ApexRMS recently presented a webinar in collaboration with Dr. Matt Reeves and Dr. Paulette Ford at the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. The webinar demonstrates how a state-and-transition simulation modeling approach can be used to account for future uncertainties regarding climate change when evaluating alternative rangeland management strategies. This project focuses on the impacts of drought and grazing on rangeland productivity and composition. A recording of the webinar is available online.
A recent USGS led publication in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction used ST-Sim to project land use change and associated population growth in tsunami hazard zones along the US Pacific Northwest coast. The study demonstrates how land change simulation modeling can be used by local governments to incorporate the hazard exposure implications of community growth in land use policy and risk reduction planning.
A recent publication in the journal Carbon Balance and Management, entitled A carbon balance model for the great dismal swamp ecosystem, uses ST-Sim to assess the historical changes in the net ecosystem carbon balance for a critical 54,000 ha wetland in North Carolina and Virginia. The study, conducted by Rachel Sleeter and others at the U.S. Geological Survey, concludes that changes in the wetland’s carbon balance over the past 30 years, as a result of emissions due to recent fire and storm events, are essentially irreversible over a management timeframe. Future applications of this model will explore alternative land management scenarios for sequestering additional ecosystem carbon, such as the rewetting of large portions of the wetland.
LANDFIRE recently conducted an interview with landscape ecologist, Jen Costanza, a professor at North Carolina State University. Jen has been using ST-Sim in combination with LANDFIRE models to explore the impacts of biofuel production on landscapes and wildlife habitat in the southeastern United States. A news story this month in Science Magazine features Jen’s collaborator Robert Abt, and mentions their recent article in Global Change Biology Bioenergy.
We have recently released three new video tutorials on developing spatially explicit state-and-transition simulation models (STSMs) using ST-Sim. These tutorials are based on a simple STSM example published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, and build up on the original tutorial on developing a non-spatial model in ST-Sim.
Water Deeply recently featured an article on a USGS and Nature Conservancy study using ST-Sim to account for potential land use impacts on water demand in California. In the article, Tamara Wilson, the lead author of the study is interviewed and provides her perspective on the study implications for water management in California.
Two new papers in GCB Bioenergy explore the impacts of bioenergy driven land use change on wildlife habitat in North Carolina using ST-Sim. Costanza et al. 2016 describe the landscape change modeling methods and Tarr et al. 2016 translate landscape changes to changes in habitat for 16 wildlife species.
A description of the state-and-transition simulation model (STSM) methodology used in ST-Sim has just been published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution. The article entitled “State-and-transition simulation models: A framework for forecasting landscape change” describes the general approach used in developing and simulating STSMs and provides an example case study that considers land use and land cover change in the state of Hawaii.
The USGS Land Use and Climate Change Team has recently created a new website that describes the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS). ST-Sim is used as the core engine in LUCAS for modeling land use and land cover change and for tracking carbon pools and fluxes. The LUCAS website highlights a number of diverse applications ranging from local scale scenario analyses of management options for the Great Dismal Swamp to national scale land use projections.