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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL LAND MANAGEMENT TO OPTIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION AT FARM AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: Long-term Environmental Research: The Upper Washita River Experimental Watersheds, Oklahoma, USA

Authors
item STEINER, JEAN
item STARKS, PATRICK
item GARBRECHT, JURGEN
item MORIASI, DANIEL
item ZHANG, XUNCHANG
item SCHNEIDER, JEANNE
item GUZMAN, JORGE
item Osei, Edward -

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 11, 2014
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Citation: Steiner, J.L., Starks, P.J., Garbrecht, J.D., Moriasi, D.N., Zhang, X.J., Schneider, J.M., Guzman Jaimes, J.A., Osei, E. 2014. Long-term Environmental Research: The Upper Washita River Experimental Watersheds, Oklahoma, USA. Journal of Environmental Quality. 43:1227-1238.

Interpretive Summary: Water is central to life and earth processes, connecting physical, biological, chemical, ecological, and economic forces across the landscape. The vast scope of hydrologic sciences, as it relates to agroecosystems, requires research efforts worldwide and across a wide range of disciplines. While hydrologic processes and scientific investigations related to sustainable agricultural systems are based on universal principles, research to understand the processes and evaluate alternative management scenarios is often site-specific in order to optimize the use of a critical mass of expertise and investment to address spatially, temporally, and ecologically complex systems. In the face of dynamic climate, market, and policy environments, long-term research is required to understand and predict the risks of possible outcomes to alternative future scenarios. This special section describes the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s long-term research in the Upper Washita River basin of Oklahoma. Data papers provide detailed documentation of datasets (weather, hydrology, physiography, land cover, and sediment and nutrient water quality) and associated research papers present analyses and findings based on those data sets. This “living history” of research is presented as a resource to engage collaborative scientists across institutions and disciplines to further explore complex, interactive processes and systems. Application of scientific understanding to resolve pressing constraints on sustainable intensification of agriculture while enhancing resilience of linked land and human systems will require complex research approaches. Research areas that this watershed research program can continue to address include: resilience to current and future climate pressures; sources, fate, and transport of contaminants at a watershed scale; linked atmospheric-surface-subsurface hydrologic processes; high spatiotemporal resolution analyses of linked hydrologic processes revealed in extensive and currently unwieldy datasets; and multiple-objective decision making across linked farm to watershed scales.

Technical Abstract: Water is central to life and earth processes, connecting physical, biological, chemical, ecological, and economic forces across the landscape. The vast scope of hydrologic sciences, as it relates to agroecosystems, requires research efforts worldwide and across a wide range of disciplines. While hydrologic processes and scientific investigations related to sustainable agricultural systems are based on universal principles, research to understand the processes and evaluate alternative management scenarios is often site-specific in order to optimize the use of a critical mass of expertise and investment to address spatially, temporally, and ecologically complex systems. In the face of dynamic climate, market, and policy environments, long-term research is required to understand and predict the risks of possible outcomes to alternative future scenarios. This special section describes the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s long-term research in the Upper Washita River basin of Oklahoma. Data papers provide detailed documentation of datasets (weather, hydrology, physiography, land cover, and sediment and nutrient water quality) and associated research papers present analyses and findings based on those data sets. This “living history” of research is presented as a resource to engage collaborative scientists across institutions and disciplines to further explore complex, interactive processes and systems. Application of scientific understanding to resolve pressing constraints on sustainable intensification of agriculture while enhancing resilience of linked land and human systems will require complex research approaches. Research areas that this watershed research program can continue to address include: resilience to current and future climate pressures; sources, fate, and transport of contaminants at a watershed scale; linked atmospheric-surface-subsurface hydrologic processes; high spatiotemporal resolution analyses of linked hydrologic processes revealed in extensive and currently unwieldy datasets; and multiple-objective decision making across linked farm to watershed scales.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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