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Melvin Stephens

Effects of land markets and land management on ecosystem function: A framework for modelling exurban land-change

Publication Abstract

Robinson, D., S. Sun, M. Hutchins, R. Riolo, Daniel Brown, D. Parker, T. Filatova, W. Currie, and S. Kiger. 2013. "Effects of land markets and land management on ecosystem function: A framework for modelling exurban land-change." Environmental Modelling & Software, 45: 129-140.

This paper presents the conceptual design and application of a new land-change modelling framework that represents geographical, sociological, economic, and ecological aspects of a land system. The framework provides an overarching design that can be extended into specific model implementations to evaluate how policy, land-management preferences, and land-market dynamics affect (and are affected by) land-use and land-cover change patterns and subsequent carbon storage and flux. To demonstrate the framework, we implement a simple integration of a new agent-based model of exurban residential development and land-management decisions with the ecosystem process model BIOME-BGC. Using a stylized scenario, we evaluate the influence of different exurban residential-land-management strategies on carbon storage at the parcel level over a 48-year period from 1958 to 2005, simulating stocks of carbon in soil, litter, vegetation, and net primary productivity. Results show 1) residential parcels with management practices that only provided additions in the form of fertilizer and irrigation to turfgrass stored slightly more carbon than parcels that did not include management practices, 2) conducting no land-management strategy stored more carbon than implementing a strategy that included removals in the form of removing coarse woody debris from dense tree cover and litter from turfgrass, and 3) the removal practices modelled had a larger impact on total parcel carbon storage than our modelled additions. The degree of variation within the evaluated land-management practices was approximately 42,104 kg C storage on a 1.62 ha plot after 48 years, demonstrating the substantial effect that residential land-management practices can have on carbon storage. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.06.016 (Full Text)

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