Using ecosystem services to understand the impact of land cover change: a case study of the upper San Pedro watershed
AuthorChan, David Joseph
Guertin, D. Philip
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn arid and semiarid environments, various natural and anthropogenic stressors have resulted in land cover change that has negatively impacted the ecological integrity of the landscape. Society, however, relies on many ecological processes and functions provided by the landscape to enhance its wellbeing. The direct and indirect benefits society receives from the landscape are collectively termed "ecosystem services." The overarching goal of this thesis was to examine how the landscape has changed and to analyze how these changes impact the ecosystem services supplied by the landscape. The Upper San Pedro watershed in southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora was used as a case study to link land cover change with an array of ecosystem services to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of ecosystem service supply. To accomplish this, a multitemporal land cover dataset for the watershed was updated to extend the temporal coverage to 37 years across 5 land cover datasets. Indicators serving as proxy variables for a variety of ecosystem services were assessed for each land cover class. This linkage between land cover and ecosystem services enabled an analysis of the tradeoffs and synergies within the array of services each land cover class can provide. Combined with the multitemporal land cover dataset, the spatiotemporal dynamics of potential ecosystem service supply were analyzed across the watershed for a 37 year period. Rather than examining the impacts of land cover change on the biophysical aspects of the environment, this approach enables land managers and decision makers to explore the implications of a changing landscape on human wellbeing.
Degree ProgramGraduate College