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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390601

Research Project: Long-term Management of Water Resources in the Central Mississippi River Basin

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Ecosystem services modeling within agroecoregions – applications of the LTAR spatial framework

item Baffaut, Claire
item Coffin, Alisa
item Goslee, Sarah
item Pisarello, Kathryn
item Witthaus, Lindsey
item White, Michael

Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2021
Publication Date: 4/11/2022
Citation: Baffaut, C., Coffin, A.W., Goslee, S.C., Pisarello, K., Witthaus, L.M., White, M.J. 2022. Ecosystem services modeling within agroecoregions – applications of the LTAR spatial framework [abstract]. International Association for Landscape Ecology - North American Annual Meeting, April 11-14, 2022, virtual. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network was set up to ensure the long-term sustainability of agroecosystems across the United States, which requires the extrapolation of plot- and field-scale experimental results across these regions and beyond under multiple climate and management scenarios. A full experimental characterization of agroecosystems across the range of bio-physical conditions within each region is not practically feasible, nor does it address their sustainability under future climatic conditions. Therefore, we endeavor to use process-based, statistical, and geospatial models for such extrapolation, which require regionally calibrated input parameters. Here we identify how the regionalization process provides a spatial framework for modeling and may help mitigate the challenges associated with using models for extrapolation. We summarize the outcomes of regional and national modeling efforts designed to assess ecosystem services at the field-scale with the Agricultural Policy Experimental Extender, and at watershed and river-basin scale with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Additionally, at larger spatial scales, regression-based statistical approaches based on satellite or re-analysis data, can be useful in characterizing a system where observed physical processes are difficult to directly quantify. We envision using suites of models such as those available in InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) to evaluate tradeoffs among the multiple uses of rural working lands within LTAR agroecoregions, and to apply concepts such as telecoupling (and pericoupling) to examine the flows and dependencies among and across regions. Building on these efforts and the agroecoregions defined through the regionalization process, we present a framework to scale up field-scale conclusions to larger regions.