Socioecological Carbon Production in Managed Agricultural-Forest Landscapes

Land use, land cover changes, and ecosystem-specific management practices are increasingly recognized for their roles in mediating the climatic effects on ecosystem structure and function. A major challenge is that our understanding and forecasting of ecosystem C fluxes cannot rely solely on conventional biophysical regulations at any scale, from the local ecosystem to the globe. A second challenge is to quantify the magnitude of the C fluxes from managed ecosystems and landscapes over the lifetime of the C cycle, and to deduct the various energy inputs during management. Our overall objective, consequently, is to quantify the landscape-scale C footprint of both managed agricultural-forest landscapes and people, using the Kalamazoo watershed in southwestern Michigan as our testbed. The underlying mechanisms from both human activities and biophysical changes on ecosystem C dynamics at different temporal and
spatial scales will be explored by modeling total net ecosystem C production (including physical and social C fluxes), exploring the complex relationships through Bayesian structural equation modeling (SEM), and performing a spatially-explicit LCA on the total C production within the contrasting landscapes and the entire watershed.