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  • Land-Cover Change Scenarios for Massachusetts 2010-2060
  • Thompson, Jonathan
  • Lambert, Kathy
  • 2017
  • Working with a panel of practitioners and regional experts, we developed and analyzed four plausible but divergent land-use scenarios that depict the future of Massachusetts from 2010 to 2060. We simulated the land-use scenarios and their interactions with anticipated climate change by coupling statistical models of land use to the LANDIS-II landscape model and then evaluated the outcomes in terms of the magnitude and spatial distribution of (1) direct human uses of the landscape (residential and commercial development, agricultural, timber harvest), (2) ecosystem services (carbon storage, flood regulation, nutrient retention), and (3) habitat quality (forest tree species composition, interior forest habitat). Across all scenarios, conflicts occurred between dispersed residential development and the supply of ecosystem services and habitat quality. In all but the scenario that envisioned a significant agricultural expansion, forest growth resulted in net increases in aboveground carbon storage, despite the concomitant forest clearing and harvesting. One scenario, called Forests as Infrastructure, showed the potential for synergies between increased forest harvest volume through the sustainable practices that encouraged the maintenance of economically and ecologically important tree species, and carbon storage. This scenario also showed trade-offs between development density and water quantity and quality at the watershed scale. The process of integrated scenario analysis led to important insights for land managers and policymakers in a populated forested region where there are tensions among development, forest harvesting, and land conservation. More broadly, the results emphasize the need to consider the consequences of contrasting land-use regimes that result from the interactions between human decisions and spatially heterogeneous landscape dynamics.
  • N: 42.9      S: 41.3      E: -69.9      W: -73.5
  • knb-lter-hfr.290.1  
  • This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement. For more information on LTER Network data access and use policies, please see:
  • doi:10.6073/pasta/147098c2753628bb96afbaa69809796d
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