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Threats to freshwater ecosystems in the U.S.

Research Achievements

Threats to freshwater ecosystems in the U.S.

The intensification of land use such as urban, crop, and pasture, has led to widespread water pollution, habitat degradation, and biodiversity loss in freshwater ecosystems. Identifying and mitigating future threats to freshwater ecosystems requires forecasting where land uses are likely to intensify and the consequences that could arise. An interdisciplinary team of conservationists, land-use scientists, limnologists, and economists, with the goal of evaluating the potential consequences of future land-use changes on freshwater ecosystems in the U.S. are comparing alternative socioeconomic scenarios of future land-use change with current patterns of freshwater biodiversity and water-quality risk. Our preliminary results suggest that future land use changes are likely to continue to threaten freshwater ecosystems in the U.S., and that changes in conservation land-use policies and market prices could affect freshwater conservation.