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The Colorado River system exhibits the characteristics of a heavily over-allocated or ?closing water system?. In such systems, development of mechanisms to allow resource users to acknowledge interdependence and to engage in negotiations and agreements becomes necessary. Recently, after a decade of deliberations and environmental assessments, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) was established to monitor and analyze the effects of dam operations on the Grand Canyon ecosystem and recommend adjustments intended to preserve and enhance downstream physical, cultural and environmental values. The Glen Canyon Dam effectively separates the Colorado into its lower and upper basins. Dam operations and...
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The last decade has seen a remarkable increase in the number of modeling tools available to examine future land-use and land-cover (LULC) change. Integrated modeling frameworks, agent-based models, cellular automata approaches, and other modeling techniques have substantially improved the representation of complex LULC systems, with each method using a different strategy to address complexity. However, despite the development of new and better modeling tools, the use of these tools is limited for actual planning, decision-making, or policy-making purposes. LULC modelers have become very adept at creating tools for modeling LULC change, but complicated models and lack of transparency limit their utility for decision-makers....
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Phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural fields is of environmental concern because of its potential impact on water quality in streams and lakes. The Mississippi Delta has long been known for its fish productivity and recreational value, but high levels of P in fresh water can lead to algal blooms that have many detrimental effects on natural ecosystems. Algal blooms interfere with recreational and aesthetic water use. However, few studies have evaluated P losses from agricultural watersheds in the Mississippi Delta. To better understand the processes influencing P loss, rainfall, surface runoff, sediment, ortho-P (orthophosphate, PO4–P), and total P (TP) were measured (water years 1996–2000) for two subwatersheds...
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Identifying and quantifying groundwater exchange is critical when considering contaminant fate and transport at the groundwater/surface-water interface. In this paper, areally distributed temperature and point seepage measurements are used to efficiently assess spatial and temporal groundwater discharge patterns through a glacial-kettle lakebed area containing a zero-valent iron permeable reactive barrier (PRB). Concern was that the PRB was becoming less permeable with time owing to biogeochemical processes within the PRB. Patterns of groundwater discharge over an 8-year period were examined using fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS) and snapshot-in-time point measurements of temperature. The resulting...
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Park and protected area managers are tasked with protecting natural environments, a particularly daunting challenge in heavily visited urban-proximate areas where flora and fauna are already stressed by external threats. In this study, an adaptive managementapproach was taken to reduce extensive off-trail hiking along a popular trail through an ecologically diverse and significant area in the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park near Washington DC. Substantial amounts of off-trail hiking there had created an extensive 16.1 km network of informal (visitor-created) trails on a 39 ha island in the Potomac Gorge. A research design with additive treatments integrating educational and site management actions was...
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Frequent wildfire disasters in southern California highlight the need for risk reduction strategies for the region, of which fuel reduction via prescribed burning is one option. However, there is no consensus about the effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing the area of wildfire. Here, we use 29 years of historical fire mapping to quantify the relationship between annual wildfire area and antecedent fire area in predominantly shrub and grassland fuels in seven southern California counties, controlling for annual variation in weather patterns. This method has been used elsewhere to measure leverage: the reduction in wildfire area resulting from one unit of prescribed fire treatment. We found little evidence...
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This analysis focuses on problems of estimating site-specific dollar benefits conferred by outdoor recreation sites in the face of congestion costs. Encounters, crowding effects and congestion costs have often been treated by natural resource economists in a piecemeal fashion. In the current paper, encounters and crowding effects are treated systematically. We emphasize the quantitative impact of congestion costs on site-specific estimates of benefits conferred by improvements in outdoor recreation sites. The principal analytic conclusion is that techniques that streamline on data requirements produce biased estimates of benefits conferred by site improvements at facilities with significant crowding effects. The...
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Current fisheries management is, unfortunately, reactive rather than proactive to changes in fishery characteristics. Furthermore, anglers do not act independently on waterbodies, and thus, fisheries are complex socio-ecological systems. Proactive management of these complex systems necessitates an approach-adaptive fisheries management-that allows learning to occur simultaneously with management. A promising area for implementation of adaptive fisheries management is the study of luring anglers to or from specific waterbodies to meet management goals. Purposeful manipulation of anglers, and its associated field of study, is nonexistent in past management. Evaluation of different management practices (i.e., hypotheses)...
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Global sea level is rising, and the relative rate in the Chesapeake Bay region of the East Coast of the United States is greater than the worldwide rate. Sea-level rise can cause saline water to migrate upstream in estuaries and rivers, threatening freshwater habitat and drinking-water supplies. The effects of future sea-level rise on two tributaries of Chesapeake Bay, the James and Chickahominy (CHK) Rivers, were evaluated in order to quantify the salinity change with respect to the magnitude of sea-level rise. Such changes are critical to: 1) local floral and faunal habitats that have limited tolerance ranges to salinity; and 2) a drinking-water supply for the City of Newport News, Virginia. By using the three-dimensional...
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Several stochastic analyses were conducted in Miami-Dade County, Florida, to evaluate the effects of wellfield withdrawal on aquifer water levels, canal stage, and canal flow. Multiyear data for withdrawals at four water-supply wellfields, water levels at the S-121 canal control structure and groundwater head at a nearby monitoring well were used to determine the interrelation between wellfield withdrawals and water levels in the canal and aquifer. A spectral analysis was performed first on the wellfield withdrawals, showing similar patterns of fluctuations, but no well-defined seasonality. In order to compare water-level response with withdrawals at each wellfield, the intercorrelation effects between wellfields...
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Adaptive management is an approach to recurrent decision making in which uncertainty about the decision is reduced over time through comparison of outcomes predicted by competing models against observed values of those outcomes. The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a large land management program charged with making natural resource management decisions, which often are made under considerable uncertainty, severe operational constraints, and conditions that limit ability to precisely carry out actions as intended. The NWRS presents outstanding opportunities for the application of adaptive management, but also difficult challenges. We describe two cooperative programs...
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In a world of increasing interconnections in global trade as well as rapid change in climate and land cover, the accelerating introduction and spread of invasive species is a critical concern due to associated negative social and ecological impacts, both real and perceived. Much of the societal response to invasive species to date has been associated with negative economic consequences of invasions. This response has shaped a war-like approach to addressing invasions, one with an agenda of eradications and intense ecological restoration efforts towards prior or more desirable ecological regimes. This trajectory often ignores the concept of ecological resilience and associated approaches of resilience-based governance....
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Fallout radionuclides, 7Be and 210Pbex, sampled in bed sediment for 99 watersheds in the Midwestern region of the United States and in 15 samples of suspended sediment from 3 of these watersheds were used to partition upland from channel sources and to estimate the age or the time since the surface-derived portion of sediment was on the land surface (0–∼1 year). Channel sources dominate: 78 of the 99 bed material sites (79%) have >50% channel-derived sediment, and 9 of the 15 suspended-sediment samples (60%) have >50% channel-derived sediment. 7Be was detected in 82 bed sediment samples and all 15 suspended-sediment samples. The surface-derived portion of 54 of the 80 (68%) streams with detectable 7Be and 210Pbex...
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This investigates resource impacts on backcounty campsites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. Study objectives were to enhance our understanding of camping impacts and to improve campsite impact assessment procedures by means of multivariate techniques. Three-hundred and eight campsites at designated backcountry campgrounds, and 69 additional unofficial campsites were assessed. Factor analysis of 195 established campsites on eight impact indicator variables revealed three dimensions of campsite impact: area disturbance, soil and groundcover damage, and tree-related damage. Four distinctive backcountry campsite types were identified, three of which were derived from cluster analyses of factor scores....
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Recreational uses of unsurfaced trails inevitably result in their degradation, with the type and extent of resource impact influenced by factors such as soil texture, topography, climate, trail design and maintenance, and type and amount of use. Of particular concern, the loss of soil through erosion is generally considered a significant and irreversible form of trail impact. This research investigated the influence of several use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss on recreational trails and roads at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the U.S. National Park Service. Regression modeling revealed that trail position, trail slope alignment angle, grade, water drainage,...
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The conceptual underpinnings for adaptive management are simple; there will always be inherent uncertainty and unpredictability in the dynamics and behavior of complex ecological systems as a result non-linear interactions among components and emergence, yet management decisions must still be made. The strength of adaptive management is in the recognition and confrontation of such uncertainty. Rather than ignore uncertainty, or use it to preclude management actions, adaptive management can foster resilience and flexibility to cope with an uncertain future, and develop safe to fail management approaches that acknowledge inevitable changes and surprises. Since its initial introduction, adaptive management has been...
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Forest loss and fragmentation are of major concern to the international community, in large part because they impact so many important environmental processes. The main objective of this study was to assess the differences in forest fragmentation patterns and drivers between China and the conterminous United States (USA). Using the latest 300-m resolution global land cover product, Globcover v2.2, a comparative analysis of forest fragmentation patterns and drivers was made. The fragmentation patterns were characterized by using a forest fragmentation model built on the sliding window analysis technique in association with landscape indices. Results showed that China’s forests were substantially more fragmented than...
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Instream flow conflicts have been analysed from the perspectives offered by policy oriented applied (physical) science, theories of conflict resolution and negotiation strategy, and psychological analyses of the behavior patterns of the bargaining parties. Economics also offers some useful insights in analysing conflict resolution within the context of these water allocation problems. We attempt to analyse the economics of the bargaining process in conjunction with a discussion of the water allocation process. In particular, we examine in detail the relation between certain habitat estimation techniques, and the socially optimal allocation of non-market resources. The results developed here describe the welfare...
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Extraction of oil and gas via unconventional methods is becoming an important aspect of energy production worldwide. Studying the effects of this development in countries where these technologies are being widely used may provide other countries, where development may be proposed, with some insight in terms of concerns associated with development. A fairly recent expansion of unconventional oil and gas development in North America provides such an opportunity. Rapid increases in energy development in North America have caught the attention of managers and scientists as a potential stressor for wildlife and their habitats. Of particular concern in the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. is the potential for chloride-rich...
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This study employed ground and remote sensing methods to monitor the effects of grazing on leaf area index (LAI), fractional cover (fc) and evapotranspiration (ET) of a desert phreatophyte community over an 11 year period at a former uranium mill site on the Colorado Plateau, U.S. Nitrate, ammonium and sulfate are migrating away from the mill site in a shallow alluvial aquifer. The phreatophyte community, consisting of Atriplex canescens (ATCA) and Sarcobatus vermiculatus (SAVE) shrubs, intercepts groundwater and could potentially slow the movement of the contaminant plume through evapotranspiration (ET). However, the site has been heavily grazed by livestock, reducing plant cover and LAI. We used livestock exclosures...


map background search result map search result map Effects of grazing on leaf area index, fractional cover and evapotranspiration by a desert phreatophyte community at a former uranium mill site on the Colorado Plateau Stochastic analyses to identify wellfield withdrawal effects on surface-water and groundwater in Miami-Dade County, Florida Stochastic analyses to identify wellfield withdrawal effects on surface-water and groundwater in Miami-Dade County, Florida Effects of grazing on leaf area index, fractional cover and evapotranspiration by a desert phreatophyte community at a former uranium mill site on the Colorado Plateau