Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Issue Date

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Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Issue Date

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  • Decker, K. L.; Wang, D.; Waite, C.; Scherbatskoy, T. (2003
      We measured deciduous forest soil temperatures under control (unmanipulated) and snow-free (where snow is manually removed) conditions for four winters (at three soil depths) to determine effects of a snow cover reduction such as may occur as a result of climate change on Vermont forest soils. The four winters we studied were characterized as: 'cold and snowy', 'warm with low snow', 'cold with low snow', and 'cool with low snow'. Snow-free soils were colder than controls at 5- and 15-cm depth for all years, and at all depths in the two cold winters. Soil thermal variability generally decreased with both increased snow cover and soil depth. The effect of snow cover on soil freeze-thaw events was highly dependent on both the depth of snow and the soil temperature. Snow kept the soil warm and reduced soil temperature variability, but often this caused soil to remain near 0ºC, resulting in more freeze-thaw events under snow at one or more soil depths. During the 'cold snowy' wnter, soils under snow had daily averages consistently >0ºC, whereas snow-free soil temperatures commonly dropped below -3ºC. During the 'warm' year, temperatures of soil under snow were often lower than those of snow-free soils. The warmer winter resulted in less snow cover to insulate soild from freezing in the biologically active top cm. The possible consequences of increased soil freezing include more root mortatlity and nutrient loss, which would potentially alter ecosystem dynamics, decrease productivity of some tree species, and increase sugar maple (
  • Rizzo, D. M. (Lewis Publishers, Cambridge, U.K.., 2003
  • Campbell, BM; Gunarso, P; Kartawinata, K; Levang, P; Rhee, S; Sheil, D; Sist, P; Wollenberg, E (IN: Research towards Integrated Natural Resources Management. Harwood, RR and Kassam, AH eds. CGIAR, Rome, 2003
  • Todd, J.; Brown, E. J. G.; Wells, E. (Ecological Engineering, 2003
      Over the past three decades ecological design has been applied to an increasingly diverse range of technologies and innovative solutions for the management of resources. Ecological technologies have been created for the food sector, waste conversion industries, architecture and landscape design, and to the field of environmental protection and restoration. The five case studies presented here represent applications of ecological design in five areas: sewage treatment, the restoration of a polluted body of water, the treatment of high strength industrial waste in lagoons, the integration of ecological systems with architecture, and an agriculturally based Eco-Park. Case #1 is an Advanced Ecologically Engineered System (AEES) for the treatment of sewage in Vermont, a cold climate. The facility treated 300 m(3) per day (79,250 gallons per day) of sewage to advanced or tertiary wastewater standards, including during the winter months. A number of commercial byproducts were developed as part of the treatment process. Case #2 involved the treatment of a pond contaminated with 295 m(3) per day (77,930 gallons per day) of toxic leachate from an adjacent landfill. A floating Restorer was built to treat the polluted pond. The Restorer was powered by wind and solar based energy sources. Over the past decade the pond has improved. There has been a positive oxygen regime throughout the water column, bottom sediments have been digested and the quality of the sediment chemistry has improved. The biodiversity of the macrobenthos of the pond has increased as a result of the improved conditions. Case #3 involved the treatment of 37,850 m 3 per day (I million gallons per day) of high strength waste from a poultry processing plant utilizing a dozen AEES Restorers. The technology has resulted in a 74% drop in energy requirements for treatment and has dramatically reduced the need for sludge removal. Currently, sludge degradation is proceeding faster than sludge accumulation. Case #4 includes several examples of buildings that utilize ecologically engineered systems to treat, recycle and permit the reuse of wastewater. The new Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College is a recent example of this trend. Case #5 describes the work that is leading to the creation of an urban, agriculturally based, Eco-Park in Burlington, Vermont. Waste heat from a nearby power station will provide year round climate control in a structure developed for food processing businesses, including a brewery, and for the onsite growth of diverse foods in integrated systems. We also describe a project to amplify the value of waste organic materials through biological conversion to high value products such as fish, flowers, mushrooms, soils amendments, and livestock and fish feeds. An ecologically designed fish culture facility will be an integral part of the Eco-Park complex. The project is intended to demonstrate the economic viability of integrative design in an urban setting and to address the important issue of locally based food production. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Czech, B.; Allen, E.; Batker, D.; Beier, P.; Daly, H.; Erickson, J.; Garrettson, P.; Geist, V.; Gowdy, J.; Greenwalt, L.; Hands, H.; Krausman, P.; Magee, P.; Miller, C.; Novak, K.; Pullis, G.; Robinson, C.; Santa-Barbara, J.; Teer, J.; Trauger, D.; Willer, C. (2003
  • Seguino, Stephanie; Floro, Maria Sagrario (International Review of Applied Economics, 2003
  • Wollenberg, E. K. (Environment and Planning AEnviron. Plan. A, 2003
      As people living near forests in many parts of the world receive recognition of resource-management rights, questions arise about where forest boundaries should be set and who should legitimately receive these rights. Drawing on research conducted among forest-dwelling Kenyah communities in Kalimantan, Indonesia, during 1995 to 1998, I show that the realization of resource rights must be understood in the social context of how boundaries are interpreted and negotiated. Access to and control over forest resources is as much a matter of boundary keeping as of boundary setting. The analysis shows that boundary keepers assessed whether someone should be given access based on the potential user's entitlement, identity, and the potential for exchange. Understanding the 'fuzziness' of how seemingly clear boundary rules are applied should provide a more realistic picture of how groups gain and control access to resources in practice.
  • Seguino, Stephanie (Social and Economic Studies, 2003
  • Danks, C., M. Goebel, and K. Steer (Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK.Sheffield, UK, 2003
  • Alcamo, J.; Ash, N. J.; Butler, C. D.; Callicott, J. B.; Capistrano, D.; Carpenter, S.; Castilla, J. C.; Chambers, R.; Chopra, K.; Cropper, A.; Daily, G. C.; Dasgupta, P.; de Groot, R.; Deitz, T.; Duraiappah, A. K.; Gadgil, M.; Hamilton, K.; Hassan, R.; Lambin, E. F.; Lebel, L.; Leemans, R.; Jiyuan, L.; Malingreau, J. P.; May, R. M.; McCalla, A. F.; McMichael, A. J.; Moldan, B.; Mooney, H. A.; Naeem, S.; Nelson, G. C.; Wen-Yuan, N.; Noble, I.; Zhiyun, O.; Pagiola, S.; Pauly, D.; Percy, S.; Pingali, P.; Prescott-Allen, R.; Reid, W. V.; Ricketts, T. H.; Samper, C.; Scholes, R.; Simons, H.; Toth, F. L.; Turpie, J. K.; Watson, R. T.; Wilbanks, T. J.; Williams, M.; Wood, S.; Shidong, Z.; Zurek, M. B. (Island Press, Washington, D. C..Washington, D. C., 2003
  • Mote, P. W.; Parson, E.; Hamlet, A. F.; Keeton, W. S.; Lettenmaier, D.; Mantua, N.; Miles, E. L.; Peterson, D.; Peterson, D. L.; Slaughter, R.; Snover, A. K. (Climatic Change, 2003
      The impacts of year-to-year and decade-to-decade climatic variations on some of the Pacific Northwest's key natural resources can be quantified to estimate sensitivity to regional climatic changes expected as part of anthropogenic global climatic change. Warmer, drier years, often associated with El Nino events and/or the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, tend to be associated with below-average snowpack, streamflow, and flood risk, below-average salmon survival, below-average forest growth, and above-average risk of forest fire. During the 20th century, the region experienced a warming of 0.8degreesC. Using output from eight climate models, we project a further warming of 0.5-2.5degreesC (central estimate 1.5degreesC) by the 2020s, 1.5-3.2degreesC (2.3degreesC) by the 2040s, and an increase in precipitation except in summer. The foremost impact of a warming climate will be the reduction of regional snowpack, which presently supplies water for ecosystems and human uses during the dry summers. Our understanding of past climate also illustrates the responses of human management systems to climatic stresses, and suggests that a warming of the rate projected would pose significant challenges to the management of natural resources. Resource managers and planners currently have few plans for adapting to or mitigating the ecological and economic effects of climatic change.
  • Edmunds, D.; Wollenberg, E.; eds (Earthscan Publications, London.London, 2003
      Local government is built around careful and illuminating case studies of the effects of devolution policies on the management of forests in several Asian countries. The studies demonstrate that devolution policies - contrary to the claims of governments - have actually increased governmental control over the management of local resources, and a lower cost to the state. The controversial findings show that if local forest users are to exercise genuine control over forest management, they must be better represented in the processes of forming, implementing and evaluating devolution policies. In addition, the guiding principle for policy discussions should be to create sustainable livelihoods for local resource users, especially the poorest among them, rather than reducing the cost of government forest administration.
  • Kobos, P. H.; Erickson, J. D.; Drennen, T. E. (2003
      This article reports on a simulation and scenario analysis of Chinese passenger vehicle growth and resulting energy demand and CO2 emissions, Pie model includes provincial level logistic, growth functions with saturation levels representative of neighboring Asian economies, income growth measured in international dollars, and both estimated and literature-based income elasticities. Scenarios explore variation in key, parameters, including income and population growth rates, elasticity income ranges fuel economy, and vehicle saturation. Countrywide base case results estimate growth from 4.22 to 54.33 passenger vehicles per thousand people from 1995 to 2025, Resulting passenger vehicle oil demands and CO2 emissions increase nearly 17-fold.
  • Roman, J.; Palumbi, S. R. (Science, 2003
      It is well known that hunting dramatically reduced all baleen whale populations, yet reliable estimates of former whale abundances are elusive. Based on coalescent models for mitochondrial DNA sequence variation, the genetic diversity of North Atlantic whales suggests population sizes of approximately 240,000 humpback, 360,000 fin, and 265,000 minke whales. Estimates for fin and humpback whales are far greater than those previously calculated for prewhaling populations and 6 to 20 times higher than present-day population estimates. Such discrepancies suggest the need for a quantitative reevaluation of historical whale populations and a fundamental revision in our conception of the natural state of the oceans.
  • Wright, E. L.; Erickson, J. D. (Climatic Change, 2003
      Incorporating potential catastrophic consequences into integrated assessment models of climate change has been a top priority of policymakers and modelers alike. We review the current state of scientific understanding regarding three frequently mentioned geophysical catastrophes, with a view toward their implications for integrated assessment modeling. This review finds inadequacies in widespread model assumptions regarding the nature of catastrophes themselves and climate change impacts more generally. The possibility of greatly postponed consequences from near- and medium-term actions suggests that standard discounting practices are inappropriate for the analysis of climate catastrophe. Careful consideration of paleoclimate and geophysical modeling evidence regarding the possibility of changes in ocean circulation suggests a reframing of the source of climate change damages in economic models, placing changes in climate predictability, rather than gradual changes in mean values, at the focus of economic damage assessments. The implications of decreases in predictability for the modeling of adaptation are further discussed.
  • Danks, C. (Island Press, Covelo, CA.Covelo, CA, 2003
  • Herendeen, R. A. (Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2003
  • Wemple, B. C.; Jones, J. A. (Water Resources Research, 2003
      [1] This study investigated how roads interact with hillslope flow in a steep, forested landscape dominated by subsurface flow and how road interactions with hillslope flow paths influence hydrologic response during storms in a second-order catchment. Runoff was measured continuously from 12 subcatchments draining to road segments and covering 14% of a 101-ha, second-order catchment (WS3) in the Andrews Forest, Oregon. Observed runoff over the 1996 water year was compared to predictions for runoff timing and interception of a hillslope water table based on a simple model of kinematic subsurface storm flow. Observed runoff behavior was consistent with model estimates, a finding that underscores the utility of this simple approach for predicting and explaining runoff dynamics on forest roads constructed on steep hillslopes. Road segments in the study area interacted in at least four distinct ways with complex landforms, potentially producing very different effects depending on landform characteristics. Hillslope length, soil depth, and cutbank depth explained much of the variation in road runoff production among subcatchments and among storm events. Especially during large storm events, a majority of instrumented road segments intercepted subsurface flow and routed it to ditches and thence directly to streams with a timing that contributed to the rising limb of the catchment-wide hydrograph. The approach used in this study may be useful for model development and for targeting road segments for removal or restoration.
  • Rosenzweig, M. L.; Turner, W. R.; Cox, J. G.; Ricketts, T. H. (Conservation Biology, 2003
      Estimating the number of species in a biogeographical province can be problematic. A number of methods have been developed to overcome sample-size limits within a single habitat. We evaluated six of these methods to see whether they could also compensate for incomplete habitat samples. We applied them to the butterfly species of the 110 ecoregions of Canada and the United States. Two of the methods use the frequency of species that occur in a few of the sampled ecoregions. These two methods did not work. The other four methods estimate the asymptote of the species-accumulation curve (the graph of "number of species in a set of samples" versus "number of species occurrences in those samples"). The asymptote of this curve is the actual number of species in the system. Three of these extrapolation estimators produced good estimates of total diversity even when limited to 10% of the ecoregions. Good estimates depend on sampling ecoregions that are hyperdispersed in space. Clustered sampling designs ruin the usefulness of the three successful methods. To ascertain their generality, our results must be duplicated at other scales and for other taxa and in other provinces.
  • Zia, Asim (2004
      When confronted with decisions involving the provision of environmental resources, such as clean air, do individuals act cooperatively with societal regulations? This study employs a quasi-experimental design to investigate the cooperative and non-cooperative actions of high-emitting vehicle owners that arose in response to the Inspection and Maintenance (IM) program in the Atlanta airshed. The impact of cooperative and non-cooperative actions of high-emitters on vehicular tail-pipe emissions, such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), is quantified. Furthermore, the hypothesis that high-emitters have significantly higher odds of residing in lower income neighborhoods as compared to the normal emitters is also tested. A remote sensing sample of approximately 1.42 million vehicles observed on-road between 1997 and 2001 is matched with IM program data and vehicle registration data to identify the cooperative and non-cooperative high-emitters. A mixed-pool time-series regression analysis is undertaken to estimate changes in vehicular tail-pipe emissions due to the actions of high-emitters. The information about the socio-economic and demographic contextual conditions of the sampled vehicle owners is ascertained from 2000 census data. Approximately 42% of the high-emitting vehicle owners are found to be cooperative and 58% non-cooperative. The cooperative actions caused a decrease of 47% in HC emission factors during 1997 and 2001. There is no statistical difference between the CO and NO emission factors of vehicles owned by cooperative and non-cooperative high-emitters. Results also suggest that the high-emitters live in 4.4% lower median household income areas as compared to the normal emitters in the Atlanta airshed. Changes in the current IM program rules and vehicle registration laws could improve air quality. Such changes include disallowing IM test failures from registering anywhere in the state of Georgia and requiring an IM test on every change of vehicle ownership inside the IM program area. Better incentive mechanisms for high-emitters can also be designed. The evidence from this study is expected to aid policy-makers to adapt the incentive mechanisms of IM programs, in particular, and environmental regulations, in general, so that public policies are both more effective and equitable in their societal impacts.

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