ecosystem impacts of urbanization in the u.s.


Our overarching research goal is to improve the knowledge base regarding the rate and form of land cover change at the urban-agriculture interface, better understand the outcomes of demographic, economic drivers and changing land management in these areas, and determine how the resulting changes impact the ecosystem goods and services we derive from these landscapes.To achieve this goal, our research program has three main components:

(1) detect, measure, and characterize the rates and patterns of land use change – specifically urban growth and changing agricultural practices – in case study regions in the U.S.;

(2) improve the capabilities and performance of an agro-ecosystem model (Agro-IBIS) by integrating new remote sensing information, adding representation of rice and bioenergy crops, and calibrating and validating model performance in new regions; and

(3) estimate the spatial and temporal variability of ecosystem goods and services (e.g. crop yields, total production, grassland/forest NPP, soil carbon, surface runoff, climate regulation) in the case study regions by combining information on land use change with simulations from Agro-IBIS.

Recent publications

Schneider, A., Logan, K.E., Kucharik, C. (2012). Impacts of urbanization on ecosystem goods and services in the U.S. Corn Belt. Ecosystems, doi: 10.1007/s10021-012-9519-1.

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Research questions

How much food production has been lost due to urban expansion? Are we paving over our most valuable and productive agricultural lands?

Research team

Annemarie Schneider, Chris Kucharik, Kelly Logan

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