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Monday, April 9 • 11:15am - 11:30am
TERRESTRIAL-AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM INTERACTIONS: Land Cover Change: Understanding Impacts to Ecosystem Services in the Long Island Sound National Estuary

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AUTHORS: Georgia Basso*, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jamie M.P. Vaudrey, University of Connecticut; Kevin O’Brien, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Melissa Albino Hegeman, Victoria O’Neill – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

ABSTRACT: Coastal habitats like wetlands, rivers, and eelgrass are extremely vulnerable and valuable to humans. Their continued decline has an impact on people and ecosystems. Understanding land use and land cover change is a critical component of effective landscape scale planning. A small team of habitat experts conducted the first assessment of tidal wetland change over the past 130 years for the Long Island Sound National Estuary. We also assessed change in river condition and eelgrass habitat in this estuary. Drawing on a recent ecosystem service assessment, we quantified the economic impact of habitat change and the effect that land cover change has on ecosystem services including carbon and nitrogen sequestration. Understanding land cover change is valuable for goal setting and helps prevent shifting ecological baselines. Historic information provides perspective and can galvanize public support. Understanding the extent and impacts of this change is the first step to designing and protecting a landscape that provides the level of ecological function and value that people desire.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:15am - 11:30am CDT
LaSalle 1 (7th Floor)

Attendees (2)