Publications by authors named "Eric G Booth"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Data inaccessibility at sub-county scale limits implementation of manuresheds.

J Environ Qual 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 1575 Linden Dr., Madison, WI, 53705, USA.

The manureshed concept aims to rebalance surplus manure nutrients produced at animal feeding operations (sources) and the demands from nutrient-deficient croplands (sinks) to reduce negative environmental impacts and utilize nutrients more efficiently. Due to water quality implications, studies focused on this rebalancing have typically created domain boundaries that match a particular watershed. However, a majority of agricultural datasets that are used to inform these analyses-specifically, livestock populations-are only available at the county scale, which generally does not match watershed boundaries. The common method used to address this mismatch is to weight the county statistics based on the proportion of watershed area within the county. However, these straightforward assumptions imply that animal density is uniform across a county, which can be highly problematic, especially in an era of increasing concentration of livestock production on a smaller land area. We present a case study of the Lake Mendota watershed in south-central Wisconsin using both a typical county-based downscaled dataset as well as a more spatially explicit dataset of livestock counts from the Census of Agriculture that aggregates a set of zip codes that best matches the watershed boundary. This comparison reveals a substantial difference in estimated livestock numbers and their associated manure production that is due to a concentration of dairy operations within the watershed compared with the rest of the county. We argue that sub-county scale data need to become more available and integrated into nutrient and water quality management efforts so that manuresheds can be more effectively delineated and implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jeq2.20271DOI Listing
July 2021

Comparing the effects of climate and land use on surface water quality using future watershed scenarios.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Nov 24;693:133484. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA; Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

Eutrophication of freshwaters occurs in watersheds with excessive pollution of phosphorus (P). Factors that affect P cycling and transport, including climate and land use, are changing rapidly and can have legacy effects, making future freshwater quality uncertain. Focusing on the Yahara Watershed (YW) of southern Wisconsin, USA, an intensive agricultural landscape, we explored the relative influence of land use and climate on three indicators of water quality over a span of 57 years (2014-2070). The indicators included watershed-averaged P yield from the land surface, direct drainage P loads to a lake, and average summertime lake P concentration. Using biophysical model simulations of future watershed scenarios, we found that climate exerted a stronger influence than land use on all three indicators, yet land use had an important role in influencing long term outcomes for each. Variations in P yield due to land use exceeded those due to climate in 36 of 57 years, whereas variations in load and lake total P concentration due to climate exceeded those due to land use in 54 of 57 years, and 52 of 57 years, respectively. The effect of land use was thus strongest for P yield off the landscape and attenuated in the stream and lake aquatic systems where the influence of weather variability was greater. Overall these findings underscore the dominant role of climate in driving inter-annual nutrient fluxes within the hydrologic network and suggest a challenge for land use to influence water quality within streams and lakes over timescales less than a decade. Over longer timescales, reducing applications of P throughout the watershed was an effective management strategy under all four climates investigated, even during decades with wetter conditions and more frequent extreme precipitation events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.290DOI Listing
November 2019

Scenarios reveal pathways to sustain future ecosystem services in an agricultural landscape.

Ecol Appl 2018 01 11;28(1):119-134. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706, USA.

Sustaining food production, water quality, soil retention, flood, and climate regulation in agricultural landscapes is a pressing global challenge given accelerating environmental changes. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures, and scenarios can be integrated with biophysical simulation models to explore quantitatively how the future might unfold. However, few studies have incorporated a wide range of drivers (e.g., climate, land-use, management, population, human diet) in spatially explicit, process-based models to investigate spatial-temporal dynamics and relationships of a portfolio of ecosystem services. Here, we simulated nine ecosystem services (three provisioning and six regulating services) at 220 × 220 m from 2010 to 2070 under four contrasting scenarios in the 1,345-km Yahara Watershed (Wisconsin, USA) using Agro-IBIS, a dynamic model of terrestrial ecosystem processes, biogeochemistry, water, and energy balance. We asked (1) How does ecosystem service supply vary among alternative future scenarios? (2) Where on the landscape is the provision of ecosystem services most susceptible to future social-ecological changes? (3) Among alternative future scenarios, are relationships (i.e., trade-offs, synergies) among food production, water, and biogeochemical services consistent over time? Our results showed that food production varied substantially with future land-use choices and management, and its trade-offs with water quality and soil retention persisted under most scenarios. However, pathways to mitigate or even reverse such trade-offs through technological advances and sustainable agricultural practices were apparent. Consistent relationships among regulating services were identified across scenarios (e.g., trade-offs of freshwater supply vs. flood and climate regulation, and synergies among water quality, soil retention, and climate regulation), suggesting opportunities and challenges to sustaining these services. In particular, proactive land-use changes and management may buffer water quality against undesirable future climate changes, but changing climate may overwhelm management efforts to sustain freshwater supply and flood regulation. Spatially, changes in ecosystem services were heterogeneous across the landscape, underscoring the power of local actions and fine-scale management. Our research highlights the value of embracing spatial and temporal perspectives in managing ecosystem services and their complex interactions, and provides a system-level understanding for achieving sustainability of the food-water-climate nexus in agricultural landscapes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.1633DOI Listing
January 2018

Changing forest water yields in response to climate warming: results from long-term experimental watershed sites across North America.

Glob Chang Biol 2014 Oct 14;20(10):3191-208. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

Department of Biology, Western University, 1151 Richmond St., London, ON, N6A 5B7, Canada.

Climate warming is projected to affect forest water yields but the effects are expected to vary. We investigated how forest type and age affect water yield resilience to climate warming. To answer this question, we examined the variability in historical water yields at long-term experimental catchments across Canada and the United States over 5-year cool and warm periods. Using the theoretical framework of the Budyko curve, we calculated the effects of climate warming on the annual partitioning of precipitation (P) into evapotranspiration (ET) and water yield. Deviation (d) was defined as a catchment's change in actual ET divided by P [AET/P; evaporative index (EI)] coincident with a shift from a cool to a warm period - a positive d indicates an upward shift in EI and smaller than expected water yields, and a negative d indicates a downward shift in EI and larger than expected water yields. Elasticity was defined as the ratio of interannual variation in potential ET divided by P (PET/P; dryness index) to interannual variation in the EI - high elasticity indicates low d despite large range in drying index (i.e., resilient water yields), low elasticity indicates high d despite small range in drying index (i.e., nonresilient water yields). Although the data needed to fully evaluate ecosystems based on these metrics are limited, we were able to identify some characteristics of response among forest types. Alpine sites showed the greatest sensitivity to climate warming with any warming leading to increased water yields. Conifer forests included catchments with lowest elasticity and stable to larger water yields. Deciduous forests included catchments with intermediate elasticity and stable to smaller water yields. Mixed coniferous/deciduous forests included catchments with highest elasticity and stable water yields. Forest type appeared to influence the resilience of catchment water yields to climate warming, with conifer and deciduous catchments more susceptible to climate warming than the more diverse mixed forest catchments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12615DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282258PMC
October 2014
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