Social Drivers of Residential Lawncare in the Plum Island Ecosystem (PIE) LTER Site: Preliminary Results from a Household Mail Survey
Human alterations of the earth's surface are widely recognized as one of the planet's most significant cumulative global environmental changes. Increasing population and per capita income suggest that this trend will continue in coming decades. In countries such as the US this process manifests principally as suburbanization.
The Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) project is based in the central Arizona and metropolitan Phoenix region, embedded in the Sonoran Desert. As the fifth-largest and, until recently, the fastest-growing city in the US, Phoenix is an excellent location for urban ecological research. Phoenix was established after the Civil War, initially one of several small towns surrounded by irrigated farmland. Continued agrarian expansion predated the explosive growth of housing in the second half of the 20th century.
Fragmentation of natural habitats, driven by urban growth and other land use modifications, acts to decrease the amount of core habitat as well as the connectivity among core areas. As a result, landscape fragmentation can have negative impacts on the ecological communities, ecosystem services, and metapopulation dynamics.
A study and comparison of urban natural resource stewardship networks in Seattle, WA and Baltimore, MD.
As demonstrated in many studies, mostly in rural settings, successful resource management requires collaboration among many groups. This is likely to be even more pronounced in densely settled urban areas. Cities generally consist of many fragmented land parcels under different types of use and ownership, which produces a large and diverse group of stakeholders with an interest in resource management decisions.
A Parcel-level Dasymetric Approach to Mapping Changes in the Distribution of Urban Flooding Risks, Baltimore, Maryland (1950-2000)
Environmental justice research seeks to understand the patterns and processes shaping the distribution of environmental burdens and amenities across society. While environmental justice research in the US has generally focused on toxics, urban design, hazard management, and segregation have reshaped patterns of risk associated with environmental processes, such as flooding, and the social patterns of exposure to those risks. In Baltimore, flood risks have been a major impetus behind the engineering of the hydrologic systems of the city.
ULTRA-Ex: Connecting the social and ecological sciences with planners, managers, and the public: Building a broad foundation for the Chicago Region ULTRA
The Chicago Region ULTRA-Ex will address a question fundamental to understanding the dynamic interactions between biodiversity conservation, ecosystem processes, and human well being in urban landscapes: In a complex urban/metropolitan system, what are the synergies and tradeoffs between conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services to people? The project focuses on the Green Infrastructure Vision of the Chicago Wilderness alliance, a conservation consortium of over 240 organizations.
Bonanza Creek LTER focuses on the Alaskan boreal forest. The forest provides important ecosystem services that include tangible benefits for the communities that reside in Interior Alaska. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as berries, mushrooms, firewood, and birch bark are key resources that are gathered from the landscape. NTFPs are harvested for subsistence, cultural, personal, and commercial purposes.
The KBS LTER site is in a diverse, rural-to-semirural landscape typical of the U.S. Great Lakes and upper Midwest regions. Research at KBS asks how diverse plants, animals, and microbes in agricultural landscapes can contribute to farm productivity, environmental performance, and profitability. We study annual and perennial crops including corn, soybean, and wheat rotations, forage crops such as alfalfa, and biofuel crops such as poplars, switchgrass, and native successional communities.
In many parts of the United States, roughly 40% of forest is in non-industrial, private ownership, and in much of the eastern US, as much as 75% of all forest is in this category. Nationally, surveys and participation rates suggest most owners do not participate in traditional management or technical assistance programs, nor do they obtain professional advice prior to a management decision such as the sale of timber.
The Integrative Science for Society and Environment (ISSE) initiative and its working model for the interaction of ecosystems and social systems represent the product of tremendous investment by the LTER network and its scientists as part of the 20-year planning process. Researchers in the emerging field of sustainability science promote similar frameworks that fundamentally integrate economy, ecology, and equity.