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Ecosystem Valuation

Funding: USEPA, SAHRA, USGS/SILPE, USDS-ARS

Participants: Carl Benedict, Arriana Brand, Craig Broadbent, David Brookshire, Mark Dixon, David Goodrich, Kevin Lansey, Julie Stromberg

The goal of this research is to incorporate hydrologic, vegetation, avian, and economic models into an integrated framework to determine the value of changes in ecological systems that result from changes in hydrological profiles. We developed a hydro-bio-economic framework for the San Pedro River Region (SPRR) in Arizona that considers groundwater, stream flow, and riparian vegetation, as well as abundance, diversity, and distribution of birds within a protected area encompassing the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA).

In addition, we developed a similar framework for the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico (MRG). The non-market techniques of Choice Modeling (CM) and Contingent Valuation (CV) were conducted for each site. There are five research components for this project: (1) scenario specification and the hydrologic model, (2) the riparian vegetation model, (3) the avian model, (4) methods for displaying the information gradients in the survey instrument, and (5) the economic framework. Our modeling framework began with the identification of factors that influence spatial and temporal changes in riparian vegetation on the two rivers. We used the construct of “current conditions", as a basis for making spatial predictions of vegetation change and avian populations in both river systems through linked modeling frameworks. Preliminary results will be discussed.

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Copyright 2012