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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing trade-offs between crop production and ecological services: the Calapooia Basin

Authors
item Colvin, R - OSU
item Giannico, G - OSU
item Herlihy, A - OSU
item Gerth, W - OSU
item Confessor, R - OSU
item Fare, R - OSU
item Garcia, T - OSU
item Griffith, Stephen
item Grosskopf, S - OSU
item Mccomb, B - UNIV. OF MASSACHUSETTS
item Whittaker, Gerald
item Mueller Warrant, George

Submitted to: Seed Production Research at Oregon State University
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Citation: Colvin, R.W., Giannico, G.R., Herlihy, A.T., Gerth, W.J., Confessor, R.B., Fare, R.G., Garcia, T.S., Griffith, S.M., Grosskopf, S.P., Mccomb, B.C., Whittaker, G.W., Mueller Warrant, G.W. 2008. Assessing trade-offs between crop production and ecological services: the Calapooia Basin. Seed Production Research at Oregon State University. 127: 78-79.

Technical Abstract: In order to assess the trade-offs between crop production and ecological services within a watershed, one must quantify linkages between conservation practices in grass seed producing areas and biophysical responses including water quality and biological indicators and develop a model to assess tradeoffs between agricultural practices that maximize economic benefits and conservation actions that sustains or improve ecosystem services. This new project’s objectives were to: 1) Describe the extent, timing and placement of conservation practices currently in the study watershed; 2) Assess the effects of those conservation practices, their location and their interactions on water quality and quantity; 3) Evaluate the effects of conservation practices on key biological indicators that respond to cumulative alterations in land cover and resulting water quality and quantity; and 4) Develop an objective-optimization model based on the information derived from objectives to assist farmers, NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) staff, and local conservation districts in identifying cost effective conservation practice strategies. These data will be disseminated to specific target audiences through adequate outreach activities and extension products. In our attempt to quantify linkages between conservation practices and biophysical responses, including water quality and biological indicators, and to develop a model to assess trade-offs between agricultural practices that maximize economic benefits and conservation actions that sustain or improve ecosystem services we completed the following steps during 2007. The SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) stream flow model was successfully calibrated and validated in the Calapooia watershed, a field season of new physical habitat, water quality, fish, amphibian, and bird data was collected, and a new amphibian capture protocol was developed and implemented so that we could sample intermittent streams directly adjacent to grass seed fields. We also collected fish and macroinvertebrate data in intermittent streams within the basin over the last six years were entered into composite databases, relationships between fish and macroinvertebrate metrics and physical habitat, water quality, and GIS (Geographic Information System)-derived landscape metrics were investigated. Initial data analyses lead to the selection of four fish metrics and four macroinvertebrate metrics for detailed analyses. Most of these biological condition metrics were affected by distance to the nearest perennial water source. Species richness, diversity, and fish CPUE (Catch Per Unit Effort) decreased significantly as the distance to a perennial water source increases.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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