NCEAS Project 3102

Protecting water by conserving land: The importance of spatial arrangement in influencing ecosystem processes

  • Sarah E. Gergel

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Postdoctoral Fellow1st September 2000—31st May 2003Participant List  

Abstract
Strategic placement of restored wetlands can reduce sediment and nutrient inputs to aquatic systems, attenuating the effects of agricultural conversion. While the role of riparian buffer strips for controlling sediments and nutrient runoff is established, the benefits of strategic placement of conserved land in the rest of a watershed is poorly understood. I will create watershed models of select ecoregions to determine the optimal spatial arrangement of land in an entire a watershed for minimizing sediment and/or nutrient runoff. This work will address a fundamental question of ecology, "When does the spatial arrangement of habitats matter for the functioning of ecosystem processes?" and will provide critical information for managers regarding strategic land acquisition.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Software Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G. 2001. CD-ROM accompanying the book Learning Landscape Ecology. Springer-Verlag. New York. (Online version)
Book Chapter Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G.; Mladenoff, D. J. 2001. Collecting spatial data at broad scales. Edited by Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G. Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques. Springer-Verlag. New York. Pages 9-16. (Online version)
Book Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G. 2001. Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques. Springer-Verlag. New York. Pages 316. (Online version)
Book Chapter Gergel, Sarah E.; Reed-Anderson, T. 2001. Modeling ecosystem processes. Edited by Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G. Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques. Springer-Verlag. Pages 226-277. (Online version)
Journal Article Gergel, Sarah E. 2002. Assessing cumulative impacts of levees and dams on floodplain ponds: A neutral-terrain model approach. Ecological Applications. Vol: 12(6). Pages 1740-1754.
Journal Article Gergel, Sarah E.; Dixon, Mark D.; Turner, Monica G. 2002. Consequences of human-altered floods: Levees, floods, and floodplain forests along the Wisconsin River. Ecological Applications. Vol: 12(6). Pages 1755-1770.
Journal Article Gergel, Sarah E.; Turner, Monica G.; Miller, James R.; Melack, John M.; Stanley, Emily H. 2002. Landscape indicators of human impacts to riverine systems. Aquatic Sciences. Vol: 64. Pages 118-128.
Journal Article Gergel, Sarah E. 2005. Spatial and non-spatial factors: When do they affect landscape indicators of watershed loading?. Landscape Ecology. Vol: 20. Pages 177–189.
Journal Article Langford, William T.; Gergel, Sarah E.; Dietterich, Thomas G.; Cohen, Warren B. 2006. Map misclassification can cause large errors in landscape pattern indices: Examples from habitat fragmentation. Ecosystems. Vol: 9. Pages 474-488.