This research focuses on understanding the rates, causes, and consequences of land change across a range of geographic and temporal scales. Our emphasis is on developing alternative future projections and quantifying the impact on environmental systems, in particular, the role of land-use change on ecosystem carbon dynamics. This project supports the development of the Land-use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) model. LUCAS tracks changes in land use, land cover, land management, and disturbance, and their impacts on ecosystem carbon storage and flux by combining:
The LUCAS model has been applied over a range of temporal and geographic scales for study sites across the United States to track impacts of land-change on water-use, protected areas, and ecosystem carbon storage and flux. More information on the LUCAS model and applications of the model is available here: https://geography.wr.usgs.gov/LUCC/
- A State-and-Transition Simulation Model (STSM) to simulate changes in land-use across a range of geographic scales.
- A Stock and Flow Model to track the movement of carbon between different “pools” including interactions between land and atmosphere.
- Linkage to the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) dynamic global vegetation model.
Ongoing work includes applying the LUCAS model to a national scale assessment of land-use and carbon for the conterminous United States.