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Sci Total Environ ; 569-570: 1265-1281, 2016 Nov 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27387796


Complex watershed simulation models are powerful tools that can help scientists and policy-makers address challenging topics, such as land use management and water security. In the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), complex hydrological models have been applied at various scales to help describe relationships between land use and water, nutrient, and sediment dynamics. This manuscript evaluated the capacity of the current Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to predict hydrological and water quality processes within WLEB at the finest resolution watershed boundary unit (NHDPlus) along with the current conditions and conservation scenarios. The process based SWAT model was capable of the fine-scale computation and complex routing used in this project, as indicated by measured data at five gaging stations. The level of detail required for fine-scale spatial simulation made the use of both hard and soft data necessary in model calibration, alongside other model adaptations. Limitations to the model's predictive capacity were due to a paucity of data in the region at the NHDPlus scale rather than due to SWAT functionality. Results of treatment scenarios demonstrate variable effects of structural practices and nutrient management on sediment and nutrient loss dynamics. Targeting treatment to acres with critical outstanding conservation needs provides the largest return on investment in terms of nutrient loss reduction per dollar spent, relative to treating acres with lower inherent nutrient loss vulnerabilities. Importantly, this research raises considerations about use of models to guide land management decisions at very fine spatial scales. Decision makers using these results should be aware of data limitations that hinder fine-scale model interpretation.

PLoS One ; 10(10): e0140430, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26452279


The sources of water and corresponding delivery mechanisms to groundwater-fed fens are not well understood due to the multi-scale geo-morphologic variability of the glacial landscape in which they occur. This lack of understanding limits the ability to effectively conserve these systems and the ecosystem services they provide, including biodiversity and water provisioning. While fens tend to occur in clusters around regional groundwater mounds, Ives Road Fen in southern Michigan is an example of a geographically-isolated fen. In this paper, we apply a multi-scale groundwater modeling approach to understand the groundwater sources for Ives Road fen. We apply Transition Probability geo-statistics on more than 3000 well logs from a state-wide water well database to characterize the complex geology using conditional simulations. We subsequently implement a 3-dimensional reverse particle tracking to delineate groundwater contribution areas to the fen. The fen receives water from multiple sources: local recharge, regional recharge from an extensive till plain, a regional groundwater mound, and a nearby pond. The regional sources deliver water through a tortuous, 3-dimensional "pipeline" consisting of a confined aquifer lying beneath an extensive clay layer. Water in this pipeline reaches the fen by upwelling through openings in the clay layer. The pipeline connects the geographically-isolated fen to the same regional mound that provides water to other fen clusters in southern Michigan. The major implication of these findings is that fen conservation efforts must be expanded from focusing on individual fens and their immediate surroundings, to studying the much larger and inter-connected hydrologic network that sustains multiple fens.

Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Água Subterrânea , Hidrologia , Monitoramento Ambiental , Geologia , Humanos , Lagos , Michigan , Tanques
Conserv Biol ; 24(4): 1002-11, 2010 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20337671


Protected areas are a cornerstone of conservation and have been designed largely around terrestrial features. Freshwater species and ecosystems are highly imperiled, but the effectiveness of existing protected areas in representing freshwater features is poorly known. Using the inland waters of Michigan as a test case, we quantified the coverage of four key freshwater features (wetlands, riparian zones, groundwater recharge, rare species) within conservation lands and compared these with representation of terrestrial features. Wetlands were included within protected areas more often than expected by chance, but riparian zones were underrepresented across all (GAP 1-3) protected lands, particularly for headwater streams and large rivers. Nevertheless, within strictly protected lands (GAP 1-2), riparian zones were highly represented because of the contribution of the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Representation of areas of groundwater recharge was generally proportional to area of the reserve network within watersheds, although a recharge hotspot associated with some of Michigan's most valued rivers is almost entirely unprotected. Species representation in protected areas differed significantly among obligate aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial species, with representation generally highest for terrestrial species and lowest for aquatic species. Our results illustrate the need to further evaluate and address the representation of freshwater features within protected areas and the value of broadening gap analysis and other protected-areas assessments to include key ecosystem processes that are requisite to long-term conservation of species and ecosystems. We conclude that terrestrially oriented protected-area networks provide a weak safety net for aquatic features, which means complementary planning and management for both freshwater and terrestrial conservation targets is needed.

Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/estatística & dados numéricos , Ecossistema , Peixes , Insetos , Moluscos , Animais , Bases de Dados Factuais , Água Doce , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Michigan , Especificidade da Espécie , Áreas Alagadas