Through the Cedar Creek LTER program, Sarah Hobbie, Jennifer King, and Joe McFadden are exploring how carbon accumulates in plants and soils when farmlands are converted to residential landscapes. In this study, households within 10 km of Cedar Creek were selected to make up a gradient of sites that were converted from farmland at different times in the past. Carbon accumulation rates in these lands are being compared to those of abandoned farmlands that have become grasslands.
Jeannine is exploring how the species and phylogenetic diversity of plants in urban residential landscapes changes along a gradient of housing density from the urban center to the exurban fringe. She is making comparisons between her results and results of comparable studies conducted in Germany.
CHANS-Net facilitates communication and collaboration among scholars from around the world who are interested in coupled human and natural systems (e.g., coupled human-environment systems, social-ecological systems, ecological-economic systems, population-environment systems) and who strive to find sustainable solutions that both benefit the environment and enable people to thrive.
Plants benefit cities in many ways: they regulate climate and air quality, provide recreational opportunities, and much more. Yet we know little about the impact of various kinds of vegetation on the location, movement and quality of urban water, or about what influences decisions about urban vegetation. This project is exploring: how people decide how to manage vegetation on public and private lands and how social networks influence such decisions; how land cover and management decisions affect water quality; and how government and other institutions use information about behavior and the effects of vegetation cover and water quality to help or hinder links between people and the environment.