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Modeling and Measuring the Process of Watershed Change, and Implications for Fisheries Karin E. Limburg SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry.

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Presentation on theme: "Modeling and Measuring the Process of Watershed Change, and Implications for Fisheries Karin E. Limburg SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modeling and Measuring the Process of Watershed Change, and Implications for Fisheries Karin E. Limburg SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry Supported by the Hudson River Foundation and National Science Foundation

2 Modeling and Measuring the Process and Consequences of Land Use Change Jon Erickson, Caroline Hermans University of Vermont John Gowdy, Audra Nowosielski, John Polimeni Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Karin Limburg, Karen Stainbrook, Bongghi Hong SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Collaborators: David Burns Dutchess County Environmental Management Council Eileen Sassman Wappinger Creek Watershed Intermunicipal Council

3 The two paradigms… The natural landscape (watershed) perspective vs the socio-economic perspective… Separate, but in need of linkage!

4 Economist Alfred Kahn “The Tyranny of Small Decisions” Bill Odum applied this to ecological systems

5 “Connecting the dots”: linking economy, land use, and ecological effects Watershed HealthLand-Use and Demographic Change Biophysical Land Use Society Community Economy Business HouseH Economic Structure and Change Individuals

6 How does human activity create the demand for land use change? How does this demand change the spatial pattern of land use? How does land use change affect ecosystem health? Research Questions  What does all this mean for coastal fisheries?

7 The Hudson River Watershed – site of case study Hudson River estuary

8 Geographic Setting Dutchess County, NY 3 assessment approaches, followed by integrative model

9 GOVERMENT OUTSIDEWORLD CAPITAL ExportsImports INDUSTRY HOUSEHOLDS DepreciationInvestment ConsumptionGoods Labor Private Goods & Services PublicServices County-Wide Stakeholder Workshop: Semi-Conductor Industry Suburbanization Loss of agriculture Commuting ( ↑ traffic) a) Model the economy with a Social Accounting Matrix

10 #1 in Value-Added #2 in Employment Dutchess County Semiconductor and related devices industry

11 b) Land use and demographic change Quantifying Past & Present Condition - Satellite maps, followed by…

12 - Ortho-rectified photos - Land use interpretation - Tax parcel maps -Developed land use change model Quantifying past & present condition, continued

13 c) Ecosystem health (and watershed health)  maintenance of biotic integrity, resistance and/or resilience to change in the face of anthropogenic disturbance (Rapport, 1992) includes  physical and chemical environmental quality (e.g., stream temperature, conductivity, and element concentration),  biotic condition (e.g., status of fish and macroinvertebrate communities)

14 Assessing watershed health: The idea: organisms and ecosystems integrate and reflect the insults (or lack thereof) resulting from watershed-level processes Some techniques have proven robust after 25+ years of testing; others in development

15 Indicators of ecosystem health can (should?) evaluate changes at levels of Ecological population Community/habitat Whole-system Metrics may not all be additive, although many schemes designed that way

16 What we looked at: physical habitat characterizations water chemistry biotic community structure (fish and macro-invertebrates) ecosystem function



19 Some results: how “healthy” are the Wappinger and Fishkill Creek watersheds? (Fishkill is closer to NY City, more urbanized…) Let’s look at a few diagnostics… Land use patterns Environmental quality patterns Biological indicators …includes changes over time

20 Assessments at different spatial scales (relates to the degree of influence)

21 Amount of land in different uses varied at different spatial scales Percent 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 ForestedAgriculturalDevelopedOther Fishkill Wappingers INTEGRATED

22 Impervious surface



25 Water quality – an example

26 Conductivity – a measure of the ionic strength of water Correlates strongly with human disturbance (population density, road density, nitrates, etc.) Getting recognition as a bellwether of aquatic disturbance Hudson Valley, New York 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 F-82O-83J-85J-87S-88M-90D-91A-93A-95D-96J-98M-00N-01J-03F-05 Date Chloride Concentration (mg/L) Wappinger Creek

27 Biotic responses

28 Fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) Use fish community characteristics to assess aquatic health – composed of 12 metrics, including Species richness & abundance Indicator species (of degradation, e.g.) Functional role ID Condition and health indices

29 IBIs originally worked out for Ohio streams – but are gaining popularity worldwide now However, have to be regionally calibrated We tested the relatively new northern Mid- Atlantic IBI (Daniels et al. 2002. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 131: 1044-1060)

30 Fishkill Wappinger IBIs over time… Similar results w/ macroinvertebrate analyses

31 Stable Isotope Analysis. A big field of research in everything from meteorology to archaeology, geology to food science, ecology to physiology Basically a way to trace how elements move from one compound to another, or from one chemical state to another In ecology, we often use Carbon and Nitrogen stable isotope ratios as tracers of matter in food webs – and can also be used to trace migrating animals – and things like pollution…

32  Less urbanized More urbanized  Stable isotope analysis of a “sentinel species” blacknose dace

33 Evidence of any threshold effects?


35 less urbanmore urban

36 Social Accounting Matrix (Input-output Model) Binary Logit Regression Model Integrating through models Multiple Linear Regression Model Nowosielski (2002)Polimeni (2002)Stainbrook (2004)

37 Simulation Result from Socio-economic Sub-model: 2292 new jobs (1000 direct + 1292 indirect) expected number of new jobs

38 124,549 “Tax Parcels” within Dutchess County Land Use Change Sub-model

39 Properties of Tax Parcels

40 Reclassified: Residential vs Vacant

41 Input Spatial Dataset (Independent Variables for Binary Logit Model) Neighborhood Index Distance to Central Business District Total Assessment Value Change in Income Change in Population Minimum Lot Size Requirement Protected LandsSteep AreaWetlandsHydric Soils Possible Restriction to Development

42 Predicted Conversion of Vacant Lands to Residential Use in Response to Economic Impact (%)

43 Expected Change in Land Use due to Economic Impact

44 NAWQA (National Water Quality Assessment) Dataset: Correlation with Percent Urban Land Use correlation coefficient

45 Result from Ecosystem Health Sub-model: Reduced Stream Water Quality and Species Diversity

46 We are able to track the effects of economic activity in the watershed…but what does this mean for coastal fisheries?

47 Chesapeake Bay Mississippi R. watershed and “The Dead Zone” It’s a matter of scale… Image sources: NOAA and Virginia Inst. of Marine Science

48 Fish & Fisheries declines Diaz, et al. 2004 Hypoxia increasing

49 Eutrophication severity (chl) Pelagic:demersal ratio Caddy 2000, de Leiva Moreno 2000 System-wide effects? Eutrophication severity Fisheries landings Caddy 1993 hypoxia 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 0100200300400500 PRIMARY PRODUCTION, g C m -2 y -1 ANNUAL FISHERY LANDING, Kg Ha -1 Nixon 2002

50 1850 1900 19502000 *not including dams missing dates Dams Over Time* Data from BASINS software

51 Is a new paradigm needed? We (all of us!) need a new way of VALUING the environment. Not just the $$$...

52 Connecting the dots…de rode draad Evaluate ecosystem services… Evaluate the trade-offs…


54 Thank you!

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