economics, but that the dominant economic paradigm currently on the political agenda - market fundamentalism - is strategically presenting Katrina as supporting its own problem stream and policy stream. Key elements of the ecological economic agenda, such as investing in natural capital, are making it on to the political agenda, but overall market fundamentalist policies appear likely to dominate. We argue that ecological economists have failed to galvanize public acceptance for the policy goals of sustainable scale and just distribution, thus failing to effectively communicate their perspectives on problem definition and/or policy solutions to policy makers and the voting public. We conclude with suggestions for how ecological economists can still take advantage of the Katrina window, and better prepare for future windows opening. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fisher, B.; Christopher, T.. (2007) Poverty cand biodiversity: Measuring the overlap of human poverty and the biodiversity hotspots. Ecological Economics 62(1) 93-101
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In an effort to prioritize conservation efforts, scientists have developed the concept of biodiversity hotspots. Since most hotspots occur in countries where poverty is widespread, the success of conservation efforts depends upon the recognition that poverty can be a significant constraint on conservation, and at the same time conservation is an important component to the alleviation of long-term poverty. In this paper we present five key socioeconomic poverty indicators (access to water, undernourishment, potential population pressure, number living below poverty line and debt service) and integrate them with an ecologically based hotspots analysis in order to illustrate magnitude of the overlap between biological conservation and poverty. The analysis here suggests that the overlap between severe, multifaceted poverty and key areas of global biodiversity is great and needs to be acknowledged. Understanding the magnitude of overlap and interactions among poverty, conservation and macroeconomic processes is crucial for identifying illusive, yet possible, win-win solutions. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fisher, B.; Erickson, J.. (2007) Growth and equity: Dismantling the Kaldor–Kuznets–Solow consensus. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U.K.. Pages 384;
Fisher, B.. (2007) Authorship in ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(1) 11-11
Fisher, B.. (2007) CO2 emissions: Getting bang for the buck. Science 318(5858) 1865-1865
Gajda, R.; Koliba, C.. (2007) Evaluating the imperative of intraorganizational collaboration - A school improvement perspective. American Journal of Evaluation 28(1) 26-44
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"Collaboration" is a ubiquitously championed concept and widely recognized across the public and private sectors as the foundation on which the capacity for addressing complex issues is predicated. For those invested in organizational improvement, high-quality collaboration has become no less than an imperative. However, evaluators and program stakeholders often struggle to assess the quality of collaborative dynamics and the merits of collaborative structures. In this article, the authors describe an approach to demystifying and assessing interpersonal collaboration and use their consultancy work with school improvement stakeholders to illustrate a multistage collaboration evaluation process. Evaluators in a wide range of organizational settings are encouraged to utilize collaboration theory and the evaluation strategies presented herein to cultivate stakeholder capacity to understand, examine, and capitalize on the power of collaboration.
Grand, J.; Cummings, M. P.; Rebelo, T. G.; Ricketts, T. H.; Neel, M. C.. (2007) Biased data reduce efficiency and effectiveness of conservation reserve networks. Ecology Letters 10(5) 364-374
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Complementarity-based reserve selection algorithms efficiently prioritize sites for biodiversity conservation, but they are data-intensive and most regions lack accurate distribution maps for the majority of species. We explored implications of basing conservation planning decisions on incomplete and biased data using occurrence records of the plant family Proteaceae in South Africa. Treating this high-quality database as 'complete', we introduced three realistic sampling biases characteristic of biodiversity databases: a detectability sampling bias and two forms of roads sampling bias. We then compared reserve networks constructed using complete, biased, and randomly sampled data. All forms of biased sampling performed worse than both the complete data set and equal-effort random sampling. Biased sampling failed to detect a median of 1-5% of species, and resulted in reserve networks that were 9-17% larger than those designed with complete data. Spatial congruence and the correlation of irreplaceability scores between reserve networks selected with biased and complete data were low. Thus, reserve networks based on biased data. require more area to protect fewer species and identify different locations than those selected with randomly sampled or complete data.
Hermans, C.; Erickson, J.; Noordewier, T.; Sheldon, A.; Kline, M.. (2007) Collaborative environmental planning in river management: An application of multicriteria decision analysis in the White River Watershed in Vermont. Journal of Environmental Management 84(4) 534-546
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Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides a well-established family of decision tools to aid stakeholder groups in arriving at collective decisions. MCDA can also function as a framework for the social learning process, serving as an educational aid in decision problems characterized by a high level of public participation. In this paper, the framework and results of a structured decision process using the outranking MCDA methodology preference ranking organization method of enrichment evaluation (PROMETHEE) are presented. PROMETHEE is used to frame multi-stakeholder discussions of river management alternatives for the Upper White River of Central Vermont, in the northeastern United States. Stakeholders met over 10 months to create a shared vision of an ideal river and its services to communities, develop a list of criteria by which to evaluate river management alternatives, and elicit preferences to rank and compare individual and group preferences. The MCDA procedure helped to frame a group process that made stakeholder preferences explicit and substantive discussions about long-term river management possible. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keeton, W. S.; Kraft, C. E.; Warren, D. R.. (2007) Mature and old-growth riparian forests: Structure, dynamics, and effects on adirondack stream habitats. Ecological Applications 17(3) 852-868
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Riparian forests regulate linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, yet relationships among riparian forest development, stand structure, and stream habitats are poorly understood in many temperate deciduous forest systems. Our research has (1) described structural attributes associated with old-growth riparian forests and (2) assessed linkages between these characteristics and in-stream habitat structure. The 19 study sites were located along predominantly first-and second-order streams in northern hardwood-conifer forests in the Adirondack Mountains of New York (USA). Sites were classified as mature forest (6 sites), mature with remnant old-growth trees (3 sites), and old-growth (10 sites). Forest-structure attributes were measured over stream channels and at varying distances from each bank. In-stream habitat features such as large woody debris (LWD), pools, and boulders were measured in each stream reach. Forest structure was examined in relation to stand age using multivariate techniques, ANOVA, and linear regression. We investigated linkages between forest structure and stream characteristics using similar methods, preceded by information-theoretic modeling (AIC). Old-growth riparian forest structure is more complex than that found in mature forests and exhibits significantly greater accumulations of aboveground tree biomass, both living and dead. In-stream LWD volumes were significantly (alpha = 0.05) greater at old-growth sites (200 m(3)/ha) compared to mature sites (34 m(3)/ha) and were strongly related to the basal area of adjacent forests. In-stream large-log densities correlated strongly with debris-dam densities. AIC models that included large-log density, debris-dam density, boulder density, and bankfull width had the most support for predicting pool density. There were higher proportions of LWD-formed pools relative to boulder-formed pools at old-growth sites as compared to mature sites. Old-growth riparian forests provide in-stream habitat features that have not been widely recognized in eastern North America, representing a potential benefit from late-successional riparian forest management and conservation. Riparian management practices (including buffer delineation and restorative silvicultural approaches) that emphasize development and maintenance of late-successional characteristics are recommended where the associated in-stream effects are desired.
Koliba, C. J.; Lathrop, J.. (2007) Inquiry as intervention - Employing action research to surface intersubjective theories-in-use and support an organization's capacity to learn. Administration & Society 39(1) 51-76
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Social science can be practiced as a decidedly action-oriented and applied phenomenon, in particular within the context of organizational change and development. These practices are often prefaced by assumptions concerning the social construction of reality, the role of the researcher as an active agent for change, and the capacity of organizations to learn. This article recounts the attempts of social science researchers to employ an action research process to promote and support organizational learning within a public school setting. Addressing concerns with regard to the methodological challenges of translating individual perceptions into organizational themes or problems, the authors discuss the use of intersubjectively constructed accounts to support organizational learning.
Koliba, C.. (2007) Engagement, Scholarship, and Faculty Work: Trends and Implications for Public Affairs Education. Journal of Public Affairs Education 13(2) 315-333
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Building on the assumption that public administration and public affairs education has a role to play in helping students and communities bridge theory and practice, the author provides an overview of the "civic engagement movement" that is informing how higher education institutions, particularly their faculty, carry out their work. Ernest Boyer's effort to "reconsider scholarship" is reviewed in light of current practices shaping contemporary public affairs education. The author explores the current trends affecting faculty work load and performance appraisal. Suggestions for further research and dialogue around the issues raised in this article are provided.
Koliba, C.. (2007) On Sharpening Knives & Governing Networks. Administrative Theory & Praxis 29(2) 321-325
Kremen, C.; Williams, N. M.; Aizen, M. A.; Gemmill-Herren, B.; LeBuhn, G.; Minckley, R.; Packer, L.; Potts, S. G.; Roulston, T.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Vazquez, D. P.; Winfree, R.; Adams, L.; Crone, E. E.; Greenleaf, S. S.; Keitt, T. H.; Klein, A. M.; Regetz, J.; Ricketts, T. H.. (2007) Pollination and other ecosystem services produced by mobile organisms: a conceptual framework for the effects of land-use change. Ecology Letters 10(4) 299-314
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Many ecosystem services are delivered by organisms that depend on habitats that are segregated spatially or temporally from the location where services are provided. Management of mobile organisms contributing to ecosystem services requires consideration not only of the local scale where services are delivered, but also the distribution of resources at the landscape scale, and the foraging ranges and dispersal movements of the mobile agents. We develop a conceptual model for exploring how one such mobile-agent-based ecosystem service (MABES), pollination, is affected by land-use change, and then generalize the model to other MABES. The model includes interactions and feedbacks among policies affecting land use, market forces and the biology of the organisms involved. Animal-mediated pollination contributes to the production of goods of value to humans such as crops; it also bolsters reproduction of wild plants on which other services or service-providing organisms depend. About one-third of crop production depends on animal pollinators, while 60-90% of plant species require an animal pollinator. The sensitivity of mobile organisms to ecological factors that operate across spatial scales makes the services provided by a given community of mobile agents highly contextual. Services vary, depending on the spatial and temporal distribution of resources surrounding the site, and on biotic interactions occurring locally, such as competition among pollinators for resources, and among plants for pollinators. The value of the resulting goods or services may feed back via market-based forces to influence land-use policies, which in turn influence land management practices that alter local habitat conditions and landscape structure. Developing conceptual models for MABES aids in identifying knowledge gaps, determining research priorities, and targeting interventions that can be applied in an adaptive management context.
Krivov, S.; Williams, R.; Villa, F.. (2007) GrOWL: A tool for visualization and editing of OWL ontologies. 5(2) 54-57
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In an effort to optimize visualization and editing of OWL ontologies we have developed GrOWL - a browser and visual editor for OWL that accurately visualizes the underlying DL semantics of OWL ontologies while avoiding the difficulties of the verbose OWL syntax. In this paper, we discuss GrOWL visualization model and the essential visualization techniques implemented in GrOWL. (C) 2007 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
Lamoreux, J. F.; Morrison, J. C.; Ricketts, T. H.; Olson, D. M.; Dinerstein, E.; McKnight, M. W.; Shugart, H. H.. (2007) The multifaceted nature of biodiversity conservation: Reply to Leroux and Schmiegelow. 21(1) 269-270
Langevin, H. M.; Rizzo, D. M.; Fox, J. R.; Badger, G. J.; Wu, J.; Konofagou, E. E.; Stevens-Tuttle, D.; Bouffard, N. A.; Krag, M. H.. (2007) Dynamic morphometric characterization of local connective tissue network structure in humans using ultrasound. Bmc Systems Biology 1(25)
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Background: In humans, connective tissue forms a complex, interconnected network throughout the body that may have mechanosensory, regulatory and signaling functions. Understanding these potentially important phenomena requires non-invasive measurements of collagen network structure that can be performed in live animals or humans. The goal of this study was to show that ultrasound can be used to quantify dynamic changes in local connective tissue structure in vivo. We first performed combined ultrasound and histology examinations of the same tissue in two subjects undergoing surgery: in one subject, we examined the relationship of ultrasound to histological images in three dimensions; in the other, we examined the effect of a localized tissue perturbation using a previously developed robotic acupuncture needling technique. In ten additional non-surgical subjects, we quantified changes in tissue spatial organization over time during needle rotation vs. no rotation using ultrasound and semi-variogram analyses. Results: 3-D renditions of ultrasound images showed longitudinal echogenic sheets that matched with collagenous sheets seen in histological preparations. Rank correlations between serial 2-D ultrasound and corresponding histology images resulted in high positive correlations for semi-variogram ranges computed parallel (r = 0.79, p < 0.001) and perpendicular ( r = 0.63, p < 0.001) to the surface of the skin, indicating concordance in spatial structure between the two data sets. Needle rotation caused tissue displacement in the area surrounding the needle that was mapped spatially with ultrasound elastography and corresponded to collagen bundles winding around the needle on histological sections. In semi-variograms computed for each ultrasound frame, there was a greater change in the area under the semi-variogram curve across successive frames during needle rotation compared with no rotation. The direction of this change was heterogeneous across subjects. The frame-to-frame variability was 10-fold ( p < 0.001) greater with rotation than with no rotation indicating changes in tissue structure during rotation. Conclusion: The combination of ultrasound and semi-variogram analyses allows quantitative assessment of dynamic changes in the structure of human connective tissue in vivo.
Li, Wen Jun; Ali, Saleem H.; Zhang, Qian. (2007) Property rights and grassland degradation: A study of the Xilingol Pasture, Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Environmental Management 85(2) 461-470
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The semi-private property rights arrangement called the Household Production Responsibility System (HPRS) was started in the early 1980s in Xilingol pasture of Inner Mongolia (China), and stimulated the development of stockbreeding. The grassland has been degrading severely with increasing numbers of livestock. Based on a historical review of property rights regimes in Inner Mongolia and empirical surveys in Xilingol pasture during 2001-2003, this paper assesses the implementation of HPRS and its impacts on incomes of households as well as the environmental impact on the grassland. It was found that HPRS does not mitigate the "Tragedy of the Commons", instead it has exacerbated the situation. It was also found that co-management of grassland and livestock among a few households presents a sustainable use of grassland to develop livestock breeding. We conclude with the recommendation that small-scale collective property rights systems should be encouraged in Xilingol pasture of Inner Mongolia. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Madin, J.; Bowers, S.; Schildhauer, M.; Krivov, S.; Pennington, D.; Villa, F.. (2007) An ontology for describing and synthesizing ecological observation data. 2(3) 279-296
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Research in ecology increasingly. relies on the integration of small, focused studies, to produce larger datasets that allow for more powerful, synthetic analyses. The results of these synthetic analyses are critical in guiding decisions about how to sustainably manage our natural environment, so it is important for researchers to effectively discover relevant data, and appropriately integrate these within their analyses. However, ecological data encompasses an extremely broad range of data types, structures, and semantic concepts. Moreover, ecological data is widely distributed, with few well-established repositories or standard protocols for their archiving and retrieval. These factors make the discovery and integration of ecological data sets a highly labor-intensive task. Metadata standards such as the Ecological Metadata Language and Darwin Core are important steps for improving our ability to discover and access ecological data, but are limited to describing only a few, relatively specific aspects of data content (e.g., data owner and contact information, variable "names", keyword descriptions, etc.). A more flexible and powerful way to capture the semantic subtleties of complex ecological data, its structure and contents, and the interrelationships among data variables is needed. We present a formal ontology for capturing the semantics of generic scientific observation and measurement. The ontology provides a convenient basis for adding detailed semantic annotations to scientific data, which crystallize the inherent "meaning" of observational data. The ontology can be used to characterize the context of an observation (e.g., space and time), and clarify inter-observational relationships such as dependency hierarchies (e.g., nested experimental observations) and meaningful dimensions within the data (e.g., axes for cross-classified categorical summarization). It also enables the robust description of measurement units (e.g., grams of carbon per liter of seawater), and can facilitate automatic unit conversions (e.g., pounds to kilograms). The ontology can be easily extended with specialized domain vocabularies, making it both broadly applicable and highly custornizable. Finally, we describe the utility of the ontology for enriching the capabilities of data discovery and integration processes. Published by Elsevier B.V.
McBride, M.; Hession, W. C.; Rizzo, D. M.; Thompson, D. M.. (2007) The influence of riparian vegetation on near-bank turbulence: a flume experiment. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 32(13) 2019-2037
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Measurements from a fixed-bed, Froude-scaled hydraulic model of a stream in northeastern Vermont demonstrate the importance of forested riparian vegetation effects on near-bank turbulence during overbank flows. Sections of the,prototype stream, a tributary to Sleepers River, have increased in channel width within the last 40 years in response to passive reforestation of its riparian zone. Previous research found that reaches of small streams with forested riparian zones are commonly wider than adjacent reaches with non-forested, or grassy, vegetation; however, driving mechanisms for this morphologic difference are not fully explained. Flume experiments were performed with a 1:5 scale, simplified model of half a channel and its floodplain, mimicking the typical non-forested channel size. Two types of riparian vegetation were placed on the constructed floodplain: non-forested, with synthetic grass carpeting; and forested, where rigid, randomly distributed, wooden dowels were added. Three-dimensional velocities were measured with an acoustic Doppler velocimeter at 41 locations within the channel and floodplain at near-bed and 0.6-depth elevations. Observations of velocity components and calculations of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), Reynolds shear stress and boundary shear stress showed significant differences between forested and non-forested runs. Generally, forested runs exhibited a narrow band of high turbulence between the floodplain and main channel, where TKE was roughly two times greater than TKE in non-forested runs. Compared to non-forested runs, the hydraulic characteristics of forested runs appear to create an environment with higher erosion potential. Given that sediment entrainment and transport can be amplified in flows with high turbulence intensity and given that mature forested stream reaches are wider than comparable non-forested reaches, our results demonstrated a possible driving mechanism for channel widening during overbank flow events in stream reaches with recently reforested riparian zones. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Mendez, V. E.; Gliessman, S. R.; Gilbert, G. S.. (2007) Tree biodiversity in farmer cooperatives of a shade coffee landscape in western El Salvador. 119(1-2) 145-159
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Conservation of tropical biodiversity in agricultural landscapes has become more important as the area covered by natural ecosystems decreases. We analyzed the effects of local livelihoods, cooperative types, and selected biophysical variables (elevation, slope, percent shade, distance to the forest, coffee density, and coffee age) on tree biodiversity in shade coffee cooperatives of El Salvador. Tree inventories from 51 quadrats in coffee cooperatives included 2743 individuals from 46 families and 123 identified tree species. Species richness and tree diameters differed among some cooperatives, with greater richness associated with greater stein density; other biophysical variables had little impact on diversity. The amount of shade in the coffee plantations differed among cooperatives, particularly in the wet season. Of the tree species reported in a recent study of a neighboring forest and in the cooperatives (N = 227 species combined), 16% were present at both sites. The three coffee plantations shared 35% of total species reported from all cooperatives. Our research shows that the number of tree species found in a coffee plantation increases with the density of shade trees included in the system. In turn, agroecological management, as influenced by farmer livelihood strategies and cooperative types, directly affects shade canopy composition. Important factors to take into account are the types of farmer organizations present, the cost of maintaining species of conservation concern, and the potential benefits that conservation could bring to the livelihood strategies of farm households. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Naidoo, R.; Balmford, A.; Ferraro, P.; Polasky, S.; Ricketts, T.; Rouget, M.. (2007) Response to Hockley: The merit of economic and biological measures in conservation planning. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22(6) 287-288
Pongsiri, M. J.; Roman, J.. (2007) Examining the links between Biodiversity and human health: An interdisciplinary research initiative at the US Environmental Protection Agency. 4(1) 82-85
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Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mission to protect human health and the environment, the agency seeks to conduct research on the structure and function of ecosystems and to improve our understanding of the processes that contribute to the sustained health of the nation's ecosystems and the well-being of human populations. Changes in biodiversity can profoundly impact the ability of ecosystems to provide clean water, energy, food, recreation, and other services that contribute to human well-being. In addition, changes in biodiversity can affect the transmission of infectious disease to humans, particularly vectorborne diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease. The Environmental Protection Agency's new initiative supports interdisciplinary research to characterize the mechanisms that link biodiversity and human health and to use this knowledge to develop integrative tools and approaches for quantifying and predicting these relationships. Research on these links can have an important impact on our view of biodiversity and how we manage resources to protect human and ecosystem health.
Roman, J.; Darling, J. A.. (2007) Paradox lost: genetic diversity and the success of aquatic invasions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22(9) 454-464
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There is mounting evidence that reduced genetic diversity in invasive populations is not as commonplace as expected. Recent studies indicate that high propagule vectors, such as ballast water and shellfish transplantations, and multiple introductions contribute to the elimination of founder effects in the majority of successful aquatic invasions. Multiple introductions, in particular, can promote range expansion of introduced populations through both genetic and demographic mechanisms. Closely related to vectors and corridors of introduction, propagule pressure can play an important role in determining the genetic outcome of introduction events. Even low-diversity introductions have numerous means of avoiding the negative impact of diversity loss. The interaction of high propagule vectors and multiple introductions reveal important patterns associated with invasion success and deserve closer scrutiny.
Sullivan, S. M. P.; Watzin, M. C.; Keeton, W. S.. (2007) A riverscape perspective on habitat associations among riverine bird assemblages in the Lake Champlain Basin, USA. Landscape Ecology 22(8) 1169-1186
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The riverscape perspective recognizes the heterogeneous habitat types within the stream corridor as a single, integrated ecological unit operating across spatial scales. Although there is ample evidence that the riverscape notion is appropriate in understanding the physical phenomena of stream corridors, significantly less attention has focused on its ecological ramifications. To this end, we surveyed riverscape habitat variables and bird community characteristics in the Champlain Valley of Vermont, USA. From the data collected, we used information theoretic methodology (AIC(c)) to model relationships between bird community attributes and key habitat variables across the riverscape. Our models with the greatest support suggest that riverine bird communities respond to a suite of characteristics; representing a variety of riverscape habitats at the in-stream, floodplain, and riparian levels. Channel slope, drainage area, percent conifers, and in-stream habitat condition were among the most influential variables. We found that piscivores are potentially important indicators of riverscape condition, responding to a host of variables across the riverscape. Our results endorse a holistic approach to assessing and managing the mosaic of patches in the riverscape and suggest that a riverscape approach has significant conservation potential.
Troy, A. R.; Grove, J. M.; O'Neil-Dunne, J. P. M.; Pickett, S. T. A.; Cadenasso, M. L.. (2007) Predicting opportunities for greening and patterns of vegetation on private urban lands. 40(3) 394-412
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This paper examines predictors of vegetative cover on private lands in Baltimore, Maryland. Using high-resolution spatial data, we generated two measures: "possible stewardship," which is the proportion of private land that does not have built structures on it and hence has the possibility of supporting vegetation, and "realized stewardship," which is the proportion of possible stewardship land upon which vegetation is growing. These measures were calculated at the parcel level and averaged by US Census block group. Realized stewardship was further defined by proportion of tree canopy and grass. Expenditures on yard supplies and services, available by block group, were used to help understand where vegetation condition appears to be the result of current activity, past legacies, or abandonment. PRIZM (TM) market segmentation data were tested as categorical predictors of possible and realized stewardship and yard expenditures. PRIZM (TM) segmentations are hierarchically clustered into 5, 15, and 62 categories, which correspond to population density, social stratification (income and education), and lifestyle clusters, respectively. We found that PRIZM 15 best predicted variation in possible stewardship and PRIZM 62 best predicted variation in realized stewardship. These results were further analyzed by regressing each dependent variable against a set of continuous variables reflective of each of the three PRIZM groupings. Housing age, vacancy, and population density were found to be critical determinants of both stewardship metrics. A number of lifestyle factors, such as average family size, marriage rates, and percentage of single-family detached homes, were strongly related to realized stewardship. The percentage of African Americans by block group was positively related to realized stewardship but negatively related to yard expenditures.
Troy, A.; Wilson, M. A.. (2007) Mapping ecosystem services: Practical challenges and opportunities in linking GIS and value transfer (Erratum: vol 60, pg 435, 2006). Ecological Economics 60(4) 852-853
Turner, W. R.; Brandon, K.; Brooks, T. M.; Costanza, R.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Portela, R.. (2007) Global conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Bioscience 57(10) 868-873
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Habitat destruction has driven much of the current biodiversity extinction crisis, and it compromises the essential benefits, or ecosystem services, that humans derive from functioning ecosystems. Securing both species and ecosystem services might be accomplished with common solutions. Yet it is unknown whether these two major conservation objectives coincide broadly enough worldwide to enable global strategies for both goals to gain synergy. In this article, we assess the concordance between these two objectives, explore how the concordance varies across different regions, and examine the global potential for safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services simultaneously. We find that published global priority maps for biodiversity conservation harbor a disproportionate share of estimated terrestrial ecosystem service value (ESV). Overlap of biodiversity priorities and ESV varies among regions, and in areas that have high biodiversity priority but low ESV, specialized conservation approaches are necessary. Overall, however, our findings suggest opportunities for safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sensitivity analyses indicate that results are robust to known limitations of available ESV data. Capitalizing on these opportunities will require the identification of synergies at fine scales, and the development of economic and policy tools to exploit them.
Van Koppen, B.; Unruh, J.; Souza, W.; Ali, S. H.; Goswami, A.; Nakiganda, A.; Mariyono, J.; Jones, M.; Timmer, C. P.; Balooni, K.; Oglesby, S.. (2007) Experts address the question: In your view, do agricultural subsidies in developed countries benefit or harm the majority of the poor in developing countries?. Natural Resources Forum 31(4) 318-321
Villa, F.; Ceroni, M.; Krivov, S.. (2007) Intelligent databases assist transparent and sound economic valuation of ecosystem services. 39(6) 887-899
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Assessment and economic valuation of services provided by ecosystems to humans has become a crucial phase in environmental management and policy-making. As primary valuation studies are out of the reach of many institutions, secondary valuation or benefit transfer, where the results of previous studies are transferred to the geographical, environmental, social, and economic context of interest, is becoming increasingly common. This has brought to light the importance of environmental valuation databases, which provide reliable valuation data to inform secondary valuation with enough detail to enable the transfer of values across contexts. This paper describes the role of next-generation, intelligent databases (IDBs) in assisting the activity of valuation. Such databases employ artificial intelligence to inform the transfer of values across contexts, enforcing comparability of values and allowing users to generate custom valuation portfolios that synthesize previous studies and provide aggregated value estimates to use as a base for secondary valuation. After a general introduction, we introduce the Ecosystem Services Database, the first IDB for environmental valuation to be made available to the public, describe its functionalities and the lessons learned from its usage, and outline the remaining needs and expected future developments in the field.
Villa, F.. (2007) A semantic framework and software design to enable the transparent integration, reorganization and discovery of natural systems knowledge. 29(1) 79-96
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I present a conceptualization that attempts to unify diverse representations of natural knowledge while providing a workable computational framework, based on current semantic web theory, for developing, communicating, and running integrated simulation models. The approach is based on a long-standing principle of scientific investigation: the separation of the ontological character of the object of study from the semantics of the observation context, the latter including location in space and time and other observation-related aspects. I will show how current Knowledge Representation theories coupled with the object-oriented paradigm allow an efficient integration through the abstract model of a domain, which relates to the idea of aspect in software engineering. This conceptualization allows us to factor out two fundamental causes of complexity and awkwardness in the representation of knowledge about natural system: (a) the distinction between data and models, both seen here as generic knowledge sources; (b) the multiplicity of states in data sources, handled through the hierarchical composition of independently defined domain objects, each accounting for all states in one well-known observational dimension. This simplification leaves modelers free to work with the bare conceptual bones of the problem, encapsulating complexities connected to data format, and scale. I will then describe the design of a software system that implements the approach, referring to explicit ontologies to unambiguously characterize the semantics of the objects of study, and allowing the independent definition of a global observation context that can be redefined as required. I will briefly discuss applications to multi-scale, multi-paradigm modeling, intelligent database design, and web-based collaboration.
Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Fitz, C.; Maxwell, T.. (2007) Patuxent landscape model: 1. Hydrological model development. 34(2) 163-170
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We developed a spatially explicit, process-based model of the 2352 km(2) Patuxent river watershed in Maryland, and its subwatersheds to integrate data and knowledge over several spatial, temporal and complexity scales, and to serve as an aid to regional management. The model was developed using the Library of HydroEcological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM), which was designed to create flexible landscape model structures that can be easily modified and extended to suit the requirements of a variety of goals and case studies. The LHEM includes modules that simulate various aspects of ecosystem dynamics. In this paper we consider modules that represent the physical conditions in the environment (climatic factors, geoporphology), and hydrologic processes, both locally and spatially. Where possible the modules are formulated as Stella(R) models, spatial transport processes are presented as C++ code.
Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Fitz, C.; Maxwell, T.. (2007) Patuxent landscape model: 2. Model development - Nutrients, plants, and detritus. 34(3) 268-276
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We developed a spatially explicit, process-based model of the Patuxent river watershed in Maryland, and its subwatersheds to integrate data and knowledge over several spatial, temporal and complexity scales, and to serve as an aid to regional management. The model was developed using the Library of Hydro-Ecological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM). In this paper we continue the description of the LHEM modules focusing on nutrient cycling, vegetation growth, decomposition, and other processes, both locally and spatially. The modular approach takes advantage of the Spatial Modeling Environment [1] that allows inteoration of various Stella models and C++ user code, and embeds local simulation models into a spatial context. Local ecosystem dynamics are replicated across a grid of cells that compose the rasterized landscape.
Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Maxwell, T.; Vladich, H.. (2007) Patuxent Landscape Model. III. Model calibration. 34(4) 372-384
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Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. The model addresses the effects of both the magnitude and spatial patterns of land use change and agricultural practices on hydrology, plant productivity, and nutrient cycling in the landscape. The spatial resolution for the full Patuxent watershed is 1 km(2), while subwatersheds are analyzed at a 200 x 200 m resolution to allow adequate depiction of the pattern of ecosystems and human settlement on the landscape. The temporal resolution is different for various components of the model. We used a modular, multiscale approach to calibrate and test the model. Model results show good agreement with data.
Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Maxwell, T.; Vladich, H.. (2007) Patuxent Landscape Model: 4. Model application. 34(5) 501-510
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Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. The model addresses the effects of both the magnitude and spatial patterns of land use chan-e and agricultural practices on hydrology, plant productivity, and nutrient cycling in the landscape.
Voinov, A.; Farley, J.. (2007) Reconciling sustainability, systems theory and discounting. Ecological Economics 63(1) 104-113
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Most definitions of sustainability imply that a system is to be maintained at a certain level, held within certain limits, into the indefinite future. Sustainability denies run-away growth, but it also avoids any decline or destruction. This sustainability path is hard to reconcile with the renewal cycle that can be observed in many natural systems developing according to their intrinsic mechanisms and in social systems responding to internal and external pressures. Systems are parts of hierarchies where systems of higher levels are made up of subsystems from lower levels. Renewal in components is an important factor of adaptation and evolution. If a system is sustained for too long, it borrows from the sustainability of a supersystern and rests upon lack of sustainability in subsystems. Therefore by sustaining certain systems beyond their renewal cycle, we decrease the sustainability of larger, higher-level systems. For example, Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction posits that in a capitalist economy, the collapse and renewal of firms and industries is necessary to sustain the vitality of the larger economic system. However, if the capitalist economic system relies on endless growth, then sustaining it for too long will inevitably borrow from the sustainability of the global ecosystem. This could prove catastrophic for humans and other species. To reconcile sustainability with hierarchy theory, we must decide which hierarchical level in a system we want to sustain indefinitely, and accept that lower level subsystems must have shorter life spans. In economic analysis, inter-temporal discount rates essentially tell us how long we should care about sustaining any given system. Economists distinguish between discount rates for individuals based on personal time preference, lower discount rates for firms based on the opportunity cost of capital, and even lower discount rates for society. For issues affecting even higher-level systems, such as global climate change, many economists question the suitability of discounting future values at all. We argue that to reconcile sustainability with inter-temporal discounting, discount rates should be determined by the hierarchical level of the system being analyzed. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wollenberg, E.; Iwan, R.; Limberg, G.; Moeliono, M.; Rhee, S.; Sudana, M.. (2007) Facilitating cooperation during times of chaos: Spontaneous orders and muddling through in Malinau District, Indonesia. 12(1)
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Adaptive management has become increasingly common where natural resource managers face complex and uncertain conditions. The collaboration required among managers and others to do adaptive management, however, is not always easy to achieve. We describe efforts to work with villagers and government officials in Malinau, East Kalimantan Indonesia, where a weak, uncertain institutional setting and complex shifting political landscape made formal cooperation among these groups for forest management problematic. Through successive trials, the team learned instead to work with and enhance a "spontaneous order" of cooperation using four tactics: (1) continuous physical presence, (2) regular contact with the people who advised and were close to major decision makers, (3) maintenance of multiple programs to fit the needs of different interest groups, and (4) hyperflexibility in resource allocation and schedules.
Wollenberg, E.; Merino, L.; Agrawal, A.; Ostrom, E.. (2007) Fourteen years of monitoring community-managed forests: learning from IFRI's experience. 9(2) 670-684
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Although community managed forests constitute a significant proportion of the worlds' forests, there is little information about their condition or how they are managed. The International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) network is a research programme established in 1992 to collect interdisciplinary information about forest sustainability and governance. IFRI is unique in terms of the large number of small-scale sites monitored (more than 350 communities and 9000 forest plots) for more than a decade, under the guidance of strong central leadership, a well defined research framework, relative autonomy of network members, and a strong inward focus. These features have enabled IFRI to have particular impacts on new knowledge, policy and local communities, and capacity building. Lessons about how to further strengthen, extend and sustain these impacts include developing more robust agreement about measures of forest sustainability, building network members' capacities to conduct comparative analysis, ensuring the database meets the needs of Multiple users and expanding the membership and outreach of the network.
Young, M. N.; Leemans, R.; Boumans, R.; Costanza, R.; de Vries, B. J. M.; Finnigan, J.; Svedin, U.; Young, M. D.. (2007) Group Report: Future Scenarios of Human-Environment Systems. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. (96) 447-470
Zencey, E.. (2007) Labyrinthitis and postmodernism ('Gray's Anatomy'). 292(5) 41-44
Zhang, W.; Ricketts, T. H.; Kremen, C.; Carney, K.; Swinton, S. M.. (2007) Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. Ecological Economics 64(2) 253-260
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Agricultural ecosystems are actively managed by humans to optimize the provision of food, fiber, and fuel. These ecosystem services from agriculture, classified as provisioning services by the recent Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, depend in turn upon a web of supporting and regulating services as inputs to production (e.g., soil fertility and pollination). Agriculture also receives ecosystem dis-services that reduce productivity or increase production costs (e.g., herbivory and competition for water and nutrients by undesired species). The flows of these services and dis-services directly depend on how agricultural ecosystems are managed and upon the diversity, composition, and functioning of remaining natural ecosystems in the landscape. Managing agricultural landscapes to provide sufficient supporting and regulating ecosystem. services and fewer dis-services will require research that is policy-relevant, multidisciplinary and collaborative. This paper focuses on how ecosystem services contribute to agricultural productivity and how ecosystem dis-services detract from it. We first describe the major services and dis-services as well as their key mediators. We then explore the importance of scale and economic externalities for the management of ecosystem service provision to agriculture. Finally, we discuss outstanding issues in regard to improving the management of ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ali, S.. (2006) Gold mining and the golden rule: a challenge for producers and consumers in developing countries. Journal of Cleaner Production 14 455-462
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The environmental and social impact of gold mining is particularly acute and hence there has been a call on the part of numerous activists to reconsider the necessity of mining this metal when more supplies of gold are above than below ground. This is especially true since gold is eminently recyclable and is primarily used for ornamentation. However, the key issue with regard to the gold industry is that unlike most luxury commodities, the largest areas of gold consumption are found in impoverished developing countries. Cultural factors play an important role in gold consumption and Western anti-mining activists are often tepid on this issue to avoid being blamed for lack of sensitivity. Yet, if developing countries are to accuse developed countries of overconsumption and resulting environmental impacts, they must also evaluate their own consumption patterns of gold. This paper explores the ways in which this issue can be approached as an integrated societal concern. By following these measures, both developed and developing countries can avoid breaking the ‘‘golden rule’’ of personal accountability and reduce the potential for conflict.
Burgess, N. D.; Hales, J. D.; Ricketts, T. H.; Dinerstein, E.. (2006) Factoring species, non-species values and threats into biodiversity prioritisation across the ecoregions of Africa and its islands. Biological Conservation 127(4) 383-401
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Biodiversity in Africa, Madagascar and smaller surrounding islands is both globally extraordinary and increasingly threatened. However, to date no analyses have effectively integrated species values (e.g., richness, endemism) 'non-species' values (e.g., migrations, intact assemblages), and threats into a single assessment of conservation priorities. We present such an analysis for the 119 ecoregions of Africa, Madagascar and smaller islands. Biodiversity is not evenly distributed across Africa and patterns vary somewhat among taxonomic groups. Analyses of most vertebrates (i.e., birds, mammals, amphibians) tend to identify one set of priority ecoregions, while plants, reptiles, and invertebrates highlight additional areas. 'Non-species' biological values are not correlated with species measures and thus indicate another set of ecoregions. Combining species and non-species values is therefore crucial for assembling a comprehensive portfolio of conservation priorities across Africa. Threats to biodiversity are also unevenly distributed across Africa. We calculate a synthetic threat index using remaining habitat, habitat block size, degree of habitat fragmentation, coverage within protected areas, human population density, and the extinction risk of species. This threat index is positively correlated with all three measures of biological value (i.e., richness, endemism, non-species values), indicating that threats tend to be focused on the region's most important areas for biodiversity. Integrating biological values with threats allows identification of two distinct sets of ecoregion priority. First, highly imperilled ecoregions with many narrow endemic species that require focused actions to prevent the loss of further habitat leading to the extinction of narrowly distributed endemics. Second, less threatened ecoregions that require maintenance of large and well-connected habitats that will support large-scale habitat processes and associated area-demanding species. By bringing these data together we can be much more confident that our set of conservation recommendations serves the needs of biodiversity across Africa, and that the contribution of different agencies to achieving African conservation can be firmly measured against these priorities. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Campbell, B.; Hagmann, J.; Sayer, J.; Stroud, A.; Thomas, R.; Wollenberg, E.. (2006) What kind of research and development is needed for natural resource management?. 31(3) 343-360
View Abstract
This paper presents a set of principles and operational guide lines for research and development (R&D) to better address natural resource management problems distilled in a series of workshops with more than 150 experts and practitioners. The principles and guidelines, a number of which relate to scaling issues, are illustrated with case studies from Zimbabwe and Indonesia. The former included research on watershed management for improved small-scale irrigation, while the latter focused on work with communities that had confronted logging companies, partly because of the negative impact of logging on water quality. The principles are grouped as follows: (a) learning approaches; (b) systems approaches, and (c) organisational models. Eleven operational guidelines for implementing the approach are suggested, arranged in three clusters: (a) working together; (b) establishing the institutional and organisational framework; and (c) improving the approaches to suit the task. The elements and strategies for two of these cornerstones (collaborative partnerships and scaling-up and scaling-out) are illustrated to indicate the quality needed to achieve appropriate implementation of the R&D approach.
Cianfrani, C. M.; Hession, W. C.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2006) Watershed imperviousness impacts on stream channel condition in southeastern Pennsylvania. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION 42(4) 941-956
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Forty-six independent stream reaches in southeastern Pennsylvania were surveyed to assess the relationships between geomorphic and habitat variables and watershed total impervious area (TIA) and to test the ability of the impervious cover model (ICM) to predict the impervious category based on stream reach variables, Ten variables were analyzed using simple and multivariate statistical techniques including scatterplots, Spearman's Rank correlations, principal components analysis (PICA), and discriminant analysis (DA). Graphical analysis suggested differences in the response to TIA between the stream reaches with less than 13 percent TIA and those with greater than 24 percent TIA. Spearman's Rank correlations showed significant relationships for large woody debris and sinuosity when analyzing the entire dataset and for depth diversity and the standard deviation of maximum pool depths when analyzing stream reaches with greater than 24 percent TIA. Classification into the ICM using DA was 49 percent accurate; however, the stream reaches did support the ICM in other ways. These results indicate that stream reach response to urbanization may not be consistent across geographical regions and that local conditions (specifically riparian buffer vegetation) may significantly affect channel response; and the ICM, used in the appropriate context, can aid in the management of stream reaches and watersheds.
Cleveland, C. J.; Hall, C. A. S.; Herendeen, R. A.. (2006) Energy returns on ethanol production. Science 312(5781) 1746-1746
Costanza, R.; Mitsch, W. J.; Day, J. W., Jr.. (2006) A new vision for New Orleans and the Mississippi delta: applying ecological economics and ecological engineering. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4(9) 465-472
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The restoration of New Orleans and the rest of the Mississippi delta after Hurricane Katrina can become another disaster waiting to happen, or it can become a model of sustainable development. Sea level is rising, precipitation patterns are changing, hurricane intensity is increasing, energy costs are predicted to soar, and the city is continuing to sink. Most of New Orleans is currently from 0.6 to 5 m (2-15 feet) below sea level. The conventional approach of simply rebuilding the levees and the city behind them will only delay the inevitable. If New Orleans, and the delta in which it is located, can develop and pursue a new paradigm, it could be a truly unique, sustainable, and desirable city, and an inspiration to people around the world. This paper discusses the underlying causes and implications of the Katrina disaster, basic goals for a sustainable redevelopment initiative, and seven principles necessary for a sustainable vision for the future of New Orleans and the Mississippi delta.
Costanza, R.; Mitsch, W. J.; Day, J. W., Jr.. (2006) Creating a sustainable and desirable New Orleans. Ecological Engineering 26(4) 317-320
Costanza, R.. (2006) Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed. Ecological Economics 59(3) 397-399
Costanza, R.. (2006) Limits to growth: The 30-year update. Ecological Economics 59(3) 397-399
Costanza, R.. (2006) Nature: ecosystems without commodifying them. Nature 443(7113) 749-749
Costanza, R.. (2006) The logic of sufficiency. Nature 439(7078) 789-789
Costanza, R.. (2006) Thinking broadly about costs and benefits in ecological management. Integrated environmental assessment and management 2(2) 166-73
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Decisions regarding both human and natural systems often involve either explicit or implicit consideration of relative costs and benefits. These costs and benefits, however, go well beyond those captured in conventional economic cost-benefit analysis. It is not so much the mere consideration of costs and benefits that hampers cost-benefit analysis but, rather, the narrowness and incompleteness of the subset of costs and benefits that are usually considered. To use cost-benefit analysis for social decision making, one needs to think very broadly about which categories of costs and benefits need to be addressed (including effects on built, human, social, and natural capital as well as sustainable well-being) and deal with the inherent uncertainty and imprecision attached to many of the more important categories. One needs to consider the full range of possible values and valuation methods, to shift the burden of proof to the parties that stand to gain from the decision, to deal with the distributional consequences of decisions, and to be clear about the social goals being served by the decision. Failure to think broadly enough about costs and benefits leads to decisions that serve only narrow special interests, not the sustainable well-being of society as a whole.
Costanza, R.. (2006) Toward an ecological economy. Futurist 40(4) 26-26
Dorioz, J.M.; Wang, D.; Poulenard, J.; Trévisan, D.. (2006) The effect of grass buffer strips on phosphorus dynamics - a critical review and synthesis as a basis for application in agricultural landscapes in France.. (117) 4-21
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Recommending the use of ‘‘grass buffer strips’’ to control diffuse P transfer has become well accepted among extension advisors, agricultural consultants, planners, and other practitioners that influence the structure of the agricultural landscape. These grassed areas are put in place to capture the P contained in runoff from source fields. They are designed to function as a filter and a sediment trap although it is often unclear what the long-term disposition of the accumulated P may be. The objective of this work was to determine if the available scientific literature justifies the continued recommendation of this approach in the prevention of phosphorus movement from agricultural soils to surface waters. We employed a theoretical analysis of the mechanisms of the buffering effect and the specific behaviour of phosphorus in typical grass buffer strips to establish the critical set of literature applicable to this question. An adequate body of literature exists describing many aspects of P dynamics and the short-term functioning of grass buffer strips over their seasonal cycles. Despite variable results in a diversity of landscape contexts, overall, the use of grass buffer strips appears to provide useful short-term functions in the reduction of P transport to surface waters. Long-term benefits remain questionable given the relatively short-termuse of this approach in P reduction and the lack of long-term experimental results, but this current lack of data is not sufficient to deter the continued incorporation of grass buffer strips in the landscape of French agricultural. Additionally, a more comprehensive conceptual model integrating the shortterm functioning of grass buffer strips with seasonal cycles and the long-term consequences of cumulative storage emerged from our synthesis.
Ellis, A. M.; Lounibos, L. P.; Holyoak, M.. (2006) Evaluating the long-term metacommunity dynamics of tree hole mosquitoes. 87(10) 2582-2590
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Four different conceptual models of metacommunities have been proposed, termed "patch dynamics," "species sorting. mass effect," and "neutral." These models simplify thinking about metacommunities and improve our understanding of the role of spatial dynamics both in structuring communities and in determining local and regional diversity. We tested whether mosquito communities inhabiting water-filled tree holes in southeastern Florida, USA, displayed any of the characteristics and dynamics predicted by the four models. The densities of the five most common species in 3-8 tree holes were monitored every two weeks during 1978-2003. We tested relationships between habitat variables and species densities, spatial synchrony, the presence of life history trade-offs, and species turnover. Dynamics showed strong elements of species sorting, but with considerable turnover, as predicted by the patch dynamics model. Consistent with patch dynamics, there was substantial asynchrony in dynamics for different tree holes, substantial species turnover in space and time, and an occupancy/colonization trade-off. Substantial correlations of density and occupancy with tree hole volume were consistent with the species-sorting model, but unlike this model, species did not have permanent refuges. No evidence of mass effects was found, and correlations between habitat variables and dynamics were inconsistent with neutral models. Our results did not match a single model and therefore caution against overly simplifying metacommunity dynamics by using one dynamical characteristic, to select a particular metacommunity perspective.
Farber, S.; Costanza, R.; Childers, D. L.; Erickson, J.; Gross, K.; Grove, M.; Hopkinson, C. S.; Kahn, J.; Pincetl, S.; Troy, A.; Warren, P.; Wilson, M.. (2006) Linking ecology and economics for ecosystem management. Bioscience 56(2) 121-133
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This article outlines an approach, based on ecosystem services, for assessing the trade-offs inherent in managing humans embedded in ecological systems. Evaluating these trade-offs requires an understanding of the biophysical magnitudes of the changes in ecosystem services that result from human actions, and of the impact of these changes on human welfare. We summarize the state of the art of ecosystem services-based management and the information needs for applying it. Three case studies of Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites-coastal, urban, and agricultural-illustrate the usefulness, information needs, quantification possibilities, and methods for this approach. One example of the application of this approach, with rigorously established service changes and valuations taken front the literature, is used to illustrate the potential for full economic valuation of several agricultural landscape management options, including managing for water quality biodiversity, and crop productivity.
Farley, J.; Daly, H.. (2006) Natural capital: The limiting factor - A reply to Aronson, Blignaut, Milton and Clewell. Ecological Engineering 28(1) 6-10
Florez, J. A.; Guzman, M. A.; Ricketts, T. H.; Vandame, R.. (2006) Café y abejas: conservación y producción. Shaker Verlag GmbH, Germany. Pages 299-330;
Gates, J. E.; Dawe, N. K.; Erickson, J. D.; Farley, J. C.; Geist, V.; Hands, H.; Magee, P.; Trauger, D. L.. (2006) Perspectives on The Wildlife Society's economic growth policy statement and the development process. 34(2) 507-511
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On 18 September 2004, The Wildlife Society (TWS) published an official policy statement on economic growth and wildlife conservation. We believe this policy statement did not adequately address the issues. Thus, TWS missed an opportunity to lead the natural resource profession in refuting the fallacious rhetoric that "there is no conflict between economic growth and wildlife conservation" through the adoption of a strong policy statement on economic growth. Although we commend TWS Council for adopting a policy statement on economic growth, we believe the final wording contains several weaknesses. Here, we take a closer look at the statement and further evaluate how it might be strengthened in the future.
Grove, J. M.; Cadenasso, M. L.; Burch, W. R.; Pickett, S. T. A.; Schwarz, K.; O'Neil-Dunne, J.; Wilson, M.; Troy, A.; Boone, C.. (2006) Data and methods comparing social structure and vegetation structure of urban neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. 19(2) 117-136
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Recent advances in remote sensing and the adoption of geographic information systems ( GIS) have greatly increased the availability of high-resolution spatial and attribute data for examining the relationship between social and vegetation structure in urban areas. There are several motivations for understanding this relationship. First, the United States has experienced a significant increase in the extent of urbanized land. Second, urban foresters increasingly recognize their need for data about urban forestry types, owners and property regimes, and associated social goods, benefits, and services. Third, previous research has focused primarily on the distribution of vegetation cover or diversity. However, little is known about ( 1) whether vegetation structure varies among urban neighborhoods and ( 2) whether the motivations, pathways, and capacities for vegetation management vary among households and communities. In this article, we describe novel data and methods from Baltimore, MD, and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study ( BES) to address these two questions.
Grove, J. M.; Troy, A. R.; O'Neil-Dunne, J. P. M.; Burch, W. R.; Cadenasso, M. L.; Pickett, S. T. A.. (2006) Characterization of households and its implications for the vegetation of urban ecosystems. 9(4) 578-597
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Our understanding of the dynamics of urban ecosystems can be enhanced by examining the multidimensional social characteristics of households. To this end, we investigated the relative significance of three social theories of household structure-population, lifestyle behavior, and social stratification-to the distribution of vegetation cover in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Our ability to assess the relative significance of these theories depended on fine-scale social and biophysical data. We distinguished among vegetation in three areas hypothesized to be differentially linked to these social theories: riparian areas, private lands, and public rights-of-way (PROWs). Using a multimodel inferential approach, we found that variation of vegetation cover in riparian areas was not explained by any of the three theories and that lifestyle behavior was the best predictor of vegetation cover on private lands. Surprisingly, lifestyle behavior was also the best predictor of vegetation cover in PROWs. The inclusion of a quadratic term for housing age significantly improved the models. Based on these research results, we question the exclusive use of income and education as the standard variables to explain variations in vegetation cover in urban ecological systems. We further suggest that the management of urban vegetation can be improved by developing environmental marketing strategies that address the underlying household motivations for and participation in local land management.
Hagens, N.; Costanza, R.; Mulder, K.. (2006) Energy returns on ethanol production. Science 312(5781) 1746-1746
Herendeen, R. A.. (2006) Prospective/retrospective on strategies. 31(1) 3-9
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This contains my goals for, and reactions to, the Panel on 'Strategies' at the Workshop, 'Advances in Energy Studies: Exploring Supplies, Constraints, and Strategies', 23-27 May 2000, Porto Venere, Italy. The very ambitious goals for the four speakers were not fully realized; hence my reactions are also goals for future work. I propose and discuss specific topics and techniques that are appropriately addressed by energy analysts. Several of these stretch in new directions, or, more typically, towards wider purview over global impacts and equity issues. (c) 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Hess, G. R.; Bartel, R. A.; Leidner, A. K.; Rosenfeld, K. M.; Rubino, M. J.; Snider, S. B.; Ricketts, T. H.. (2006) Effectiveness of biodiversity indicators varies with extent, grain, and region. Biological Conservation 132(4) 448-457
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The use of indicator taxa for conservation planning is common, despite inconsistent evidence regarding their effectiveness. These inconsistencies may be the result of differences among species and taxonomic groups studied, geographic location, or scale of analysis. The scale of analysis can be defined by grain and extent, which are often confounded. Grain is the size of each observational unit and extent is the size of the entire study area. Using species occurrence records compiled by NatureServe from survey data, range maps, and expert opinion, we examined correlations in species richness between each of seven taxa (amphibians, birds, butterflies, freshwater fish, mammals, freshwater mussels, and reptiles) and total richness of the remaining six taxa at varying grains and extents in two regions of the US (Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest). We examined four different spatial units of interest: hexagon (similar to 649 km(2)), subecoregion (3800-34,000 km(2)), ecoregion (8300 - 79,000 km(2)), and geographic region (315,000-426,000 km(2)). We analyzed the correlations with varying extent of analysis (grain held constant at the hexagon) and varying grain (extent held constant at the region). The strength of correlation among taxa was context dependent, varying widely with grain, extent, region, and taxon. This suggests that (1) taxon, grain, extent, and study location explain, in part, inconsistent results of previous studies; (2) planning based on indicator relationships developed at other grains or extents should be undertaken cautiously; and (3) planning based on indicator relationships developed in other geographic locations is risky, even if planning occurs at an equivalent grain and extent. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keeton, W. S.. (2006) Managing for late-successional/old-growth characteristics in northern hardwood-conifer forests. Forest Ecology and Management 235(1-3) 129-142
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In the northern hardwood region of North America managing for late-successional forest habitats and functions is an important element of ecosystem management. This study tests the hypothesis that uneven-aged practices can be modified to accelerate rates of late-successional forest development. An approach, termed "structural complexity enhancement" (SCE), is compared against conventional uneven-aged systems modified to increase post-harvest structural retention. Experimental treatments, including controls, were applied to 2 ha units and replicated at two multi-aged northern hardwood forests in Vermont, USA. Structural objectives include vertically differentiated canopies, elevated large snag and downed log densities, variable horizontal density (including small gaps), and re-allocation of basal area to larger diameter classes. The latter objective is achieved, in part, by cutting to a rotated sigmoid diameter distribution. This is generated from a basal area (34 m(2) ha(-1)) and tree size (90 cm dbh) indicative of old-growth structure. Forest structure data have been collected over 2 years pre-treatment and 3 years post-treatment. Fifty-year simulations of stand development were run in NE-TWIGS and FVS comparing treatment and no treatment scenarios. Simulations also tested the sensitivity of large tree development to prescription parameters. Leaf area index retention was spatially variable but significantly (P < 0.001) greater under SCE (91%) compared to conventional treatments (75%). Post-harvest aboveground biomass (P = 0.041), total basal area (P = 0.010), and stem density (P = 0.025) were significantly different among treatments, with SCE generally retaining more structure than conventional treatments. SCE increased coarse woody debris volumes by 140%; there was a 30% increase under conventional treatments. SCE successfully achieved the rotated sigmoid diameter distributions, and sustained these 50 years into the future, resulting in reallocated basal area. Cumulative basal area increments are projected to increase by 3.7 and 5.0 m(2) ha(-1) compared to no treatment scenarios for SCE and conventional treatments, respectively. Basal areas will be significantly (P = 0.025) greater after 50 years in SCE units due to higher residual basal areas. Conventional treatments are projected to produce 10 fewer large trees per hectare (> 50 cm dbh) than would have developed without treatment, whereas SCE is likely to recruit five more large trees per hectare than the no treatment scenario. Large tree recruitment rates were related primarily to the form of residual diameter distributions (P = 0.006) and, possibly, to maximum diameter limits. Late-successional characteristics in northem-hardwood systems can be promoted through a variety of modified uneven-aged silvicultural approaches based on the results. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keller, C.K.; O'Brien, R.; Havig, J.R.; Smith, J.L.; Bormann, B.T.; Wang, D.. (2006) Tree harvest in an experimental sand ecosystem: Plant effects on nutrient dynamics and solute generation.. 9 634-646
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The hydrochemical signatures of forested ecosystems are known to be determined by a timevariant combination of physical-hydrologic, geochemical, and biologic processes. We studied subsurface potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and nitrate (NO3) in an experimental red -pine mesocosm to determine how trees affect the behavior of these nutrients in soil water, both during growth and after a harvest disturbance. Solution chemistry was monitored for 2 years at the end of a 15-year period of tree growth, and then for 3 more years after harvest and removal of aboveground biomass. Concentrations were characterized by three distinct temporal patterns that we ascribe to changes in solute generation mechanisms. Prior to harvest, K soilwater concentrations were relatively uniform with depth, whereas Ca soil-water concentrations doubled with depth. Nitrate concentrations were below detection in soil water and discharge (drainage) water. Plant uptake and water/nutrient cycling exerted strong control during this interval. During the 1st year after harvest, K concentrations tripled in shallow soil water, relative to preharvest levels, and showed a strong seasonal peak in discharge that mimicked soil temperature. Summer soil temperatures and annual water flux also increased. Decomposition of labile litter, with complete nitrogen (N) immobilization, characterized this interval. In the third interval (years 2 and 3 after harvest), decomposition shifted from N to carbon (C) limitation, and Ca and NO3 concentrations in discharge spiked to nearly 200 and 400 lM, respectively. Relatively stable ionic strength and carbonate chemistry in discharge, throughout the study period, indicate that carbonic-acid weathering was sustained by belowground decomposition long after the harvest. This stable chemical weathering regime, along with the persistence of N limitation for a long period after disturbance, may be characteristic of early-phase primary-successional systems.
Khagram, S.; Ali, S.. (2006) Environment and Security. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 31 395-411
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A broadening research program focused on environment and security emerged over the past 30 years. But the meaning and operationalization of environment and security have been an implicit and increasingly explicit part of the scholarly debate. Approaches range from the more specific focus on the linkages between environmental change and violent (deadly) conflict, the possible role of environmental conservation, cooperation, and collaboration in promoting peace, and the broader focus on potential relationships between environmental change and human security (understood as freedom from both violent conflict and physical want). In addition to the different conceptions of environment and security, the type and direction of causal relationships among different factors continue to be a focus of research. With respect to the environment and violent conflict, which constitute the largest explicit research stream on environment and security, the debate has centered on whether and why environmental scarcity, abundance, or dependence might cause militarized conflict. Less research has been conducted on the environmental effects of violent conflict and war or traditional security institutions such as militaries and military-industrial complexes. Rigorous research on the consequences of peace or human security for the environment is virtually nonexistent.
Kobos, P. H.; Erickson, J. D.; Drennen, T. E.. (2006) Technological learning and renewable energy costs: implications for US renewable energy policy. Energy Policy 34(13) 1645-1658
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This paper analyzes the relationship between current renewable energy technology costs and cumulative production, research, development and demonstration expenditures, and other institutional influences. Combining the theoretical framework of 'learning by doing' and developments in 'learning by searching' with the fields of organizational learning and institutional economics offers a complete methodological framework to examine the underlying capital cost trajectory when developing electricity cost estimates used in energy policy planning models. Sensitivities of the learning rates for global wind and solar photovoltaic technologies to changes in the model parameters are tested. The implications of the results indicate that institutional policy instruments play an important role for these technologies to achieve cost reductions and further market adoption. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Koliba, C. J.; Campbell, E. K.; Shapiro, C.. (2006) The practice of service learning in local school-community contexts. Educational Policy 20(5) 683-717
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In this article, the authors set out to examine the ways in which service learning is practiced, perceived, and sustained in school settings. Drawing on extensive qualitative case studies, the authors highlight three cases of schools at varying levels of integration of service into their curriculum. Their history of offering service learning is summarized. Participant perceptions regarding the role of service learning in student learning and concerns regarding the relationship between service learning and student academic achievement are explored. The authors conclude that service learning is practiced amidst a series of complex, and often times conflicting, assumptions regarding the alms of education and the proper formats through which student achievement should be assessed.
Lamoreux, J. F.; Morrison, J. C.; Ricketts, T. H.; Olson, D. M.; Dinerstein, E.; McKnight, M. W.; Shugart, H. H.. (2006) Global tests of biodiversity concordance and the importance of endemism. Nature 440(7081) 212-214
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Understanding patterns of biodiversity distribution is essential to conservation strategies(1), but severe data constraints make surrogate measures necessary(2-4). For this reason, many studies have tested the performance of terrestrial vertebrates as surrogates for overall species diversity, but these tests have typically been limited to a single taxon or region(3-10). Here we show that global patterns of richness are highly correlated among amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, as are endemism patterns. Furthermore, we demonstrate that although the correlation between global richness and endemism is low, aggregate regions selected for high levels of endemism capture significantly more species than expected by chance. Although areas high in endemism have long been targeted for the protection of narrow-ranging species(11,12), our findings provide evidence that endemism is also a useful surrogate for the conservation of all terrestrial vertebrates.
Littenberg, B.; Strauss, K.; D MacLean, C.; Troy, A. R.. (2006) The use of insulin declines as patients live farther from their source of care: results of a survey of adults with type 2 diabetes. 6
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Background: Although most diabetic patients do not achieve good physiologic control, patients who live closer to their source of primary care tend to have better glycemic control than those who live farther away. We sought to assess the role of travel burden as a barrier to the use of insulin in adults with diabetes. Methods: 781 adults receiving primary care for type 2 diabetes were recruited from the Vermont Diabetes Information System. They completed postal surveys and were interviewed at home. Travel burden was estimated as the shortest possible driving distance from the patient's home to the site of primary care. Medication use, age, sex, race, marital status, education, health insurance, duration of diabetes, and frequency of care were self-reported. Body mass index was measured by a trained field interviewer. Glycemic control was measured by the glycosolated hemoglobin AlC assay. Results: Driving distance was significantly associated with insulin use, controlling for the covariates and potential confounders. The odds ratio for using insulin associated with each kilometer of driving distance was 0.97 (95% confidence interval 0.95, 0.99; P = 0.01). The odds ratio for using insulin for those living within 10 km (compared to those with greater driving distances) was 2.29 (1.35, 3.88; P = 0.02). Discussion: Adults with type 2 diabetes who live farther from their source of primary care are significantly less likely to use insulin. This association is not due to confounding by age, sex, race, education, income, health insurance, body mass index, duration of diabetes, use of oral agents, glycemic control, or frequency of care, and may be responsible for the poorer physiologic control noted among patients with greater travel burdens.
McKenny, H. C.; Keeton, W. S.; Donovan, T. M.. (2006) Effects of structural complexity enhancement on eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) populations in northern hardwood forests. Forest Ecology and Management 230(1-3) 186-196
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Managing for stand structural complexity in northern hardwood forests has been proposed as a method for promoting microhabitat characteristics important to eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). We evaluated the effects of alternate, structure-based silvicultural systems on red-backed salamander populations at two research sites in northwestern Vermont. Treatments included two uneven-aged approaches (single-tree selection and group-selection) and one unconventional approach, termed "structural complexity enhancement" (SCE), that promotes development of late-successional structure, including elevated levels of coarse woody debris (CWD). Treatments were applied to 2 ha units and were replicated two to four times depending on treatment. We surveyed red-backed salamanders with a natural cover search method of transects nested within vegetation plots 1 year after logging. Abundance estimates corrected for detection probability were calculated from survey data with a binomial mixture model. Abundance estimates differed between study areas and were influenced by forest structural characteristics. Model selection was conducted using Akaike Information Criteria, corrected for over-dispersed data and small sample size (QAIC(c)). We found no difference in abundance as a response to treatment as a whole, suggesting that all of the uneven-aged silvicultural systems evaluated can maintain salamander populations after harvest. However, abundance was tied to specific structural habitat attributes associated with study plots within treatments. The most parsimonious model of habitat covariates included site, relative density of overstory trees, and density of more-decayed and less-decayed downed CWD. Abundance responded positively to the density of downed, well-decayed CWD and negatively to the density of poorly decayed CWD and to overstory relative density. CWD volume was not a strong predictor of salamander abundance. We conclude that structural complexity enhancement and the two uneven-aged approaches maintained important microhabitat characteristics for red-backed salamander populations in the short term. Over the long-term, given decay processes as a determinant of biological availability, forestry practices such as SCE that enhance CWD availability and recruitment may result in associated population responses. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mulder, K.; Costanza, R.; Erickson, J.. (2006) The contribution of built, human, social and natural capital to quality of life in intentional and unintentional communities. Ecological Economics 59(1) 13-23
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Ecovillages, co-housing communities, and other types of intentional communities (ICs) have proliferated in recent years. There are currently several thousands of these communities worldwide and their numbers are increasing rapidly. We surveyed a subset of these communities to learn more about their characteristics, including their world view or vision, the status of four basic types of capital (built, human, social, and natural), and the quality of life (QoL) they provide for their residents. Survey results indicate that ICs have a better balance between built, human, social, and natural capital than unintentional communities (based on a parallel survey of neighborhoods in Burlington, VT, USA) and that this results in a higher QoL among residents. It is difficult to assess the sustainability of ICs, but the data indicates that within ICs, social capital is substituted for built capital thereby reducing the level of material throughput. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Naidoo, R.; Balmford, A.; Ferraro, P. J.; Polasky, S.; Ricketts, T. H.; Rouget, M.. (2006) Integrating economic costs into conservation planning. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 21(12) 681-687
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Recent studies that incorporate the spatial distributions of biological benefits and economic costs in conservation planning have shown that limited budgets can achieve substantially larger biological gains than when planning ignores costs. Despite concern from donors about the effectiveness of conservation interventions, these increases in efficiency from incorporating costs into planning have not yet been widely recognized. Here, we focus on what these costs are, why they are important to consider, how they can be quantified and the benefits of their inclusion in priority setting. The most recent work in the field has examined the degree to which dynamics and threat affect the outcomes of conservation planning. We assess how costs fit into this new framework and consider prospects for integrating them into conservation planning.
Naidoo, R.; Ricketts, T. H.. (2006) Mapping the economic costs and benefits of conservation. 4(11) 2153-2164
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Resources for biodiversity conservation are severely limited, requiring strategic investment. Understanding both the economic benefits and costs of conserving ecosystems will help to allocate scarce dollars most efficiently. However, although cost-benefit analyses are common in many areas of policy, they are not typically used in conservation planning. We conducted a spatial evaluation of the costs and benefits of conservation for a landscape in the Atlantic forests of Paraguay. We considered five ecosystem services ( i.e., sustainable bushmeat harvest, sustainable timber harvest, bioprospecting for pharmaceutical products, existence value, and carbon storage in aboveground biomass) and compared them to estimates of the opportunity costs of conservation. We found a high degree of spatial variability in both costs and benefits over this relatively small (similar to 3,000 km(2)) landscape. Benefits exceeded costs in some areas, with carbon storage dominating the ecosystem service values and swamping opportunity costs. Other benefits associated with conservation were more modest and exceeded costs only in protected areas and indigenous reserves. We used this cost-benefit information to show that one potential corridor between two large forest patches had net benefits that were three times greater than two otherwise similar alternatives. Spatial cost-benefit analysis can powerfully inform conservation planning, even though the availability of relevant data may be limited, as was the case in our study area. It can help us understand the synergies between biodiversity conservation and economic development when the two are indeed aligned and to clearly understand the trade-offs when they are not.
Palumbi, S. R.; Roman, J.. (2006) The history of whales read from DNA. University of Califonia Press, Berkley, CA. Pages 102-115;
Ricketts, T.; Williams, N.; Mayfield, M. M.. (2006) Connectivity and ecosystem services: crop pollination in fragmented landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.. Pages 712;
Rizzo, D. M.; Mouser, P. J.; Whitney, D. H.; Mark, C. D.; Magarey, R. D.; Voinov, A. A.. (2006) The comparison of four dynamic systems-based software packages: Translation and sensitivity analysis. Environmental Modelling & Software 21(10) 1491-1502
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Dynamic model development for describing complex ecological systems continues to grow in popularity. For both academic research and project management, understanding the benefits and limitations of systems-based software could improve the accuracy of results and enlarge the user audience. A Surface Wetness Energy Balance (SWEB) model for canopy surface wetness has been translated into four software packages and their strengths and weaknesses were compared based on 'novice' user interpretations. We found expression-based models such as Simulink and GoldSim with Expressions were able to model the SWEB more accurately; however, stock and flow-based models such as STELLA, Madonna, and GoldSim with Flows provided the user a better conceptual understanding of the ecologic system. Although the original objective of this study was to identify an 'appropriate' software package for predicting canopy surface wetness using SWEB, our outcomes suggest that many factors must be considered by the stakeholders when selecting a model because the modeling software becomes part of the model and of the calibration process. These constraints may include user demographics, budget limitations, built-in sensitivity and optimization tools, and the preference of user friendliness vs. computational power. Furthermore, the multitude of closed proprietary software may present a disservice to the modeling community, creating model artifacts that originate somewhere deep inside the undocumented features of the software, and masking the underlying properties of the model. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Roman, J.. (2006) Bon Appetít. (January-March 2006) 22-27
Roman, J.. (2006) Diluting the founder effect: cryptic invasions expand a marine invader's range. 273(1600) 2453-2459
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Most invasion histories include an estimated arrival time, followed by range expansion. Yet, such linear progression may not tell the entire story. The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) was first recorded in the US in 1817, followed by an episodic expansion of range to the north. Its population has recently exploded in the Canadian Maritimes. Although it has been suggested that this northern expansion is the result of warming sea temperatures or cold-water adaptation, Canadian populations have higher genetic diversity than southern populations, indicating that multiple introductions have occurred in the Maritimes since the 1980s. These new genetic lineages, probably from the northern end of the green crab's native range in Europe, persist in areas that were once thought to be too cold for the original southern invasion front. It is well established that ballast water can contain a wide array of nonindigenous species. Ballast discharge can also deliver genetic variation on a level comparable to that of native populations. Such gene flow not only increases the likelihood of persistence of invasive species, but it can also rapidly expand the range of long-established nonindigenous species.
Roman, J.. (2006) Whale. Reaktion Books, London, UK. Pages 240;
Rossman, A. J.; Hayden, N. J.; Rizzo, D. M.. (2006) Low-temperature soil heating using renewable energy. Journal of Environmental Engineering-Asce 132(5) 537-544
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Data from a pilot study, in which renewable energy was used for low-temperature subsurface heating in a northern climate, suggests that such an approach may be useful for remediating low permeable soils. Low-temperature soil heating is expected to enhance remediation effectiveness by increasing contaminant volatility, diffusion, desorption, and microbiological activity. Direct and indirect solar energy was harvested with a hybrid photovoltaic/wind electric system. The electrical energy generated by the hybrid renewable energy system was distributed to the subsurface using a control system and wire, then converted to heat energy using a resistive element emplaced in, an unsaturated silty layer 2.3 m below grade. Renewable energy system performance, soil temperature, and environmental data were collected. Ambient soil temperatures fluctuated seasonally within the silt layer from 4 to 15 degrees C. The small renewable energy system performed As predicted and injected 441 kWh of energy into the soil over the eight-month study. This energy input translated to increased soil temperatures ranging from 7.7 to 19.4 degrees C and from 3.3 to 4.3 degrees C above ambient at distances 0.3 and 0.9 m from the heating well, respectively. The system supplied sufficient heat to maintain soil temperatures above ambient even in winter in Vermont, where low direct solar energy was available and sustained low ambient temperatures prevail.
Strauss, K.; MacLean, C.; Troy, A.; Littenberg, B.. (2006) Driving distance as a barrier to glycemic control in diabetes. 21(4) 378-380
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BACKGROUND: Despite advances in treatment of diabetes, many barriers to good glycemic control remain. OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between glycemic control and the driving distance from home to the site of primary care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Vermont Diabetes Information System. PARTICIPANTS: Nine-hundred and seventy-three adults with diabetes in primary care. The mean age was 64.9 years, 57% were female, and 18.4% used insulin. MEASUREMENTS: Hemoglobin A1c, shortest driving distance from a patient's home to the site of primary care calculated by geographic software, self-reported gender, age, education, income, marital status, race, insurance coverage, diabetic complications, and use of insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents. RESULTS: Controlling for social, demographic, seasonal, and treatment variables, there was a positive, significant relationship between glycemic control and driving distance (beta = +0.07%/10 km, P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval [CI] = +0.03, +0.11). Driving distance had a stronger association with glycemic control among insulin users (beta = +0.22%/10 km, beta = .016, 95% CI = +0.04, +0.40) than among non-insulin users (beta = +0.06%/ 10 km, P = .006, 95% CI = +0.02, +0.10). CONCLUSION: Longer driving distances from home to the site of primary care were associated with poorer glycemic control in this population of older, rural subjects. While the mechanism for this effect is not known, providers should be aware of this potential barrier to good glycemic control.
Strauss, K.; MacLean, C.; Troy, A.; Littenberg, B.. (2006) Letter to the Editor regarding Strauss et al. Response to Nardone. 21(9) 1008-1008
Troy, A.; Wilson, M. A.. (2006) Mapping ecosystem services: Practical challenges and opportunities in linking GIS and value transfer. Ecological Economics 60(2) 435-449
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In this paper, a decision framework designed for spatially explicit value transfer was used to estimate ecosystem service flow values and to map results for three case studies representing a diversity of spatial scales and locations: 1) Massachusetts; 2) Maury Island, Washington; and 3) three counties in California. In each case, a unique typology of land cover and aquatic resources was developed and relevant economic valuation studies were queried in order to assign estimates of ecosystem service values to each category in the typology. The result was a set of unique standardized ecosystem service value coefficients broken down by land cover class and service type for each case study. GIS analysis was then used to map the spatial distribution of each cover class at each study site. Economic values were summarized and mapped by tributary basin for Massachusetts and California and by property parcel for Maury Island. For Maury Island, changes in ecosystem service value flows were estimated under two alternative development scenarios. Drawing on lessons learned during the implementation of the case studies, the authors present some of the practical challenges that accompany spatially explicit ecosystem service value transfer. They also discuss how variability in the site characteristics and data availability for each project limits the ability to generalize a single comprehensive methodology. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Van den Belt, M.; Bianciotto, O. A.; Costanza, R.; Demers, S.; Diaz, S.; Ferreyra, G. A.; Koch, E. W.; Momo, F. R.; Vernet, M.. (2006) Mediated modeling of the impacts of enhanced UV-B radiation on ecosystem services. Photochemistry and Photobiology 82(4) 865-877
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This article describes the use of group model building to facilitate interaction with stakeholders, synthesize research results and assist in the development of hypotheses about climate change at the global level in relation to UV-B radiation and ecosystem service valuation. The objective was to provide a platform for integration of the various research components within a multidisciplinary research project as a basis for interaction with stakeholders with backgrounds in areas other than science. An integrated summary of the scientific findings, along with stakeholder input, was intended to produce a bridge between science and policymaking. We used a mediated modeling approach that was implemented as a pilot project in Ushuaia, Argentina. The investigation was divided into two participatory workshops: data gathering and model evaluation. Scientists and the local stakeholders supported the valuation of ecosystem services as a useful common denominator for integrating the various scientific results. The concept of economic impacts in aquatic and marsh systems was represented by values for ecosystem services altered by UV-B radiation. In addition, direct local socioeconomic impacts of enhanced UV-B radiation were modeled, using data from Ushuaia. We worked with 5 global latitudinal regions, focusing on net primary production and biomass for the marine system and on 3 plant species for the marsh system. Ecosystem service values were calculated for both sectors. The synthesis model reflects the conclusions from the literature and from experimental research at the global level. UV-B is not a significant stress for the marshes, relative to the potential impact of increases in the sea level. Enhanced UV-B favors microbial dynamics in marine systems that could cause a significant shift from primary producers to bacteria at the community level. In addition, synergetic effects of UV-B and certain pollutants potentiate the shift to heterotrophs. This may impact the oceanic carbon cycle by increasing the ratio of respiratory to photosynthetic organisms in surface waters and, thus, the role of the ocean as a carbon sink for atmospheric CO2. In summary, although changes in the marine sector due to anthropogenic influences may affect global climate change, marshes are expected to primarily be affected by climate change.
Vemuri, A. W.; Costanza, R.. (2006) The role of human, social, built, and natural capital in explaining life satisfaction at the country level: Toward a National Well-Being Index (NWI). Ecological Economics 58(1) 119-133
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This paper investigates the contributions to life satisfaction of four basic types of capital: human, social, built, and natural. Life satisfaction data were available for respondents from fifty-seven countries from the World Values Survey over the decade of the 1990s. Data on proxies for human, social, built, and natural capital were available for 171 countries, using data from the 1998 United Nations Human Development Report [United Nations Development Programme, 1998. Human Development Report 1998. Oxford University Press, New York.], Freedom House (1999) [Freedom House, 1999. News of the Century: Press Freedom 1999. Freedom House, http://freedomhouse.org/pfs99/pfs99.pdf, September 30, 2003.], and Sutton and Costanza (2002) [Sutton, P., Costanza, R., 2002. Global estimates of market and non-market values derived from nighttime satellite imagery, land cover, and ecosystem service valuation. Ecol. Econ., 41:509-527.]. Regression models show that both the UN Human Development Index (HDI - which includes proxies for both built and human capital) and an index of the value of ecosystem services per km(2) (as a proxy for natural capital) are important factors in explaining life satisfaction at the country level and together can explain 72% of the variation in life satisfaction. We did not find a proxy for social capital that was a significant predictor in the regression models. This was due to the inadequacy of available proxy variables for social capital at the national scale and intercorrelation with other variables. We discuss data limitations and a range of other problems with the existing limited data along with methods to overcome some of these limitations to improve future analyses. We propose a National Well-Being Index (NWI) based on our findings and describe a path to improve it over time. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wollenberg, E.; Colchester, M.; Mbugua, G.; Griffiths, T.. (2006) Linking social movements: how international networks can better support community action about forests. 8(2) 265-272
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International networks in community forestry face challenges in linking with local social movements. We examine four efforts of international networks to overcome these challenges and better link with local people in Peru, Brazil, India and Kenya. The examples demonstrate that the networks created effective links by making funds available for meetings and local data collection; providing international analyses that helped people understand their own situation better; sharing strategies for media, policy and letter campaigns; helping to disseminate information about local people's priorities, providing independent assessments and building local people's confidence. Efforts to improve communications technologies required a better understanding of local conditions. Networks will be more relevant to local movements to the extent that they are regularly active at the local level, can respond flexibly to local needs and small-scale events, and work with an array of national partners. The effectiveness of networks in carrying out these tasks may require a careful balance between linking to versus working at the local level.
Wollenberg, E.; Moeliono, M.; Limberg, G.; Iwan, R.; Rhee, S.; Sudana, M.. (2006) Between state and society: Local governance of forests in Malinau, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics 8(4) 421-433
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Decentralization in post-Soeharto Indonesia has not only changed state and society relations at the local level, but brought increased control over forests at the district level. Local social forces gained more influence because of their close relations with local government and acted to limit the local government. In this article we use the case of Malinau, East Kalimantan Indonesia to show how the new local autonomy over forests played a role in the rise of new local political orders. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zhou, W.; Wang, S.; Zhou, Y.; Troy, A.. (2006) Mapping the concentrations of total suspended matter in Lake Tailm, China, using Landsat-5 TM data. 27(5-6) 1177-1191
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Remote sensing techniques can be used to estimate and map the concentrations of suspended matter in inland water, providing both spatial and temporal information. Although an empirical approach to remote sensing of inland waters has been carried out frequently, satellite imagery has not been incorporated into routine lake monitoring programmes due in part to the lack of a standard prediction equation with multi-temporal capacity for suspended matter. Empirical and physical models must be developed for each lake and its corresponding turbidity composition if they are to be compared over time, or with other bodies of water.
Zia, A.; Norton, B. G.; Noonan, D. S.; Rodgers, M. O.; DeHart-Davis, L.. (2006) A quasi-experimental evaluation of high-emitter non-compliance and its impact on vehicular tailpipe emissions in Atlanta, 1997-2001. Transportation Research Part D-Transport and Environment 11(1) 77-96
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A quasi-experimental evaluation is employed to assess the compliance behavior of high emitters in response to Atlanta's Inspection and Maintenance program between 1997 and 2001 and to predict the impact of compliance behavior on vehicular tailpipe emissions of ozone precursors, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Remote sensing data of a sample of approximately 0.8 million observations of on-road vehicles are matched with IM program data and vehicle registration data to identify the compliant and non-compliant high emitters. A mixed-pool time-series regression analysis is carried out to predict changes in the vehicular tailpipe emissions due to the compliance and non-compliance of the high emitters in the Atlanta airshed. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Balmford, A.; Bennun, L.; ten Brink, B.; Cooper, D.; Cote, I. M.; Crane, P.; Dobson, A.; Dudley, N.; Dutton, I.; Green, R. E.; Gregory, R. D.; Harrison, J.; Kennedy, E. T.; Kremen, C.; Leader-Williams, N.; Lovejoy, T. E.; Mace, G.; May, R.; Mayaux, P.; Morling, P.; Phillips, J.; Redford, K.; Ricketts, T. H.; Rodriguez, J. P.; Sanjayan, M.; Schei, P. J.; van Jaarsveld, A. S.; Walther, B. A.. (2005) The convention on biological diversity's 2010 target. Science 307(5707) 212-213
Beard, K. H.; Wang, D.; Waite, C. E.; Decker, K. L. M.; Hawley, G. J.; DeHayes, D. D.; Hughes, J. W.; Cumming, J. R.. (2005) Quantifying ecosystem controls and their contextual interactions on nutrient export from developing forest mesocosms. 8(2) 210-224
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The complexity of natural ecosystems makes it difficult to compare the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors and to assess the effects of their interactions on ecosystem development. To improve our understanding of ecosystem complexity, we initiated an experiment designed to quantify the main effects and interactions of several factors that are thought to affect nutrient export from developing forest ecosystems. Using a replicated 2 x 2 x 4 factorial experiment, we quantified the main effects of these factors and the factor interactions on annual calcium, magnesium, and potassium export from field mesocosms over 4 years for two Vermont locations, two soils, and four different tree seedling communities. We found that the main effects explained 56%-97% of total variation in nutrient export. Abiotic factors (location and soil) accounted for a greater percentage of the total variation in nutrient export (47%-94%) than the biotic factor (plant community) (2%-15%). However, biotic control over nutrient export was significant, even when biomass was minimal. Factor interactions were often significant, but they explained less of the variation in nutrient export (1%-33%) than the main effects. Year-to-year fluctuations influenced the relative importance of the main effects in determining nutrient export and created factor interactions between most of the explanatory variables. Our study suggests that when research is focused on typically used main effects, such as location and soil, and interactions are aggregated into overall error terms, important information about the factors controlling ecosystem processes can be lost.
Beier, C. M.; Horton, J. L.; Walker, J. F.; Clinton, B. D.; Nilsen, E. T.. (2005) Carbon limitation leads to suppression of first year oak seedlings beneath evergreen understory shrubs in Southern Appalachian hardwood forests. 176(1) 131-142
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Inhibition of canopy tree recruitment beneath thickets of the evergreen shrubs Rhododendron maximum L. and Kalmia latifolia L. has long been observed in Southern Appalachian forests, yet the mechanisms of this process remain unresolved. We present a first-year account of suppression of oak seedlings in relation to Rhododendron and Kalmia basal area, light and resource availability, seedling performance and the rates of seedling damage (i.e., herbivory). We found no evidence of first-year seedling suppression or significant resource deficiencies beneath thickets of K. latifolia in mature mixed hardwood stands. Suppression beneath R. maximum was apparent during the first growing season. We found that seedling biomass, light availability prior to canopy closure, and seedling tissue C:N ratios were negatively correlated with R. maximum basal area. Basal area of R. maximum was positively correlated with seedling mortality rates, soil [Al], and early-growing season leaf herbivory rates. Seedling growth was positively correlated with light and tissue C:N, while negatively correlated with soil [Al]. Overall, our results support the inhibition model of shade-mediated carbon limitation beneath dense understory shrubs and indicate the potential importance of herbivory and aluminum toxicity as components of a suppression mechanism beneath R. maximum thickets. We present a causal model of first year inhibition beneath R. maximum in the context of our findings and the results of prior studies.
Bowen, B. W.; Roman, J.. (2005) Gaia's handmaidens: the Orlog model for conservation biology. 19(4) 1037-1043
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The Gaia hypothesis, which proposes that Earth's biota and material environment form a self-regulating system, has been influential in conservation biology, but it has not translated into specific guidelines. Proponents of phylogenetics and ecology often claim primacy over the foundations of conservation biology, a debate that has deep roots in philosophy and science. A more recent claim is that conservation efforts should protect evolutionary processes that will allow diversification. Phylogenetics, ecology, and evolution all have legitimate roles in conservation, when viewed in a temporal perspective. Phylogenetic studies identify the bioheritage of past species radiations, ecology preserves the life-support systems for these lineages in the present, and evolutionary processes allow adaptation of these lineages to novel challenges in the future. The concept of temporal domains in conservation (past, present, future) has an appropriate metaphor in the Norse worldview known as the Orlog. In this body of mythology, three sisters tend the tree of life and fend off a dragon gnawing at the roots. The names of these sisters, Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld, translate to Past, Present, and Future. In Viking mythology, the threads of life cannot persist without the cooperation of these sisters. In the science of conservation biology, they represent the handmaidens of Gaia-three scientific disciplines that can succeed only with a spirit of familial cooperation.
Chokkalingam, U.; Sabogal, C.; Almeida, E.; Carandang, A. R.; Gumartini, T.; de Jong, W.; Brienza, S., Jr.; Lopez, A. M.; Murniati; Nawir, A. A.; Wibowo, L. R.; Toma, T.; Wollenberg, E.; Zaizhi, Z.. (2005) Local participation, livelihood needs, and institutional arrangements: Three keys to sustainable rehabilitation of degraded tropical forest lands. Spring Science, New York, NY. Pages 405-414;
Czech, B.; Trauger, D. L.; Farley, J.; Costanza, R.; Daly, H. E.; Hall, C. A. S.; Noss, R. F.; Krall, L.; Krausman, P. R.. (2005) Establishing indicators for biodiversity. Science 308(5723) 791-792
DeFries, R.; Pagiola, S.; Adamowicz, W. L.; Akcakaya, H. R.; Arcenas, A.; Babu, S.; Balk, D.; Confalonieri, U.; Cramer, W.; Falconi, F.; Fritz, S.; Green, R.; Gutierrez-Espeleta, E.; Hamilton, K.; Kane, R.; Latham, J.; Matthews, E.; Ricketts, T.; Yue, T. X.. (2005) Analytical approaches for assessing ecosystem condition and human well-being. Island Press, Washington, D. C.. Pages 917;
Fisher, B.; Costanza, R.. (2005) Regional commitment to reducing emissions - Local policy in the United States goes some way towards countering anthropogenic climate change. Nature 438(7066) 301-302
Gowdy, J.; Erickson, J. D.. (2005) The approach of ecological economics. 29(2) 207-222
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This paper discusses the major tenets of ecological economics-including value pluralism, methodological pluralism and multi-criteria policy assessment. Ecological economics offers viable alternatives to the theoretical foundations and policy recommendations of neoclassical welfare economics. A revolution in neoclassical economics is currently taking place, and the core assumptions of welfare economics are being replaced with more realistic models of consumer and firm behaviour. This paper argues that these new theoretical and empirical findings are largely ignored in applied work and policy applications in environmental economics. As the only heterodox school of economics focusing on the human economy both as a social system and as one imbedded in the biophysical universe, and thus both holistic and scientifically based, ecological economics is poised to play a leading role in recasting the scope and method of economic science.
Gowdy, J.; Erickson, J.. (2005) Ecological economics at a crossroads. Ecological Economics 53(1) 17-20
Hoekstra, J. M.; Boucher, T. M.; Ricketts, T. H.; Roberts, C.. (2005) Confronting a biome crisis: global disparities of habitat loss and protection. Ecology Letters 8(1) 23-29
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Human impacts on the natural environment have reached such proportions that in addition to an 'extinction crisis', we now also face a broader 'biome crisis'. Here we identify the world's terrestrial biomes and, at a finer spatial scale, ecoregions in which biodiversity and ecological function are at greatest risk because of extensive habitat conversion and limited habitat protection. Habitat conversion exceeds habitat protection by a ratio of 8 : 1 in temperate grasslands and Mediterranean biomes, and 10 : 1 in more than 140 ecoregions. These regions include some of the most biologically distinctive, species rich ecosystems on Earth, as well as the last home of many threatened and endangered species. Confronting the biome crisis requires a concerted and comprehensive response aimed at protecting not only species, but the variety of landscapes, ecological interactions, and evolutionary pressures that sustain biodiversity, generate ecosystem services, and evolve new species in the future.
Jennings, N.; Swidler, S.; Koliba, C.. (2005) Place-based education in the standards-based reform era - Conflict or complement?. American Journal of Education 112(1) 44-65
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In this article we discuss the relationship between place-based education and standards-based reforms. Using an initiative in Vermont to include place-based standards into the state's curricular frameworks, we examine state policy makers' and practitioners' views of state standards and place-based curriculum. Furthermore, we explore the ways in which the practitioners view the impact of both of these curricular efforts on their classroom practices. We challenge the common view of incompatibility between state standards and locally responsive curriculum and offer instead a view of complementarity.
Keeton, W. S.; Franklin, J. F.. (2005) Do remnant old-growth trees accelerate rates of succession in mature Douglas-fir forests?. Ecological Monographs 75(1) 103-118
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Biological legacies left by natural disturbances provide ecological functions throughout forest stand development, but their influences on processes of ecological succession are not completely understood. We investigated the successional role of one type of biological legacy: remnant old-growth trees persisting in mature Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) forests in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. We tested the hypothesis that remnant old-growth Tsuga heterophylla (western hemlock) and Thuja plicata (western red cedar) trees enhance the reestablishment of shade-tolerant conifers by increasing the availability of seed. Reestablishment of shade-tolerant conifers is a key process in late-successional forest development because it leads to vertical differentiation of the canopy and eventual codominance of shade-tolerant species. Two study areas were selected in the southern Washington Cascade Range, USA. Both had an unfragmented, mature forest cover that was regenerated naturally following wildfire. Twelve study sites were selected, including sites with and without remnant T. plicata and T. heterophylla. Overstory structure and composition, microsite variables, and conifer regeneration were systematically sampled using nested belt transects and quadrats. Sites with remnant T. heterophylla and T plicata had significantly higher densities of conspecific seedlings. Multivariate analyses showed remnant T. heterophylla and T. plicata presence and density to be the strongest predictors of seedling densities, although the basal area of mature conspecific trees, relative density, aspect, stand age, and microsite characteristics were important secondary predictors. Microsite variations explained regeneration patchiness. Seedling densities were strongly correlated with proximity to remnant trees, exhibiting a negative exponential decline with distance. Shade-tolerant conifers are likely to reestablish faster at sites with remnant seed trees, but canopy. disturbances are probably necessary for subsequent height growth. Remnant shade-tolerant conifers are an important biological legacy and seed source influencing rates of ecological succession in mature P. menziesii stands. Successional and stand development models should explicitly incorporate this dynamic.
Kier, G.; Mutke, J.; Dinerstein, E.; Ricketts, T. H.; Kuper, W.; Kreft, H.; Barthlott, W.. (2005) Global patterns of plant diversity and floristic knowledge. 32(7) 1107-1116
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Aims We present the first global map of vascular plant species richness by ecoregion and compare these results with the published literature on global priorities for plant conservation. In so doing, we assess the state of floristic knowledge across ecoregions as described in floras, checklists, and other published documents and pinpoint geographical gaps in our understanding of the global vascular plant flora. Finally, we explore the relationships between plant species richness by ecoregion and our knowledge of the flora, and between plant richness and the human footprint - a spatially explicit measure of the loss and degradation of natural habitats and ecosystems as a result of human activities. Location Global. Methods Richness estimates for the 867 terrestrial ecoregions of the world were derived from published richness data of c. 1800 geographical units. We applied one of four methods to assess richness, depending on data quality. These included collation and interpretation of published data, use of species-area curves to extrapolate richness, use of taxon-based data, and estimates derived from other ecoregions within the same biome. Results The highest estimate of plant species richness is in the Borneo lowlands ecoregion (10,000 species) followed by nine ecoregions located in Central and South America with >= 8000 species; all are found within the Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests biome. Among the 51 ecoregions with >= 5000 species, only five are located in temperate regions. For 43% of the 867 ecoregions, data quality was considered good or moderate. Among biomes, adequate data are especially lacking for flooded grasslands and flooded savannas. We found a significant correlation between species richness and data quality for only a few biomes, and, in all of these cases, our results indicated that species-rich ecoregions are better studied than those poor in vascular plants. Similarly, only in a few biomes did we find significant correlations between species richness and the human footprint, all of which were positive. Main conclusions The work presented here sets the stage for comparisons of degree of concordance of plant species richness with plant endemism and vertebrate species richness: important analyses for a comprehensive global biodiversity strategy. We suggest: (1) that current global plant conservation strategies be reviewed to check if they cover the most outstanding examples of regions from each of the world's major biomes, even if these examples are species-poor compared with other biomes; (2) that flooded grasslands and flooded savannas should become a global priority in collecting and compiling richness data for vascular plants; and (3) that future studies which rely upon species-area calculations do not use a uniform parameter value but instead use values derived separately for subregions.
Krivov, S.; Villa, F.. (2005) Towards an ontology based visual query system. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 3615 313-316
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This paper discusses an ontology based visual query system of Ecosystem Services Database. A new visual query languge for OWL is proposed.
Limburg, K. E.; Stainbrook, K. M.; Erickson, J. D.; Gowdy, J. M.. (2005) Urbanization consequences: Case studies in the Hudson River watershed. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 47 23-37
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Parcel by parcel, urban/suburban development is one of the most active converters of land in the Hudson River Valley in New York State. We are taking an integrative approach to understanding the drivers of and responses to urbanization, by Studying how economy drives land use change and how that, in turn, affects downstream indicators of ecosystem state. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a tool for policymakers, illustrating consequences of different development strategies. In this paper, we discuss synoptic ecological assessments of two major Hudson River tributaries in Dutchess County, the Wappinger Creek and Fishkill Creek watersheds. Physical, chemical, geographic, and biotic indices are compiled, creating a multivariate data set. These data, when set into a geographic information database, provide a spatial response to land use. Application of a regionally calibrated index of biotic integrity showed little relationship to urbanization, although some component metrics indicated a response. Chemical or biogeochemical indicators were more reflective of urbanization gradients. A hierarchy of responses, beginning with physicochemical and moving up to fish assemblages, reflected decreasing responses to urbanization. However, fish densities and the stable isotopic ratios of nitrogen determined in a sentinel species (eastern blacknose dace Rhinichthys atratulus) were significantly affected by urbanization. Longitudinal gradients of elevation were identified as strong drivers of development, potentially confounding relationships of land-use attributes and ecological responses.
Loh, J.; Green, R. E.; Ricketts, T.; Lamoreux, J.; Jenkins, M.; Kapos, V.; Randers, J.. (2005) The Living Planet Index: using species population time series to track trends in biodiversity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 360(1454) 289-295
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The Living Planet Index was developed to measure the changing state of the world's biodiversity over time. It uses time-series data to calculate average rates of change in a large number of populations of terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate species. The dataset contains about 3000 population time series for over 1100 species. Two methods of calculating the index are outlined: the chain method and a method based on linear modelling of log-transformed data. The dataset is analysed to compare the relative representation of biogeographic realms, ecoregional biomes, threat status and taxonomic groups among species contributing to the index. The two methods show very similar results: terrestrial species declined on average by 25% from 1970 to 2000. Birds and mammals are over-represented in comparison with other vertebrate classes, and temperate species are over-represented compared with tropical species, but there is little difference in representation between threatened and non-threatened species. Some of the problems arising from over-representation are reduced by the way in which the index is calculated. It may be possible to reduce this further by post-stratification and weighting, but new information would first need to be collected for data-poor classes, realms and biomes.
Mouser, P. J.; Hession, W. C.; Rizzo, D. M.; Gotelli, N. J.. (2005) Hydrology and geostatistics of a Vermont, USA kettlehole peatland. Journal of Hydrology 301(1-4) 250-266
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The ability to predict the response of peatland ecosystems to hydrologic changes is imperative for successful conservation and remediation efforts. We studied a 1.25-ha Vermont kettlehole bog for one year (September 2001-October 2002) to identify hydrologic controls, temporal and spatial variability in flow regimes, and to link hydrologic processes to density of the carnivorous plant (Sarracenia purpurea), an ombrotrophic bog specialist. Using a spatial array of nested piezometers, we measured surface and subsurface flow in shallow peat and surrounding mineral soil. Our unique sampling array was based on a repeated measures factorial design with: (1) incremental distances from a central kettlehole pond; (2) equal distances between piezometers; and (3) at three depths from the peat surface. Local flow patterns in the peat were controlled by snowpack storage during winter and spring months and by evapotranspiration and pond water elevation during summer and fall months. Hydraulic head values showed a local reversal within the peat during spring months which was reflected in higher chemical constituent concentrations in these wells. On a regional scale, higher permeable soils diverted groundwater beneath the peatland to a nearby wetland complex. Horizontal water gradient magnitudes were larger in zones where the peatland was perched above regional groundwater and smaller in zones where a hydraulic connection existed between the peatland and the regional groundwater. The density of pitcher plants (S. purpurea) is strongly correlated to the distance from a central pond, [Fe3+], [Na+], [Cl-], and [SO42-]. The pH, conductivity, and [Ca2+] had significant effects of depth and time with horizontal distance correlations between 20 and 26 m. The pH samples had temporal correlations between 27 and 79 days. The link between pitcher plants and ion chemistry; significant effects of peatland chemistry on distance, depth, and time; and spatial and temporal correlations are important considerations for peatland restoration strategies. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mouser, P. J.; Rizzo, D. M.; Roling, W. F. M.; Van Breukelen, B. M.. (2005) A multivariate statistical approach to spatial representation of groundwater contamination using hydrochemistry and microbial community profiles. Environmental Science & Technology 39(19) 7551-7559
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Managers of landfill sites are faced with enormous challenges when attempting to detect and delineate leachate plumes with a limited number of monitoring wells, assess spatial and temporal trends for hundreds of contaminants, and design long-term monitoring (LTM) strategies. Subsurface microbial ecology is a unique source of data that has been historically underutilized in LTM groundwater designs. This paper provides a methodology for utilizing qualitative and quantitative information (specifically, multiple water quality measurements and genome-based data) from a landfill leachate contaminated aquifer in Banisveld, The Netherlands, to improve the estimation of parameters of concern. We used a principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce nonindependent hydrochemistry data, Bacteria and Archaea community profiles from 16S rDNA denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), into six statistically independent variables, representing the majority of the original dataset variances. The PCA scores grouped samples based on the degree or class of contamination and were similar over considerable horizontal distances. Incorporation of the principal component scores with traditional subsurface information using cokriging improved the understanding of the contaminated area by reducing error variances and increasing detection efficiency. Combining these multiple types of data (e.g., genome-based information, hydrochemistry, borings) may be extremely useful at landfill or other LTM sites for designing cost-effective strategies to detect and monitor contaminants.
Rapp, J.; Wang, D.; Capen, D.; Thompson, E.; Lautzenheiser, T.. (2005) Evaluating error in using the National Vegetation Classification System for ecological community mapping in northern New England, USA. 25(1) 46-54
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At the landscape scale, representation of reality using ecological community maps is limited by: how well the chosen classification system represents actual vegetation community composition; how effectively aerial photography captures the distinguishing features of each mapping unit within the classification; and how well these mapping units are delineated by photo-interpreters. Three errors deriving from these factors can be defined as classification system error, photo-limitation error, and mapper error. We evaluated the relative importance of these error types for ecological community mapping in a 7283 ha area including the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge (LUNWR). We used the association level of the National Vegetation Classification System (NVC) to classify and map ecological communities through combined aerial-photo interpretation and fieldwork. Map accuracy assessment using an error matrix yielded an overall map accuracy of 46 +/- 9%. Fuzzy set analysis and use of a "goodness-of-fit" table showed that classification system error accounted for 25% of the error, photolimitations for 66% of the error, and mapper error for the remaining 9%. To improve map accuracy, classification system error can be reduced by: (1) refining class definitions to decrease ambiguity, (2) adding new classes to more adequately describe the complex of local vegetation patterns, or (3) using a higher level of classification within the NVC. Photo-limitation error can be reduced by: (1) defining mapping units by aggregating NVC associations into photo-interpretable groups, (2) utilizing aerial photographs with a higher resolution than the 1:15,840 scale photographs used in this study, or (3) mapping primarily using fieldwork.
Ricketts, T. H.; Dinerstein, E.; Boucher, T.; Brooks, T. M.; Butchart, S. H. M.; Hoffmann, M.; Lamoreux, J. F.; Morrison, J.; Parr, M.; Pilgrim, J. D.; Rodrigues, A. S. L.; Sechrest, W.; Wallace, G. E.; Berlin, K.; Bielby, J.; Burgess, N. D.; Church, D. R.; Cox, N.; Knox, D.; Loucks, C.; Luck, G. W.; Master, L. L.; Moore, R.; Naidoo, R.; Ridgely, R.; Schatz, G. E.; Shire, G.; Strand, H.; Wettengel, W.; Wikramanayake, E.. (2005) Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102(51) 18497-18501
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Slowing rates of global biodiversity loss requires preventing species extinctions. Here we pinpoint centers of imminent extinction, where highly threatened species are confined to single sites. Within five globally assessed taxa (i.e., mammals, birds, selected reptiles, amphibians, and conifers), we find 794 such species, three times the number recorded as having gone extinct since 1500. These species occur in 595 sites, concentrated in tropical forests, on islands, and in mountainous areas. Their taxonomic and geographical distribution differs significantly from that of historical extinctions, indicating an expansion of the current extinction episode beyond sensitive species and places toward the planet's most biodiverse mainland regions. Only one-third of the sites are legally protected, and most are surrounded by intense human development. These sites represent clear opportunities for urgent conservation action to prevent species loss.
Ricketts, T.; Brooks, T. M.; Hoffmann, M.; Stuart, S.; Balmford, A.; Purvis, A.; Reyers, B.; Wang, J.; Revenga, C.; Kennedy, E. T.; Naeem, S.; Alkemade, R.; Allnutt, T. F.; Bakaar, M.; Bond, W.; Chanson, J.; Cox, N.; Fonseca, G.; Hilton-Taylor, C.; Loucks, C.; Rodrigues, A.; Sechrest, W.; Stattersfield, A.; van Rensvurg, B. J.; Whiteman, C.. (2005) Biodiversity. Island Press, Washiington, D. C.. Pages 917;
Rocha, L. A.; Robertson, D. R.; Roman, J.; Bowen, B. W.. (2005) Ecological speciation in tropical reef fishes. 272(1563) 573-579
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The high biodiversity in tropical seas provides a long-standing challenge to allopatric speciation models. Physical barriers are few in the ocean and larval dispersal is often extensive, a combination that should reduce opportunities for speciation. Yet coral reefs are among the most species-rich habitats in the world, indicating evolutionary processes beyond conventional allopatry. In a survey of mtDNA sequences of five congeneric west Atlantic reef fishes (wrasses, genus Halichoeres) with similar dispersal potential, we observed phylogeographical patterns that contradict expectations of geographical isolation, and instead indicate a role for ecological speciation. In Halichoeres bivittatus and the species pair Halichoeres radiatus/brasiliensis, we observed strong partitions (3.4% and 2.3% divergence, respectively) between adjacent and ecologically distinct habitats, but high genetic connectivity between similar habitats separated by thousands of kilometres. This habitat partitioning is maintained even at a local scale where H. bivittatus lineages are segregated between cold- and warm-water habitats in both Bermuda and Florida. The concordance of evolutionary partitions with habitat types, rather than conventional biogeographical barriers, indicates parapatric ecological speciation, in which adaptation to alternative environmental conditions in adjacent locations overwhelms the homogenizing effect of dispersal. This mechanism can explain the long-standing enigma of high biodiversity in coral reef faunas.
Silvano, R. A. M.; Udvardy, S.; Ceroni, M.; Farley, J.. (2005) An ecological integrity assessment of a Brazilian Atlantic Forest watershed based on surveys of stream health and local farmers' perceptions: implications for management. Ecological Economics 53(3) 369-385
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While ecosystem services provide benefits at various spatial scales, often the decision to conserve an ecosystem lies with the local people. Knowing the perceptions of local landowners of the benefits provided by ecosystem services cannot only help in the design of efficient mechanisms for environmental conservation, but also in achieving the support of these mechanisms by the local stakeholders. In this article we use both standard scientific assessment and the stakeholders' local ecological knowledge in order to acquire information about both the ecological integrity of an Atlantic Forest watershed, and the ecosystem services it provides. In a small-scale case study of the Macabu River watershed in Brazil, we investigated and compared a rapid field assessment of stream ecological integrity with the stakeholders' local environmental perceptions as revealed through interviews. This comparison indicates that the farmers tended to overestimate the ecological integrity of the stream reaches located inside their properties. However, the farmers also showed ecological knowledge about the environment and forests' ecosystem services, such as the maintenance of water supply and suitable climatic conditions. Our results thus indicate that the farmers' perceptions about the environmental impacts and ecological integrity of forest and water are apparently more strongly influenced by direct uses and opportunity costs, representing a market failure of asymmetrical information. Such market failure could be overcome by more fully informing farmers about ecosystem services and possible direct economic advantages of riparian forests. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Strauss, K. R.; Littenberg, B.; Troy, A. R.. (2005) Driving distance and diabetes control. 20 114-114
Troy, A. R.; Strong, A. M.; Bosworth, S. C.; Donovan, T. M.; Buckley, N. J.; Wilson, J. L.. (2005) Attitudes of Vermont dairy farmers regarding adoption of management practices for grassland songbirds. 33(2) 528-538
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In the northeastern United States, most populations of grassland songbirds occur on private lands. However, little information exists about the attitudes of farmers toward habitat management for this guild. To address this information gap, we surveyed 131 dairy farmers in Vermont's Champlain Valley to assess current hayfield management practices and farmers' willingness to adopt more "bird-friendly" practices. Our results showed a clear trend toward earlier and more frequent hayfield cuts. Farmers indicated they have little flexibility to alter the timing of their cuts on most of their land. However, many farmers (49%) indicated a willingness to adopt alternative management practices on at least a small portion of their land. Combined with the fact that many farmers characterized parts of their land as "wasteland," or economically unproductive land, this result suggests that some leeway exists for increasing songbird habitat quality on at least portions of dairy farms. Although significant differences existed in the amount of land for which farmers were willing to adopt alternative management based on herd size, acreage, and experience, the directionality of these relationships could not be established except tentatively for herd size, in which case it appeared that farmers with smaller herds were more likely to dedicate a greater percentage of their land to alternative management. The results of this study likely have relevance to dairy farms throughout the northern-tier dairy states. Given the increasing trend for agricultural land to be converted into housing, we recommend that extension and education efforts target farmers with large hayfield acreages, encouraging the maintenance of high-quality habitat for grassland songbirds.
Villa, F.. (2005) Introduction to multi-disciplinary model building. Ecological Economics 53(3) 431-432
Wilson, M. A.; Costanza, R.; Boumans, R.; Liu, S.. (2005) Integrated assessment and valuation of ecosystem goods and services provided by coastal systems.. Royal Irish Academy Press, Dublin, Ireland. Pages 1-24;
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The goods and services provided by coastal systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the earth’s life support systems. They also contribute significantly to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent a significant portion of the total economic value of the global environment. Coastal systems including estuaries, coastal wetlands, river deltas and coastal shelves are particularly rich in ecosystem goods and services. They provide a wide range of highly valued resources including fisheries, open spaces, wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling, and recreational opportunities. In this paper, we present a conceptual framework for the assessment and valuation of goods and services provided by coastal systems. First, we elucidate a formal system based on functional diversity for classifying and valuing coastal ecosystem services, emphasizing that no single ecological or economic methodology can capture the total value of these complex systems. Second, we demonstrate the process of ecosystem service valuation using a series of economic case studies and examples drawn from peer-reviewed literature. We conclude with observations on the future of coastal ecosystem service valuation and its potential role in the science and management of coastal zone resources.
Yelpaala, K.; Ali, S. H.. (2005) Multiple scales of diamond mining in Akwatia, Ghana: addressing environmental and human development impact. Resources Policy 30(3) 145-155
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Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in sub-Saharan Africa, and has experienced a significant increase in national mining production over the last two decades. Between 1983 and 1998, the mining industry brought approximately US $4 billion in foreign direct investment to Ghana. While large-scale gold mining has seen a significant increase, artisanal gold and diamond mining product have grown exponentially. While much research has been conducted on gold mining in Ghana, there is relatively little research on the environmental and human development consequences of diamond mining in the country. Unlike other West African countries such as Sierra Leonne and Liberia, small-scale diamond mining in Ghana has not been linked to conflict but its role in development has also been relatively modest. This paper examines large and small-scale mining in Ghana's largest diamond mining town, Akwatia, and their relative impact on environmental degradation, health, and the livelihood of artisanal miners. We conclude that while an increase in artisanal diamond mining has been a means of employement and income-generation for small-scale miners, there are some human development challenges, related to environmental burden from land degradation and health. GCD is an ailing mining company in Ghana, in desperate need of an injection of capital to keep the mine alive, but botched bidding has slowed the process of de-regulating the company. We also conclude that the de-regulation of GCD may lead to a relatively reduced environmental burden in Akwatia and more revenue for the GCD to invest in the human development needs of communities in the town. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Behm, P.; Boumans, R.; Short, F. T.. (2004) Spatial Modelling of Eelgrass in Great Bay, New Hampshire. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 173-196;
Burgess, N.; D'Amico Hales, J.; Underwood, E.; Dinerstein, E.; Olsen, D.; Schipper, J.; Ricketts, T.; Itoua, I.; Newman, K.. (2004) Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington, D. C.. Pages 544;
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As part of a global effort to identify those areas where conservation measures are needed most urgently, World Wildlife Fund has assembled teams of scientists to conduct ecological assessments of all five continents. Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar is the latest contribution, presenting in a single volume the first comprehensive assessment of biodiversity patterns, threats to biodiversity, and resulting conservation priorities across the African continent and its islands. Looking at biodiversity and threats in terms of biological units rather than political units, the book offers a comprehensive examination of African biodiversity across all biomes and multiple taxonomic groups. In addition to the seven main chapters, the book includes twenty essays by regional experts that provide more depth on key issues, as well as nine detailed appendixes that present summary data used in the analyses, specific analytical methodologies, and a thorough text description for each of Africa's 119 terrestrial ecoregions. Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar provides a blueprint for conservation action and represents an unparalleled guide for investments and activities of conservation agencies and donor organizations.
Burgess, N.; Ricketts, T.; Balmford, A.; Wild, R.. (2004) The 5th World Parks Congress, Durban. 38(1) 1-2
Carlson, B.; Wang, D.; Capen, D.; Thompson, E.. (2004) An evaluation of GIS-derived landscape diversity units to guide landscape-level mapping of natural communities. 12(1) 15-23
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As conservation planning increases in scale from specific sites to entire regions, organisations like The Nature Conservancy face a critical need for GIS-based tools to evaluate landscapes on a regional scale. An existing, field-based approach to analyse the diversity of a landscape is by delineating natural community types, which is a time-intensive process. This study evaluated the utility of using an existing, GIS-derived landscape diversity model as a predictive tool for mapping natural communities on a large (8369 ha) upland forest site in the northern Taconic region of Vermont. The GIS model incorporates four geophysical factors: elevation, bedrock type, surficial deposits, and landform. A significant level (alpha = 0.05) of association between eight pairs of landscape diversity unit (LDU) types and natural community types was found. However, the strength of these associations is low (Cramer's V values ltoreq 0.172), suggesting a poor predictive efficiency of landscape diversity units for natural community types. The results suggest that variables in the LDU model are relevant to natural community distribution, but the LDU model alone is not an effective tool to aid in mapping of natural community types of upland forests in Vermont. Until better landscape-level techniques are developed, the role of this type of model is limited to screening the landscape for areas with a particular set of geophysical characteristics, which can help an ecologist interpret the patterns on the landscape, but cannot substitute for a field-based approach to natural community mapping. (C) 2004 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Chapin, F. S.; Peterson, G.; Berkes, F.; Callaghan, T. V.; Angelstam, P.; Apps, M.; Beier, C.; Bergeron, Y.; Crepin, A. S.; Danell, K.; Elmqvist, T.; Folke, C.; Forbes, B.; Fresco, N.; Juday, G.; Niemela, J.; Shvidenko, A.; Whiteman, G.. (2004) Resilience and vulnerability of northern regions to social and environmental change. Ambio 33(6) 344-349
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The arctic tundra and boreal forest were once considered the last frontiers on earth because of their vast expanses remote from agricultural land-use change and industrial development. These regions are now, however, experiencing environmental and social changes that are as rapid as those occurring anywhere on earth. This paper summarizes the role of northern regions in the global system and provides a blueprint for assessing the factors that govern their sensitivity to social and environmental change.
Costanza, R.; Erickson, J.; Fligger, K.; Adams, A.; Adams, C.; Altschuler, B.; Balter, S.; Fisher, B.; Hike, J.; Kelly, J.; Kerr, T.; McCauley, M.; Montone, K.; Rauch, M.; Schmiedeskamp, K.; Saxton, D.; Sparacino, L.; Tusinski, W.; Williams, L.. (2004) Estimates of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for Vermont, Chittenden County and Burlington, from 1950 to 2000. Ecological Economics 51(1-2) 139-155
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The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a version of the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), is a significantly more comprehensive approach to assessing economic progress than conventional measures like gross domestic product (GDP). GPI adjusts for income distribution effects, the value of household and volunteer work, costs of mobility and pollution, and the depletion of social and natural capital. 1SEW or GPI have been estimated for several countries around the world and a few Canadian provinces, but we report here on the first multi-scale application at the city, county and state levels in Vermont, USA. We show that it is feasible to apply the GPI approach at these smaller scales and to compare across scales and with the national average. Data limitations and problems still exist, but potential solutions to these problems also exist. All three Vermont scales had significantly higher GPI per capita since 1980 than the national average, indicating the major differences that can exist within countries. The GPI per capita for all Vermont scales was similar to the national average in the 1950-1980 period, but more than twice the national average by 2000. The main factors explaining this difference had to do with Vermont's much better environmental performance than the national average in the post-1980 period. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.; Stern, D.; Fisher, B.; He, L. N.; Ma, C. B.. (2004) Influential publications in ecological economics: a citation analysis. Ecological Economics 50(3-4) 261-292
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We assessed the degree of influence of selected papers and books in ecological economics using citation analysis. We looked at both the internal influence of publications on the field of ecological economics and the external influence of those same publications on the broader academic community. We used four lists of papers and books for the analysis: (1) 92 papers nominated by the Ecological Economics (EE) Editorial Board; (2) 71 papers that were published in EE and that received 15 or more citations in all journals included in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Citation Index; (3) 57 papers that had been cited in EE 15 or more times; and (4) 77 monographs and edited books that had been cited in EE 15 or more times. In all, we analyzed 251 unique publications. For each publication, we counted the total number of ISI citations as well as the total number of citations in EE. We calculated the average number of citations per year to each paper since its publication in both the IST database and in EE, along with the percentage of the total ISI citations that were in EE. Ranking the degree of influence of the publications can be done in several ways, including using the number of I SI citations, the number of EE citations or both. We discuss both the internal and external influence of publications and show how these influences might be considered jointly. We display and analyze the results in several ways. By plotting the ISI citations against the EE citations, we can identify those papers that are mainly influential in EE with some broader influence, those that are mainly influential in the broader literature but have also had influence on EE and other patterns of influence. There are both overlaps and interesting lacunae among the four lists that give us a better picture of the real influence of publications in ecological economics vs. perceptions of those publications' importance. By plotting the number of citations vs. dates of publication, we can identify those publications that are projected to be most influential. Plots of the time series of citations over the 1990-2003 period show a generally increasing trend (contrary to what one would expect for an "average" paper) for the top papers. We suggest that this pattern of increasing citations (and thus influence) over time is one hallmark of a "foundational" paper. Data used in the analysis is available for download from the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) web site to allow further analysis by interested readers. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.; Voinov, A.. (2004) Landscape simulation modeling : a spatially explicit, dynamic approach. Springer-Verlag, New York. Pages xiii, 330 p.;
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When managers and ecologists need to make decisions about the environment, they use models to simulate the dynamic systems that interest them. All management decisions affect certain landscapes over time, and those landscapes are composed of intricate webs of dynamic processes that need to be considered in relation to each other. With widespread use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), there is a growing need for complex models corporating an increasing amount of data. The open-source Spatial Modeling Environment (SME) was developed to build upon common modeling software, such as STELLA (R), and Powersim (R), among others, to create, run, analyze, and present spatial models of ecosystems, watersheds, populations, and landscapes. In this book, the creators of the Spatial Modeling Environment discuss and illustrate the uses of SME as a modeling tool for all kinds of complex spatial systems. The authors demonstrate the entire process of spatial modeling, beginning with the conceptual design, continuing through formal implementation and analysis, and finally with the interpretation and presentation of the results. A variety of applications and case studies address particular types of ecological and management problems and help to identify potential problems for modelers. Researchers and students interested in spatial modeling will learn how to simulate the complex dynamics of landscapes. Managers and decision makers will acquire tools for predicting changes in landscapes while learning about both the possibilities and the limitations of simulation models.
Costanza, R.; Voinov, A.. (2004) Spatially Explicit Landscape Simulation Models. Springer New York, New York, NY. Pages 3-20;
Daly, H.; Farley, J.. (2004) Ecological economics: principles and applications. Island Press, Washington, D.C..
Ferreira, D.; Suslick, S.; Farley, J.; Costanza, R.; Krivov, S.. (2004) A decision model for financial assurance instruments in the upstream petroleum sector. Energy Policy 32(10) 1173-1184
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The main objective of this paper is to deepen the discussion regarding the application of financial assurance instruments, bonds, in the upstream oil sector. This paper will also attempt to explain the current choice of instruments within the sector. The concepts of environmental damages and internalization of environmental and regulatory costs will be briefly explored. Bonding mechanisms are presently being adopted by several governments with the objective of guaranteeing the availability of funds for end-of-leasing operations. Regulators are mainly concerned with the prospect of inheriting liabilities from lessees. Several forms of bonding instruments currently available were identified and a new instrument classification was proposed. Ten commonly used instruments were selected and analyzed under the perspective of both regulators and industry (surety, paid-in and periodic-payment collateral accounts, letters of credit, self-guaran tees, investment grade securities, real estate collaterals, insurance policies, pools, and special funds). A multiattribute value function model was then proposed to examine current instrument preferences. Preliminary simulations confirm the current scenario where regulators are likely to require surety bonds, letters of credit, and periodic payment collateral account tools. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fitz, C.; Sklar, F.; Waring, T.; Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Maxwell, T.. (2004) Development and Application of the Everglades Landscape Model. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 143-171;
Harrison, D. M.; Noordewier, T. G.; Yavas, A.. (2004) Do riskier borrowers borrow more?. 32(3) 385-411
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Conventional wisdom in the mortgage industry holds that loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are positively correlated with mortgage default rates. However, not all empirical studies of mortgage loan performance support this view. This paper offers a theoretical signaling model of why the correlation between LTV ratios and default risk is contingent upon the default costs of the borrower. Specifically, the model proposes that when default costs are high there exists a separating equilibrium in which risky borrowers will self-select into lower LTV loans to reduce the probability of facing a costly default, while safe borrowers will self-select into higher LTV loans as a signal of their enhanced creditworthiness. This adverse selection process gives rise to the possibility of higher default probabilities for lower LTV loans. Conversely, when default costs are low the conventional result, in which risky borrowers select higher LTV loans than safe borrowers, is obtained. Empirical results, based on a sample of 859 single-family residential mortgage loans drawn from the portfolio of a national mortgage lender, are consistent with the separating equilibria predicted by the model.
Herendeen, R. A.; Hill, W. R.. (2004) Growth dilution in multilevel food chains. 178(3-4) 349-356
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Microalgae can absorb contaminants from the aqueous environment, and harvesting microalgae has been proposed as a method to purify water. However, rapid growth of microalgae (stimulated by increased light, for example) results in lowered tissue concentration of contaminant. This reduction has been observed to propagate to herbivores. Here we investigate (with simulation and supporting analytical argument) the propagation of growth dilution in all trophic levels of a food chain. We are concerned with concentration as well as overall mass of contaminant in each level, for different functional relationships between levels. We find that transient (i.e., prompt) growth dilution occurs for all levels. However, the new steady state concentrations can increase or decrease, depending on functional relationships (e.g., ratio versus prey dependence). These results, which have implications for pollution control, call for experimental testing. (C) 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Herendeen, R. A.. (2004) Bottom-up and top-down effects in food chains depend on functional dependence: an explicit framework. 171(1-2) 21-33
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Observed stock changes in perturbed ecosystems sometimes, but not always, are smaller than predicted by the trophic cascade hypothesis. These varying outcomes can be explained by (1) using detailed analysis of trophic-level interactions within the standard energy-based linear food-chain model, or (2) invoking web models and/or non-energy interactions between organisms. Previously I developed an analytic approach for the linear chain for a press-type perturbation and applied it to ratio-dependent functional relationships. Here I extend the linear chain analysis to a more general functional relationship which allows independent variation of prey dependence and intra-level interference. I find that different combinations of prey dependence and interference lead to large or small cascading effects. Generally, large top-down effects require weak interference, while large bottom-up effects require both weak interference and strong prey dependence. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Herendeen, R. A.. (2004) Dynamic trophic cascade. 177(1-2) 129-142
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In a previous article, I developed, and demonstrated with simulations, an analytical approach for predicting and analyzing effects of press (step-function) perturbations on food chains [Ecol. Model. 171 (2004) 21]. The method allows explicit variation of the functional dependence connecting trophic levels. Here I extend that analysis to perturbations sinusoidal in time. The sinusoid partially bridges the gap between the idealized press-type experiment (which assumes initial and final steady states, but is doubtful experimentally) and a totally dynamic situation (which is daunting analytically but closer to reality). I find that the effect of a sinusoidal perturbation is to multiply the previous press result by a factor that diminishes both up and down the food chain. The factor depends on perturbing frequency approximately as 1/(1+(omegatau(i))(2))(1/2), where tau(i) is the characteristic time of affected level i. This frequency-dependent diminution is another potential reason why bottom-up and top-down cascade effects are hard to detect. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Herendeen, R. A.. (2004) Energy analysis and EMERGY analysis - a comparison. 178(1-2) 227-237
Herendeen, R. A.. (2004) Personal energy impact of attending a professional meeting. 29(1) 13-17
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At a four-day energy workshop in Italy in September, 2002, 44 attendees, about half of the total, completed a questionnaire covering their travel (mode, distance) and monetary expenditures. These have been converted to direct and indirect energy requirements. Average total energy per respondent was 2.9 barrels of oil equivalent, of which 91% resulted from round trip travel of 6100 km. For comparison, global average annual per capita energy consumption is 12 barrels of oil equivalent. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Higgins, J. V.; Ricketts, T. H.; Parrish, J. D.; Dinerstein, E.; Powell, G.; Palminteri, S.; Hoekstra, J. M.; Morrison, J.; Tomasek, A.; Adams, J.. (2004) Beyond Noah: Saving species is not enough. 18(6) 1672-1673
Imhoff, M. L.; Bounoua, L.; DeFries, R.; Lawrence, W. T.; Stutzer, D.; Tucker, C. J.; Ricketts, T.. (2004) The consequences of urban land transformation on net primary productivity in the United States. Remote Sensing of Environment 89(4) 434-443
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We use data from two satellites and a terrestrial carbon model to quantify the impact of urbanization on the carbon cycle and food production in the US as a result of reduced net primary productivity (NPP). Our results show that urbanization is taking place on the most fertile lands and hence has a disproportionately large overall negative impact on NPP. Urban land transformation in the US has reduced the amount of carbon fixed through photosynthesis by 0.04 pg per year or 1.6% of the pre-urban input. The reduction is enough to offset the 1.8% gain made by the conversion of land to agricultural use, even though urbanization covers an area less than 3% of the land surface in the US and agricultural lands approach 29% of the total land area. At local and regional scales, urbanization increases NPP in resource-limited regions and through localized warming "urban heat" contributes to the extension of the growing season in cold regions. In terms of biologically available energy, the loss of NPP due to urbanization of agricultural lands alone is equivalent to the caloric requirement of 16.5 million people, or about 6% of the US population. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Imhoff, M. L.; Bounoua, L.; Ricketts, T.; Loucks, C.; Harriss, R.; Lawrence, W. T.. (2004) Global patterns in human consumption of net primary production. Nature 429(6994) 870-873
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The human population and its consumption profoundly affect the Earth's ecosystems(1,2). A particularly compelling measure of humanity's cumulative impact is the fraction of the planet's net primary production that we appropriate for our own use(3,4). Net primary production-the net amount of solar energy converted to plant organic matter through photosynthesis-can be measured in units of elemental carbon and represents the primary food energy source for the world's ecosystems. Human appropriation of net primary production, apart from leaving less for other species to use, alters the composition of the atmosphere(5), levels of biodiversity(6), energy flows within food webs(7) and the provision of important ecosystem services(8). Here we present a global map showing the amount of net primary production required by humans and compare it to the total amount generated on the landscape. We then derive a spatial balance sheet of net primary production 'supply' and 'demand' for the world. We show that human appropriation of net primary production varies spatially from almost zero to many times the local primary production. These analyses reveal the uneven footprint of human consumption and related environmental impacts, indicate the degree to which human populations depend on net primary production 'imports' and suggest policy options for slowing future growth of human appropriation of net primary production.
Keeton, W. S.; Franklin, J. F.. (2004) Fire-related landform associations of remnant old-growth trees in the southern Washington Cascade Range. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere 34(11) 2371-2381
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The spatial distribution of biological legacies left by natural disturbances is an important source of variability in forest development. We investigated one type of biological legacy: remnant old-growth trees persisting in mature Douglas-fir forests. We hypothesized that persistence varies with topographic heterogeneity influencing fire behavior. Our two study areas are located in the southern Washington Cascade Range, USA. They have an unfragmented, mature forest cover that regenerated following wildfire. We mapped all remnant old-growth trees (live and dead) within 4.2-6.4 km long belt transects. Digital elevation models were used to generate convergent and divergent landform classes. Frequency analysis was used to test for landform associations. Live remnant western hemlock and western redcedar were strongly associated with convergent landforms and aspects that had greater availability of soil moisture. Live remnant Douglas-fir were most abundant, but were not correlated with convergence or divergence, although certain landforms had higher concentrations. Remnant snags were abundant across convergent and divergent landforms. We conclude that species with low fire resistance survive most frequently on landforms that have a dampening effect on fire intensity. Topographic variability may indirectly influence ecological functions associated with biological legacies by affecting the spatial distributions of remnant old-growth trees.
Luck, G. W.; Ricketts, T. H.; Daily, G. C.; Imhoff, M.. (2004) Alleviating spatial conflict between people and biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101(1) 182-186
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Human settlements are expanding in species-rich regions and pose a serious threat to biodiversity conservation. We quantify the degree to which this threat manifests itself in two contrasting continents, Australia and North America, and suggest how it can be substantially alleviated. Human population density has a strong positive correlation with species richness in Australia for birds, mammals, amphibians, and butterflies (but not reptiles) and in North America for all five taxa. Nevertheless, conservation investments could secure locations that harbor almost all species while greatly reducing overlap with densely populated regions. We compared two conservation-planning scenarios that each aimed to represent all species at least once in a minimum set of sampling sites. The first scenario assigned equal cost to each site (ignoring differences in human population density); the second assigned a cost proportional to the site's human population density. Under the equal-cost scenario, 13-40% of selected sites occurred where population density values were highest (in the top decile). However, this overlap was reduced to as low as 0%, and in almost all cases to < 10%, under the population-cost scenario, when sites of high population density were avoided where possible. Moreover, this reduction of overlap was achieved with only small increases in the total amount of area requiring protection. As densely populated regions continue to expand rapidly and drive up land values, the strategic conservation investments of the kind highlighted in our analysis are best made now.
Maxwell, T.; Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.. (2004) Spatial Simulation Using the SME. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 21-42;
Palumbi, S. R.; Roman, J.. (2004) Counting whales in the North Atlantic - Response. Science 303(5654) 40-40
Paquette, C. H.; Sundberg, K. L.; Boumans, R. M. J.; Chmura, G. L.. (2004) Changes in Saltmarsh Surface Elevation Due to Variability in Evapotranspiration and Tidal Flooding. 27(1) 82-89
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We examine the potential for diurnal variation in elevation of saltmarsh surfaces as a source of error in long-term experiments; errors particularly critical in high precision studies that employ the surface elevation table (SET) as a means to monitor elevations. The field study was carried out along the New Brunswick coast of the Bay of Fundy in high and low zones at three marshes with different tidal ranges. We used a total of 16 benchmark pipes and controlled for daily variability in evapotranspiration (ET), as well as timing of tidal flooding, two factors that affect soil water storage, and consequently soil volume. In six of nine trials we detected significant elevation change over periods as short as 5 d. Marsh-wide averages ranged from 1.2 to 3.0 mm, greater than the yearly increase in relative sea level in many regions. Wood Point marsh had the highest tidal range, but lowest soil organic matter content, giving its soils the lowest compressibility and little sensitivity to ET during two of three trials; the average change in elevation in Wood Point high marsh stations was 4.0 mm during the last trial. Greater differences later in the growing season (while temperature changes were minor) at Wood Point and another site suggest that plant transpiration drove changes in water storage at those sites. Significantly greater differences in elevation with lower plant cover in the third marsh suggests that evaporation drove changes in water storage there. Surface elevation change due to ET should be of greatest concern to SET users in temperate regions where there are large changes in plant biomass and variable temperatures. Variation due to plant transpiration could be reduced if yearly monitoring is scheduled before the start of the growing season.
Ricketts, T. H.; Daily, G. C.; Ehrlich, P. R.; Michener, C. D.. (2004) Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101(34) 12579-12582
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Can economic forces be harnessed for biodiversity conservation? The answer hinges on characterizing the value of nature, a tricky business from biophysical, socioeconomic, and ethical perspectives. Although the societal benefits of native ecosystems are clearly immense,they remain largely unquantified for all but a few services. Here, we estimate the value of tropical forest in supplying pollination services to agriculture. We focus on coffee because it is one of the world's most valuable export commodities and is grown in many of the world's most biodiverse regions. Using pollination experiments along replicated distance gradients, we found that forest-based pollinators increased coffee yields by 20% within approximate to1 km of forest. Pollination also improved coffee quality near forest by reducing the frequency of "peaberries" (i.e., small misshapen seeds) by 27%. During 2000-2003, pollination services from two forest fragments (46 and 111 hectares) translated into approximate to$60,000 (U.S.) per year for one Costa Rican farm. This value is commensurate with expected revenues from competing land uses and far exceeds current conservation incentive payments. Conservation investments in human-dominated landscapes can therefore yield double benefits: for biodiversity and agriculture.
Ricketts, T. H.. (2004) Tropical forest fragments enhance pollinator activity in nearby coffee crops. 18(5) 1262-1271
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Crop pollination by wild bees is an ecosystem service of enormous value, but it is under increasing threat from agricultural intensification. As with many ecosystem services, the mechanisms, scales, and species through which crop pollination is provided are too poorly understood to inform land-use decisions. I investigated the role of tropical forest remnants as sources of pollinators to surrounding coffee crops in Costa Rica. In 2001 and 2002 I observed bee activity and pollen deposition rates at coffee flowers along distance gradients from two fragments and one narrow riparian strip of forest. Eleven eusocial species were the most common visitors: 10 species of native meliponines and the introduced honeybee, Apis mellifera (hereafter Apis). Bee richness, overall visitation rate, and pollen deposition rate were all significantly higher in sites within approximately 100 m of forest fragments than in sites farther away (maximum distance of 1.6 km). Apis visitation rates were constant across the distance gradient, however, and Apis accounted for >90% of all floral visits in distant sites. The gradient from the riparian strip showed a similar drop in bee species richness with distance, but visitation rates were uniformly low along the gradient. Throughout the study area, Apis abundances declined sharply from 2001 to 2002, reducing visitation rates by over 50% in distant sites (where Apis was almost the only pollinator). In near sites, however, overall visitation rates dropped only 9% because native species almost entirely compensated for the Apis decline. Forest fragments (more so than the riparian strip) thus provided nearby coffee with a diversity of bees that increased both the amount and stability of pollination services by reducing dependence on a single introduced pollinator. Exploring the economic links between forest preservation and coffee cultivation may help align the goals of conservation and agriculture within many regions of global conservation priority.
Roman, J.; Palumbi, S. R.. (2004) A global invader at home: population structure of the green crab, Carcinus maenas, in Europe. 13(10) 2891-2898
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The European green crab, Carcinus maenas, has a native distribution that extends from Norway to Mauritania. It has attracted attention because of its recent invasions of Australia, Tasmania, South Africa, Japan and both coasts of North America. To examine the population structure of this global invader in its native range, we analysed a 502-base-pair fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene from 217 crabs collected in the North Atlantic and 13 specimens from the Mediterranean. A clear genetic break (11% sequence divergence) occurs between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, supporting the species-level status of these two forms. Populations in the Faeroe Islands and Iceland were genetically distinct from continental populations (F-ST = 0.264-0.678), with Iceland represented by a single lineage also found in the Faeroes. This break is consistent with a deep-water barrier to dispersal in green crabs. Although there are relatively high levels of gene flow along the Atlantic coast of Europe, slight population structure was found between the central North Sea and populations to the south. Analysis of variance, multidimensional scaling, and the distribution of private haplotypes support this break, located between Bremerhaven, Germany, and Hoek van Holland. Similar biogeographical and genetic associations for other species, such as benthic algae and freshwater eels, suggest that the marine fauna of Europe may be generally subdivided into the areas of Mediterranean, western Europe and northern Europe.
Seppelt, R.; Voinov, A.. (2004) Landscape Optimization: Applications of a Spatial Ecosystem Model. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 301-326;
Villa, F.; Voinov, A.; Fitz, C.; Costanza, R.. (2004) Calibration of Large Spatial Models: A Multistage, Multiobjective Optimization Technique. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 77-116;
Voinov, A.; Bromley, L.; Kirk, E.; Korchak, A.; Farley, J.; Moiseenko, T.; Krasovskaya, T.; Makarova, Z.; Megorski, V.; Selin, V.; Kharitonova, G.; Edson, R.. (2004) Understanding human and ecosystem dynamics in the Kola Arctic: A participatory integrated study. 57(4) 375-388
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The Lake Imandra watershed is located in one of the most developed regions in the Arctic-the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Approximately 300 000 people live on the roughly 27 000 km(2) watershed, making it one of the most densely populated areas of the Arctic. Most of the people are involved in large-scale mineral extraction and processing and the infrastructure needed to support this industry. This paper reports the results of a pilot project staged for the Lake Imandra watershed that has put human dynamics within the framework of ecosystem change to integrate available information and formulate conceptual models of likely future scenarios. The observation period is one of both rapid economic growth and human expansion, with an overall economic decline in the past decade. We are applying the Participatory Integrated Assessment (PIA) approach to integrate information, identify information gaps, generate likely future scenarios, and link scientific findings to the decision-making process. We found an increasingly vulnerable human population in varying states of awareness about their local environment and fully cognizant of their economic troubles, with many determined to attempt maintenance of relatively high population densities in the near future even as many residents of northern Russia migrate south. A series of workshops have involved the citizens and local decision makers in an attempt to tap their knowledge of the region and to increase their awareness about the linkages between the socioeconomic and ecological components.
Voinov, A.; Costanza, R.; Boumans, R.; Maxwell, T.; Voinov, H.. (2004) The Patuxent Landscape Model: Integrated Modeling of a Watershed. Springe-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 197-232;
Voinov, A.; Fitz, C.; Boumans, R.; Costanza, R.. (2004) Modular Ecosystem Modeling. Environmental Modelling & Software 19(3) 285-304
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The Library of Hydro-Ecological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM) was designed to create flexible landscape model structures that can be easily modified and extended to suit the requirements of a variety of goals and case studies. The LHEM includes modules that simulate hydrologic processes, nutrient cycling, vegetation growth, decomposition, and other processes, both locally and spatially. Where possible the modules are formulated as STELLA(R) models, which adds to transparency and helps reuse. Spatial transport processes are presented as C++ code. The modular approach takes advantage of the spatial modeling environment (http://giee.uvm.edu/SME3) that allows integration of various STELLA models and C++ user code, and embeds local simulation models into a spatial context. Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent landscape model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. Local ecosystem dynamics were replicated across a grid of cells that compose the rasterized landscape. Different habitats and land use types translate into different modules and parameter sets. Spatial hydrologic modules link the cells together. These are also part of the LHEM and define horizontal fluxes of material and information. This approach provides additional flexibility in scaling up and down over a range of spatial resolutions. Model results show good agreement with data for several components of the model at several scales. Other applications include several subwatersheds of the Patuxent, the Gwynns Falls watershed in Baltimore, and others. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Voinov, A.; Fitz, C.; Boumans, R.M. J.; Costanza, R.. (2004) Modular Ecosystem Modeling. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. Pages 43-76;
Windhausen, L. J.; Braun, D. C.; Wang, D.. (2004) A Landscape Scale Evaluation Of Phosphorus Retention In Wetlands Of The Laplatte River Basin, Vermont, USA. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, NY. Pages 217-235;
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We used a landscape scale approach to examine phosphorus retention in wetlands of the LaPlatte River basin (13,723 ha), Vermont. Total phosphorus (TP) export from 15 study catchments (149-1,396 ha) was measured on 18 dates, representing a range in seasons and hydrologic conditions. Multiple regression models were developed to relate TP export to 14 possible explanatory variables based on land cover/use, quantified using a geographic information system. Most wetland variables had significant (p < 0.10) negative relationships with TP export on at least 1 date. These relationships were strongest on 2 spring snowmelt events, when 31% of the annual TP export from the LaPlatte River basin occurred. Overall, the percentage of nonagricultural poorly and very poorly drained soils was the best representation of phosphorus sinks in the study catchments. Identifying lands with poorly drained soils and no known sources of phosphorus may be a more functional and simpler method of delineating P sinks in the landscape than identifying wetlands using jurisdictional definitions.
Alcamo, J.; Ash, N. J.; Butler, C. D.; Callicott, J. B.; Capistrano, D.; Carpenter, S.; Castilla, J. C.; Chambers, R.; Chopra, K.; Cropper, A.; Daily, G. C.; Dasgupta, P.; de Groot, R.; Deitz, T.; Duraiappah, A. K.; Gadgil, M.; Hamilton, K.; Hassan, R.; Lambin, E. F.; Lebel, L.; Leemans, R.; Jiyuan, L.; Malingreau, J. P.; May, R. M.; McCalla, A. F.; McMichael, A. J.; Moldan, B.; Mooney, H. A.; Naeem, S.; Nelson, G. C.; Wen-Yuan, N.; Noble, I.; Zhiyun, O.; Pagiola, S.; Pauly, D.; Percy, S.; Pingali, P.; Prescott-Allen, R.; Reid, W. V.; Ricketts, T. H.; Samper, C.; Scholes, R.; Simons, H.; Toth, F. L.; Turpie, J. K.; Watson, R. T.; Wilbanks, T. J.; Williams, M.; Wood, S.; Shidong, Z.; Zurek, M. B.. (2003) Ecosystems and human well-being: A framework for assessment. Island Press, Washington, D. C.. Pages 245;
Binder, C.; Boumans, R. M.; Costanza, R.. (2003) Applying the Patuxent Landscape Unit Model to human dominated ecosystems: the case of agriculture. 159(2-3) 161-177
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Non-spatial dynamics are core to landscape simulations. Unit models simulate system interactions aggregated within one space unit of resolution used within a spatial model. For unit models to be applicable to spatial simulations they have to be formulated in a general enough way to simulate all habitat elements within the landscape. Within the Patuxent River watershed, human dominated land uses, such as agriculture and urban land, are already 50% of the current land use, while urban land is replacing forests. agriculture and wetlands at a rapid rate. The Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) with the Patuxent General Unit Model as core (Pat-GEM) was developed as a predictive policy tool to estimate environmental impacts of such land use changes. The Pat-GEM is based on the General Ecosystem Model (GEM) developed by [Ecol. Modelling 88 1996 263]. Previous calibrations of the Pat-GEM for anthropogenic land uses have not been satisfactory due to the scarcity of appropriate data. This paper shows Pat-GEM simulations of biomass growth and nutrient uptake for crops typical within the Patuxent watershed. The Pat-GEM was expanded to include processes and fluxes that characterize agricultural land use. The most important extension was to include crop rotation into the model. Additionally, we refined the processes for planting, harvesting and fertilization by introducing specific growth parameters, Our revised Pat-GEM was calibrated against the results from Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC) a widely used and calibrated agricultural model. We achieved high correlation between results generated with Pat-GEM and EPIC. The correlation coefficients (r(2)) varied between 0.87 and 0.98, with the simulation results for winter wheat showing the lowest correlation coefficients. Intercalibration using EPIC is a powerful method for calibrating the Pat-GEM model for agricultural land use. EPIC was able (a) to provide about 30% of the input data required for running the Pat-GEM model, and (b) to provide time series output data (with a daily time step) to calibrate the output variables biomass production and nutrient uptake. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.. (2003) A vision of the future of science: reintegrating the study of humans and the rest of nature. 35(6) 651-671
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This paper presents a vision of a desired future of science. In this vision, the future will bring the reintegration of the study of humans and the rest of nature. The barriers between the traditional disciplines will dissolve and a true 'consilience' of all the sciences and humanities will occur. This consilient transdisciplinary science will emerge from a rebalancing of analysis and synthesis, a recognition of the central role of envisioning in science, a pragmatic philosophy built on complex systems theory and modeling, a multiscale approach, and a consistent theory of cultural and biological co-evolution. It will allow us to build a world that is both sustainable and desirable and that recognizes our fundamental partnership with the rest of nature. It is a world that we must first imagine in order to achieve. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Costanza, R.. (2003) Social goals and the valuation of natural capital. 86(1-2) 19-28
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Valuation ultimately refers to the contribution of an item to meeting a specific goal or objective. Conventional economic valuation is based on the goal of allocative efficiency. But other social goals may be equally, if not more, important. For example, the goals of social fairness and ecological sustainability have been identified as being at least of the same level of importance as allocative efficiency. This paper looks at the role of social goals in determining the basis for valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services, and sketches the characteristics of a system of valuation that would give equal weight to all three of the major social goals mentioned above. It also places these goals within a more comprehensive conceptual model of the economy and its relationship to the ecological life support system in which it is embedded.
Czech, B.; Allen, E.; Batker, D.; Beier, P.; Daly, H.; Erickson, J.; Garrettson, P.; Geist, V.; Gowdy, J.; Greenwalt, L.; Hands, H.; Krausman, P.; Magee, P.; Miller, C.; Novak, K.; Pullis, G.; Robinson, C.; Santa-Barbara, J.; Teer, J.; Trauger, D.; Willer, C.. (2003) The iron triangle: why The Wildlife Society needs to take a position on economic growth. 31(2) 574-577
Decker, K. L.; Wang, D.; Waite, C.; Scherbatskoy, T.. (2003) Snow removal and ambient air temperature effects on forest soil temperatures in northern Vermont.. 67 1234-1243
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We measured deciduous forest soil temperatures under control (unmanipulated) and snow-free (where snow is manually removed) conditions for four winters (at three soil depths) to determine effects of a snow cover reduction such as may occur as a result of climate change on Vermont forest soils. The four winters we studied were characterized as: 'cold and snowy', 'warm with low snow', 'cold with low snow', and 'cool with low snow'. Snow-free soils were colder than controls at 5- and 15-cm depth for all years, and at all depths in the two cold winters. Soil thermal variability generally decreased with both increased snow cover and soil depth. The effect of snow cover on soil freeze-thaw events was highly dependent on both the depth of snow and the soil temperature. Snow kept the soil warm and reduced soil temperature variability, but often this caused soil to remain near 0ºC, resulting in more freeze-thaw events under snow at one or more soil depths. During the 'cold snowy' wnter, soils under snow had daily averages consistently >0ºC, whereas snow-free soil temperatures commonly dropped below -3ºC. During the 'warm' year, temperatures of soil under snow were often lower than those of snow-free soils. The warmer winter resulted in less snow cover to insulate soild from freezing in the biologically active top cm. The possible consequences of increased soil freezing include more root mortatlity and nutrient loss, which would potentially alter ecosystem dynamics, decrease productivity of some tree species, and increase sugar maple (
Herendeen, R. A.. (2003) A push in the right direction. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1(7) 350-350
Herendeen, R. A.. (2003) With a little help from facilitators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1(4) 178-178
Kobos, P. H.; Erickson, J. D.; Drennen, T. E.. (2003) Scenario analysis of Chinese passenger vehicle growth. 21(2) 200-217
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This article reports on a simulation and scenario analysis of Chinese passenger vehicle growth and resulting energy demand and CO2 emissions, Pie model includes provincial level logistic, growth functions with saturation levels representative of neighboring Asian economies, income growth measured in international dollars, and both estimated and literature-based income elasticities. Scenarios explore variation in key, parameters, including income and population growth rates, elasticity income ranges fuel economy, and vehicle saturation. Countrywide base case results estimate growth from 4.22 to 54.33 passenger vehicles per thousand people from 1995 to 2025, Resulting passenger vehicle oil demands and CO2 emissions increase nearly 17-fold.
Mote, P. W.; Parson, E.; Hamlet, A. F.; Keeton, W. S.; Lettenmaier, D.; Mantua, N.; Miles, E. L.; Peterson, D.; Peterson, D. L.; Slaughter, R.; Snover, A. K.. (2003) Preparing for climatic change: The water, salmon, and forests of the Pacific Northwest. Climatic Change 61(1-2) 45-88
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The impacts of year-to-year and decade-to-decade climatic variations on some of the Pacific Northwest's key natural resources can be quantified to estimate sensitivity to regional climatic changes expected as part of anthropogenic global climatic change. Warmer, drier years, often associated with El Nino events and/or the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, tend to be associated with below-average snowpack, streamflow, and flood risk, below-average salmon survival, below-average forest growth, and above-average risk of forest fire. During the 20th century, the region experienced a warming of 0.8degreesC. Using output from eight climate models, we project a further warming of 0.5-2.5degreesC (central estimate 1.5degreesC) by the 2020s, 1.5-3.2degreesC (2.3degreesC) by the 2040s, and an increase in precipitation except in summer. The foremost impact of a warming climate will be the reduction of regional snowpack, which presently supplies water for ecosystems and human uses during the dry summers. Our understanding of past climate also illustrates the responses of human management systems to climatic stresses, and suggests that a warming of the rate projected would pose significant challenges to the management of natural resources. Resource managers and planners currently have few plans for adapting to or mitigating the ecological and economic effects of climatic change.
Neibur, C. S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Guinness, E. A.; Galford, G. L.. (2003) Lower Missouri River Flood Plain At Arrow Rock Before and After the Great Floods of 1993. Missouri Botanical Gardens Press, St. Louis, Missouri. Pages 278;
Niebur, C. S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Guinness, E. A.; Galford, G. L.. (2003) Lower Missouri River floodplain at arrow rock before and after the great floods of 1993. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO. Pages 115-134;
Ricketts, T.; Imhoff, M.. (2003) Biodiversity, urban areas, and agriculture: Locating priority ecoregions for conservation. 8(2)
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Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species) with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four "priority sets" of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number) where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so) as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.
Roman, J.; Palumbi, S. R.. (2003) Whales before whaling in the North Atlantic. Science 301(5632) 508-510
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It is well known that hunting dramatically reduced all baleen whale populations, yet reliable estimates of former whale abundances are elusive. Based on coalescent models for mitochondrial DNA sequence variation, the genetic diversity of North Atlantic whales suggests population sizes of approximately 240,000 humpback, 360,000 fin, and 265,000 minke whales. Estimates for fin and humpback whales are far greater than those previously calculated for prewhaling populations and 6 to 20 times higher than present-day population estimates. Such discrepancies suggest the need for a quantitative reevaluation of historical whale populations and a fundamental revision in our conception of the natural state of the oceans.
Rosenzweig, M. L.; Turner, W. R.; Cox, J. G.; Ricketts, T. H.. (2003) Estimating diversity in unsampled habitats of a biogeographical province. 17(3) 864-874
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Estimating the number of species in a biogeographical province can be problematic. A number of methods have been developed to overcome sample-size limits within a single habitat. We evaluated six of these methods to see whether they could also compensate for incomplete habitat samples. We applied them to the butterfly species of the 110 ecoregions of Canada and the United States. Two of the methods use the frequency of species that occur in a few of the sampled ecoregions. These two methods did not work. The other four methods estimate the asymptote of the species-accumulation curve (the graph of "number of species in a set of samples" versus "number of species occurrences in those samples"). The asymptote of this curve is the actual number of species in the system. Three of these extrapolation estimators produced good estimates of total diversity even when limited to 10% of the ecoregions. Good estimates depend on sampling ecoregions that are hyperdispersed in space. Clustered sampling designs ruin the usefulness of the three successful methods. To ascertain their generality, our results must be duplicated at other scales and for other taxa and in other provinces.
Todd, J.; Brown, E. J. G.; Wells, E.. (2003) Ecological design applied. Ecological Engineering 20(5) 421-440
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Over the past three decades ecological design has been applied to an increasingly diverse range of technologies and innovative solutions for the management of resources. Ecological technologies have been created for the food sector, waste conversion industries, architecture and landscape design, and to the field of environmental protection and restoration. The five case studies presented here represent applications of ecological design in five areas: sewage treatment, the restoration of a polluted body of water, the treatment of high strength industrial waste in lagoons, the integration of ecological systems with architecture, and an agriculturally based Eco-Park. Case #1 is an Advanced Ecologically Engineered System (AEES) for the treatment of sewage in Vermont, a cold climate. The facility treated 300 m(3) per day (79,250 gallons per day) of sewage to advanced or tertiary wastewater standards, including during the winter months. A number of commercial byproducts were developed as part of the treatment process. Case #2 involved the treatment of a pond contaminated with 295 m(3) per day (77,930 gallons per day) of toxic leachate from an adjacent landfill. A floating Restorer was built to treat the polluted pond. The Restorer was powered by wind and solar based energy sources. Over the past decade the pond has improved. There has been a positive oxygen regime throughout the water column, bottom sediments have been digested and the quality of the sediment chemistry has improved. The biodiversity of the macrobenthos of the pond has increased as a result of the improved conditions. Case #3 involved the treatment of 37,850 m 3 per day (I million gallons per day) of high strength waste from a poultry processing plant utilizing a dozen AEES Restorers. The technology has resulted in a 74% drop in energy requirements for treatment and has dramatically reduced the need for sludge removal. Currently, sludge degradation is proceeding faster than sludge accumulation. Case #4 includes several examples of buildings that utilize ecologically engineered systems to treat, recycle and permit the reuse of wastewater. The new Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College is a recent example of this trend. Case #5 describes the work that is leading to the creation of an urban, agriculturally based, Eco-Park in Burlington, Vermont. Waste heat from a nearby power station will provide year round climate control in a structure developed for food processing businesses, including a brewery, and for the onsite growth of diverse foods in integrated systems. We also describe a project to amplify the value of waste organic materials through biological conversion to high value products such as fish, flowers, mushrooms, soils amendments, and livestock and fish feeds. An ecologically designed fish culture facility will be an integral part of the Eco-Park complex. The project is intended to demonstrate the economic viability of integrative design in an urban setting and to address the important issue of locally based food production. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wollenberg, E. K.. (2003) Boundary keeping and access to gaharu among Kenyah forest users. 35(6) 1007-1023
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As people living near forests in many parts of the world receive recognition of resource-management rights, questions arise about where forest boundaries should be set and who should legitimately receive these rights. Drawing on research conducted among forest-dwelling Kenyah communities in Kalimantan, Indonesia, during 1995 to 1998, I show that the realization of resource rights must be understood in the social context of how boundaries are interpreted and negotiated. Access to and control over forest resources is as much a matter of boundary keeping as of boundary setting. The analysis shows that boundary keepers assessed whether someone should be given access based on the potential user's entitlement, identity, and the potential for exchange. Understanding the 'fuzziness' of how seemingly clear boundary rules are applied should provide a more realistic picture of how groups gain and control access to resources in practice.
Wright, E. L.; Erickson, J. D.. (2003) Incorporating catastrophes into integrated assessment: Science, impacts, and adaptation. Climatic Change 57(3) 265-286
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Incorporating potential catastrophic consequences into integrated assessment models of climate change has been a top priority of policymakers and modelers alike. We review the current state of scientific understanding regarding three frequently mentioned geophysical catastrophes, with a view toward their implications for integrated assessment modeling. This review finds inadequacies in widespread model assumptions regarding the nature of catastrophes themselves and climate change impacts more generally. The possibility of greatly postponed consequences from near- and medium-term actions suggests that standard discounting practices are inappropriate for the analysis of climate catastrophe. Careful consideration of paleoclimate and geophysical modeling evidence regarding the possibility of changes in ocean circulation suggests a reframing of the source of climate change damages in economic models, placing changes in climate predictability, rather than gradual changes in mean values, at the focus of economic damage assessments. The implications of decreases in predictability for the modeling of adaptation are further discussed.
Balmford, A.; Bruner, A.; Cooper, P.; Costanza, R.; Farber, S.; Green, R. E.; Jenkins, M.; Jefferiss, P.; Jessamy, V.; Madden, J.; Munro, K.; Myers, N.; Naeem, S.; Paavola, J.; Rayment, M.; Rosendo, S.; Roughgarden, J.; Trumper, K.; Turner, R. K.. (2002) Ecology - Economic reasons for conserving wild nature. Science 297(5583) 950-953
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On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it is timely to assess progress over the 10 years since its predecessor in Rio de Janeiro. Loss and degradation of remaining natural habitats has continued largely unabated. However, evidence has been accumulating that such systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest exceed those obtained from continued habitat conversion. We estimate that the overall benefit:cost ratio of an effective global program for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1.
Behm, P. M.; Boumans, R.M. J.. (2002) Modeling eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) distributions in Great Bay, New Hampshire. Springer, New York, NY. Pages 164-190;
Bormann, B. T.; Keller, C. K.; Wang, D.; Bormann, F. H.. (2002) Lessons from the sandbox: Is unexplained nitrogen real?. 5(8) 727-733
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In their review of 24 studies of forest nitrogen (N) budgets, Binkley and others (2000) found that only one of them supported the conclusion that an N accumulation of more than 25 kg N ha(-1) y(-1) is possible without known symbiotic N-2-fixing plants. They contended that, given how well the N cycle is known, new N accumulation pathways are unlikely. They also concluded that the Hubbard Brook sandbox study (Bormann and others 1993) was insufficiently replicated and had low precision in vegetation and soil estimates. Here we reevaluate and extend the sandbox analysis and place the findings in a broader context. Using multiple methods of estimating vegetation N accumulation in pine sandboxes, we arrived at results that differed from the reported rates but still strongly supported large biomass N accumulation. The original study's conclusions about soil N changes were strengthened when new evidence showed that N accumulated in lower horizons and that the sandboxes were successfully homogenized at the beginning of the experiment. Unexplained ecosystem N accumulation ranged from about 40 to 150 kg ha(-1) y(-1), with 95% confidence intervals that did not include zero. No evidence was found that could balance the sandbox ecosystem N budgets without adding unexplained N. Unreplicated experiments, such as the sandboxes, can explore the possibility that N can accumulate in ways not explainable by mass balance analysis, but they cannot quantify the frequency and extent of the phenomenon. New studies should combine substantive microbiological, mass balance, and process research using multiple direct measures of N-2 fixation.
Boumans, R.; Costanza, R.; Farley, J.; Wilson, M. A.; Portela, R.; Rotmans, J.; Villa, F.; Grasso, M.. (2002) Modeling the dynamics of the integrated earth system and the value of global ecosystem services using the GUMBO model. Ecological Economics 41(3) 529-560
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A global unified metamodel of the biosphere (GUMBO) was developed to simulate the integrated earth system and assess the dynamics and values of ecosystem services. It is a 'metamodel' in that it represents a synthesis and a simplification of several existing dynamic global models in both the natural and social sciences at an intermediate level of complexity. The current version of the model contains 234 state variables, 930 variables total, and 1715 parameters. GUMBO is the first global model to include the dynamic feedbacks among human technology, economic production and welfare, and ecosystem goods and services within the dynamic earth system. GUMBO includes modules to simulate carbon, water, and nutrient fluxes through the Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere of the global system. Social and economic dynamics are simulated within the Anthroposphere. GUMBO links these five spheres across eleven biomes, which together encompass the entire surface of the planet. The dynamics of eleven major ecosystem goods and services for each of the biomes are simulated and evaluated. Historical calibrations from 1900 to 2000 for 14 key variables for which quantitative time-series data was available produced an average R-2 of 0.922. A range of future scenarios representing different assumptions about future technological change, investment strategies and other factors have been simulated. The relative value of ecosystem services in terms of their contribution to supporting both conventional economic production and human well-being more broadly defined were estimated under each scenario, and preliminary conclusions drawn. The value of global ecosystem services was estimated to be about 4.5 times the value of Gross World Product (GWP) in the year 2000 using this approach. The model can be downloaded and run on the average PC to allow users to explore for themselves the complex dynamics of the system and the full range of policy assumptions and scenarios. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Boumans, R.M.J.; Burdick, D.M.; Dionne, M.. (2002) Modeling Habitat Change in Salt Marshes After Tidal Restoration. 10(3) 543-555
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Salt marshes continue to degrade in the United States due to indirect human impacts arising from tidal restrictions. Roads or berms with inadequate provision for tidal flow hinder ecosystem functions and interfere with self-maintenance of habitat, because interactions among vegetation, soil, and hydrology within tidally restricted marshes prevent them from responding to sea level rise. Prediction of the tidal range that is expected after restoration relative to the current geomorphology is crucial for successful restoration of salt marsh habitat. Both insufficient (due to restriction) and excessive (due to subsidence and sea level rise) tidal flooding can lead to loss of salt marshes. We developed and applied the Marsh Response to Hydrological Modifications model as a predictive tool to forecast the success of management scenarios for restoring full tides to previously restricted areas. We present an overview of a computer simulation tool that evaluates potential culvert installations with output of expected tidal ranges, water discharges, and flood potentials. For three New England tidal marshes we show species distributions of plants for tidally restricted and nonrestricted areas. Elevation species are used for short-term (<5 years) predictions of changes to salt marsh habitat after tidal restoration. In addition, elevation changes of the marsh substrate measured at these sites are extrapolated to predict long-term (>5 years) changes in marsh geomorphology under restored tidal regimes. The resultant tidal regime should be designed to provide habitat requirements for salt marsh plants. At sites with substantial elevation losses a balance must be struck that stimulates elevation increases by improving sediment fluxes into marshes while establishing flooding regimes appropriate to sustain the desired plants.
Costanza, R.; Farber, S.. (2002) Introduction to the special issue on the dynamics and value of ecosystem services: integrating economic and ecological perspectives. Ecological Economics 41(3) 367-373
Costanza, R.; Voinov, A.; Boumans, R.; Maxwell, T.; Villa, F.; Wainger, L.; Voinov, H.. (2002) Integrated ecological economic modeling of the Patuxent River watershed, Maryland. Ecological Monographs 72(2) 203-231
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Understanding the way regional landscapes operate. evolve, and change is a key area of research for ecosystem science. It is also essential to support the "place-based" management approach being advocated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other management agencies. We developed a spatially explicit, process-based model of the 2352 km(2) Patuxent River watershed in Maryland to integrate data and knowledge over several spatial, temporal, and complexity scales. and to serve as an aid to regional management. In particular. the model addresses the effects of both the magnitude and spatial patterns of human settlements and agricultural practices on hydrology, plant productivity. and nutrient cycling in the landscape. The spatial resolution is variable, with a maximum of 200 X 200 m to allow adequate depiction of the pattern of ecosystems and human settlement on the landscape. The temporal resolution is different for various components of the model. ranging from hourly time steps in the hydrologic sector to yearly time steps in the economic land-use transition module. We used a modular. multiscale approach to calibrate and test the model. Model results show good agreement with data for several components of the model at several scales. A range of scenarios with the calibrated model shows the implications of past and alternative future land-use patterns and policies. We analyzed 18 scenarios including: (1) historical land-use in 1650, 1850, 1950, 1972, 1990, and 1997; (2) a "buildout" scenario based on fully developing all the land currently zoned for development: (3) four future development patterns based on an empirical economic land-use conversion model; (4) agricultural "best management practices" that lower fertilizer applications (5) four "replacement" scenarios of land-use change to analyze the relative contributions of agriculture and urban land uses; and (6) two "clustering" scenarios with significantly more and less clustered residential development than the current pattern. Results indicate the complex nature of the landscape response and the need for spatially explicit modeling.
Costanza, R.. (2002) New editor for ecological economics. Ecological Economics 42(3) 351-352
De Groot, R.; Wilson, M. A.; Boumans, R. M. J.. (2002) A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecological Economics 41 393-408
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An increasing amount of information is being collected on the ecological and socio-economic value of goods and services provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, much of this information appears scattered throughout a disciplinary academic literature, unpublished government agency reports, and across the World Wide Web. In addition, data on ecosystem goods and services often appears at incompatible scales of analysis and is classified differently by different authors. In order to make comparative ecological economic analysis possible, a standardized framework for the comprehensive assessment of ecosystem functions, goods and services is needed. In response to this challenge, this paper presents a conceptual framework and typology for describing, classifying and valuing ecosystem functions, goods and services in a clear and consistent manner. In the following analysis, a classification is given for the fullest possible range of 23 ecosystem functions that provide a much larger number of goods and services. In the second part of the paper, a checklist and matrix is provided, linking these ecosystem functions to the main ecological, socio–cultural and economic valuation methods.
Erickson, J. D.; Gowdy, J. M.. (2002) The strange economics of sustainability. Bioscience 52(3) 212-212
Farber, S. C.; Costanza, R.; Wilson, M. A.. (2002) Economic and ecological concepts for valuing ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 41(3) 375-392
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The purpose of this special issue is to elucidate concepts of value and methods of valuation that will assist in guiding human decisions vis-a-vis ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem service value can be a useful guide when distinguishing and measuring where trade-offs between society and the rest of nature are possible and where they can be made to enhance human welfare in a sustainable manner. While win-win opportunities for human activities within the environment may exist, they also appear to be increasingly scarce in a 'full' global ecological-economic system. This makes valuation all the more essential for guiding future human activity. This paper provides some history, background, and context for many of the issues addressed by the remaining papers in this special issue. Its purpose is to place both economic and ecological meanings of value, and their respective valuation methods, in a comparative context, highlighting strengths, weakness and addressing questions that arise from their integration. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Farley, J.; Costanza, R.. (2002) Envisioning shared goals for humanity: a detailed, shared vision of a sustainable and desirable USA in 2100. Ecological Economics 43(2-3) 245-259
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Economics has been defined as the science of allocation of scarce resources towards alternative ends. This definition implies that the first step in economic analysis is to determine what ends are desirable for society. Most sectors of the society would agree that sustainability is a desirable end, but there is little agreement as to what a sustainable future would look like. The University of Maryland Institute for Ecological Economics sponsored a democratic future search process designed to create a relatively detailed, shared vision of a sustainable and desirable USA in the year 2100. This paper presents the vision developed at that conference, examines the resources required to achieve the vision, and assesses the suitability of market mechanisms for allocating the required resources towards the desired ends. We find that markets are not efficient mechanisms for allocation in this case, and propose the institutions of a 'strong democracy' as a promising alternative. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Franklin, J. F.; Spies, T. A.; Van Pelt, R.; Carey, A. B.; Thornburgh, D. A.; Berg, D. R.; Lindenmayer, D. B.; Harmon, M. E.; Keeton, W. S.; Shaw, D. C.; Bible, K.; Chen, J. Q.. (2002) Disturbances and structural development of natural forest ecosystems with silvicultural implications, using Douglas-fir forests as an example. Forest Ecology and Management 155(1-3) 399-423
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Forest managers need a comprehensive scientific understanding of natural stand development processes when designing silvicultural systems that integrate ecological and economic objectives, including a better appreciation of the nature of disturbance regimes and the biological legacies, such as live trees, snags, and logs, that they leave behind. Most conceptual forest development models do not incorporate current knowledge of the: (1) complexity of structures (including spatial patterns) and developmental processes; (2) duration of development in long-lived forests; (3) complex spatial patterns of stands that develop in later stages of seres; and particularly (4) the role of disturbances in creating structural legacies that become key elements of the post-disturbance stands, We elaborate on existing models for stand structural development using natural stand development of the Douglas-fir-western hemlock sere in the Pacific Northwest as our primary example; most of the principles are broadly applicable while some processes (e.g. role of epicormic branches) are related to specific species. We discuss the use of principles from disturbance ecology and natural stand development to create silvicultural approaches that are more aligned with natural processes. Such approaches provide for a greater abundance of standing dead and down wood and large old trees, perhaps reducing short-term commercial productivity but ultimately enhancing wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and ecosystem function, including soil protection and nutrient retention. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.
Gustafson, S.; Wang, D.. (2002) Effects of agricultural runoff on vegetation composition of a priority conservation Wetland, Vermont, USA. 31(1) 350-357
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This study examined the effects of agricultural runoff on the vegetation structure of Franklin Bog, a priority conservation area located in a rapidly developing region of northwestern Vermont. Forested and agricultural runoff from the mixed land use watershed created differential vegetation patterns in the wetland, including weedy species introductions. Concentrations of nitro-en and phosphorus were measured in the stream runoff from four forested subwatersheds and two agricultural subwatersheds. Nutrient concentrations were significantly higher for agricultural vs. forested runoff for all measured parameters. Nitrate-and total phosphorus concentrations in agricultural runoff ranged from 0.62 to 1.35 mg L-1 and 0.07 to 0.37 mg L-1, respectively Forested runoff values were less than 0.37 mg L-1 nitrate and 0.09 mg L-1 total phosphorus. Significantly higher proportions of weedy species occurred at impacted vs. reference sites (46 +/- 5%, vs. 23 +/- 4%). Furthermore, significantly higher total percent vegetated cover occurred at impacted vs. reference sites (116 +/- 11% vs. 77 +/- 9%) suggesting nutrient induced plant growth. Of the nine frequently occurring species categorized as bog species' only one was found within impacted sites while all nine were found at the reference sites. This suggests that the wetland's distinctive native flora is being replaced by widespread, vigorous species enhanced by agricultural nonpoint pollution in the watershed of Franklin Bog. Protection of wetlands requires attention to conservation measures throughout the entire watershed.
Herendeen, R. A.; Wildermuth, T.. (2002) Resource-based sustainability indicators: Chase County, Kansas, as example. Ecological Economics 42(1-2) 243-257
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We develop three quantitative indicators of the physical/biological aspect of sustainability. They are based on depletion of resources, dependence on outside subsidies, and disruption of natural cycles. We apply the indicators to an agricultural county in Kansas, using energy, water, soil, and nitrogen as numeraires. 9/10 of Chase County is dedicated to range beef cattle grazing and 1/10 to row-cropping and confinement animal feeding. Range production is relatively non-depleting, independent, and non-disrupting. Cropping is more depleting, dependent, and disrupting, but comparable with that in other agricultural areas. We discuss how this pattern, mediated by absentee land-holding and low human population density, trades off against economic income. With the exception of energy, all analyses are only in terms of direct flows (e.g. actual amounts crossing the county boundary). For energy, we also estimate the energy consumed elsewhere to produce imported non-energy goods and services. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B,V. All rights reserved.
Limburg, K. E.; O'Neill, R. V.; Costanza, R.; Farber, S.. (2002) Complex systems and valuation. Ecological Economics 41(3) 409-420
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Ecological and economic systems are undeniably complex. Whereas a goal of delineating 'ecosystem services' is to make readily apparent some of the important ways in which ecosystems underpin human welfare, insights are also gained by appreciating the nonlinear dynamic properties of ecosystems. In this paper, we review some of the relevant characteristics of complex systems. Ecosystems and economic systems share many properties, but valuation has typically been driven by short-term human preferences. Here we argue that as the force of humanity increases on the planet, ecosystem service valuation will need to switch from choosing among resources to valuing the avoidance of catastrophic ecosystem change. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Moulaert, A.; Mueller, J. P.; Villarreal, M.; Piedra, R.; Villalobos, L.. (2002) Establishment of two indigenous timber species in dairy pastures in Costa Rica. 54(1) 31-40
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A silvopastoral model that combines the production of pasture herbage with valuable native timber species has potential to simultaneously address the multiple goals of reforestation, conservation of native species and enterprise intensification. The objective of this study was to design, establish and monitor early growth of a silvopastoral experiment on a dairy farm in the north Atlantic zone of Costa Rica. Two indigenous timber species, Vochysia guatemalensis and Hyeronima alchorneoides were planted with and without the tropical pasture legume, Arachis pintoi in a split plot design, (2 x 2) factorial arrangement of treatments with four replications. After the first two years, V. guatemalensis was significantly taller (3.1 m) than H. alchorneoides (2.5 m). The mean root collar diameter for V. guatemalensis was significantly larger (6.5 cm) than H. alchorneoides (4.5 cm). Two-year establishment was acceptable for the tree component (83 to 85% survival) but poor for A. pintoi (2 to 8% of the sward). The most important pest affecting the establishment of the timber species was the leaf cutter ant, Atta cephalotes. An insect larvae, Cosmopterix sp., severely damaged 39% of the V. guatemalensis trees by repeatedly attacking their apical meristems. The two-year establishment data was insufficient to accurately predict future wood volume. A hypothetical economic analysis concluded that the silvopastoral system must average at least 1.2 m(3) wood volume/paddock/year (20 m(3)/ha/year) throughout the first ten years of growth to assure a positive economic return from timber. The experiment is planned for a ten year period, which corresponds to the estimated rotation length for harvesting the timber species.
Ricketts, T. H.; Daily, G. C.; Ehrlich, P. R.. (2002) Does butterfly diversity predict moth diversity? Testing a popular indicator taxon at local scales. Biological Conservation 103(3) 361-370
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Indicator taxa are often proposed as efficient ways of identifying conservation priorities, but the correlation between putative indicators and other taxa has not been adequately tested. We examined whether a popular indicator taxon. the butterflies, could provide a useful surrogate measure of diversity in a closely related but relatively poorly known group, the moths, at a local scale relevant to many conservation decisions (10(0)-10(1) km(2)). We sampled butterflies and moths at 19 sites representing the three major terrestrial habitats in sub-alpine Colorado: meadows. aspen forests, and conifer forests. We found no correlation between moth and butterfly diversity across the 19 sites, using any of five different diversity measures. Correlations across only meadow sites (to test for correlation within a single, species-rich habitat) were also not significant. Butterflies were restricted largely to meadows, where their host plants occur and thermal environment is favorable. In contrast, all three habitats contained substantial moth diversity, and several moth species were restricted to each habitat. These findings suggest that (1) butterflies are unlikely to be useful indicators of moth diversity at a local scale; (2) phylogenetic relatedness is not a reliable criterion for selecting appropriate indicator taxa, and (3) a habitat-based approach would more effectively conserve moth diversity in this landscape and may be preferable in many situations where indicator taxa relationships are untested. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sutton, P. C.; Costanza, R.. (2002) Global estimates of market and non-market values derived from nighttime satellite imagery, land cover, and ecosystem service valuation. Ecological Economics 41(3) 509-527
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We estimated global marketed and non-marketed economic value front two classified satellite images with global coverage at 1 km(2) resolution. GDP (a measure of marketed economic output) is correlated with the amount of light energy (LE) emitted by that nation as measured by nighttime satellite images. LE emitted is more spatially explicit than whole country GDP, may (for some nations or regions) be a more accurate indicator of economic activity than GDP itself, can be directly observed, and can be easily updated on an annual basis. As far as we know, this is the first global map of estimated economic activity produced at this high spatial resolution (1 km(2)). Ecosystem services product (ESP) is an important type of non-marketed value. ESP at 1 km(2) resolution was estimated using the IGBP land-cover dataset and unit ecosystem service values estimated by Costanza et al. [Valuing Ecosystem Services with Efficiency, Fairness and Sustainability as Goals. Nature's Services, Island Press, Washington DC, pp. 49-70]. The sum of these two (GDP + ESP) = SEP is a measure of the subtotal ecological-economic product (marketed plus a significant portion of the non-marketed). The ratio: (ESP/SEP) x 100 = (%ESP is a measure of proportion of the SEP from ecosystem services. Both SEP and %ESP were calculated and mapped for each 1 km(2) pixel on the earth's surface, and aggregated by country. Results show the detailed spatial patterns of GDP, ESP, and SEP (also available at: http://www.du.edu/ similar to psutton/esiindexisee/EcolEconESI.htm). Globally, while GDP is concentrated in the northern industrialized countries, ESP is concentrated in tropical regions and in wetlands and other coastal systems. (X)ESP ranges from 1% for Belgium and Luxembourg to 3% for the Netherlands, 18% for India, 22% for the United States, 49% for Costa Rica, 57% for Chile, 73% for Brazil, and 92% for Russia. While GDP per capita has the usual northern industrialized countries at the top of the list, SEP per capita shows a quite different picture, with a mixture of countries with either high GDP/capita, high ESP/capita, or a combination near the top of the list. Finally, we compare our results with two other indices: (1) The 2001 Environmental Sustainabilily Index (ESI) derived as an initiative of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow Environment Task Force, World Economic Foruin, and (2) Ecological Footprints of Nations: How much Nature do they use? How much Nature do they have? developed by Mathis Wackernagel and others. While both of these indices purport to measure sustainability, the ESI is actually mainly a measure of economic activity (and is correlated with GDP), while the Eco-Footprint index is a measure of environmental impact. The related eco-deficit (national ecological capacity minus national footprint) correlates well with %ESP. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Villa, F.; McLeod, H.. (2002) Environmental vulnerability indicators for environmental planning and decision-making: Guidelines and applications. 29(3) 335-348
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Environmental decision-making and policy-making at all levels refers necessarily to synthetic, approximate quantification of environmental properties such as vulnerability, conservation status, and ability to recover after perturbation. Knowledge of such properties is essential to informed decision-making, but their definition is controversial and their precise characterization requires investments in research, modeling, and data collection that are only possible in the most developed countries. Environmental agencies and governments worldwide have increasingly requested numerical quantification or semi quantitative ranking of such attributes at the ecosystem, landscape, and country level. We do not have a theory to guide their calculation, in general or specific con-texts, particularly with the amount of resources usually available in such cases. As a result, these measures are often calculated with little scientific justification and high subjectivity, and such doubtful approximations are used for critical decision-making. This problem applies particularly to countries with weak economies, such as small island states, where the most precious environmental resources are often concentrated. This paper discusses frameworks for a "least disappointing," approximate quantification of environmental vulnerability. After a review of recent research and recent attempts to quantify environmental vulnerability, we discuss models and theoretical frameworks for obtaining an approximate, standardizable vulnerability indicator of minimal subjectivity and maximum generality. We also discuss issues of empirical testing and comparability between indicators developed for different environments, To assess the state of the art, we describe an independent ongoing project developed in the South Pacific area and aimed to the comparative evaluation of the vulnerability of arbitrary countries.
Villa, F.; Tunesi, L.; Agardy, T.. (2002) Zoning marine protected areas through spatial multiple-criteria analysis: the case of the Asinara Island National Marine Reserve of Italy. 16(2) 515-526
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As the role of marine protected areas as conservation tools becomes better understood and more sophisticated, their planning becomes more complicated. Systematic, objective approaches to site selection and design can help reconcile conflicting interests, represent stakeholders' viewpoints fairly and evenly, and extend the scope of planning studies from single reserves to networks. We illustrate the use of spatial multiple-criteria analysis for determining the suitability, of marine areas for different uses and levels of protection. This technique couples geographic information systems (GIS)for land assessment and evaluation with a formal statement of the design priorities as seen from the different viewpoints of all involved stakeholders. The planning process, while staying focused on the main purposes of conservation and feasibility, involves all the main interest groups in the definition of priorities so that conflicts and tensions are kept tinder control We used multiple-criteria analysis to integrate objective data with the contrasting priorities of different stakeholders in the planning of a marine protected area. The results of the analysis can be used to define all optimal spatial arrangement of different protection levels, As a case study we developed a zoning plan for one of the first marine protected areas in Italy, the Asinara Island National Marine Reserve.
Villa, F.; Wilson, M. A.; de Groot, R.; Farber, S.; Costanza, R.; Boumans, R. M. J.. (2002) Designing an integrated knowledge base to support ecosystem services valuation. Ecological Economics 41(3) 445-456
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Quantifying the value of ecosystem services is important for the social recognition and acceptance of ecosystem management across multiple geographic scales. Yet, the data required to perform such quantifications and the dynamic models that allow the projection of policy changes into the future are currently scattered, incomplete, and difficult to use. We describe the design of the Ecosystem Services Database (ESD), an integrated, web-accessible knowledge base that links a relational database for temporally and spatially explicit data to dynamic simulation models. The ESD architecture supports unit standardization, scale translation in space and time, and statistical analysis. Process-based dynamic models and valuation methods can be run by end users either through a web-based simulation engine or on their own computers by means of open-source software. The knowledge base will serve as: (1) a communication tool for use by researchers in several fields; (2) an analytical tool for meta-analysis, synthesis, and prediction; (3) an educational tool to disseminate knowledge on ecosystem services and their valuation; (4) a collaborative tool for institutions involved in different aspects of ecosystem service valuation; and (5) a prototype for linking databases and dynamic models. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Wang, D.. (2002) Engaging Citizens in Environmental Decision Making: Burlington, Vermont's EMPACT Project. 9(2) 95-109
Zencey, E.. (2002) The art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays of Wendell Berry. 275(1) 35-+
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