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Publications, scientific literature, and information products from the Land Change Science Program.

Filter Total Items: 562

Space-based Earth observation and ecosystem extent: Exploring opportunities

The purpose of this white paper is to explore and communicate potential new opportunities for using space-based Earth observation (EO) for monitoring biodiversity with a focus on ecosystem extent (the distribution of ecosystems on the Earth). It is part of a new activity of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), a collaboration of the world’s space agencies that facilitates cross-ag
Gary Geller, Shaun Levick, Sandra Luque, Roger Sayre, Andreas Brink, Nicholas Coops, Sylvie Durrieu, Judith Ewald, Hannes Feilhauer, Jean-Baptiste Feret, Simon Ferrier, Miroslav Honzák, Dino Lenco, Amanda Koltz, Nikhil Lele, Shea Lombardo, Miguel Mahecha, Carsten Meyer, Marc Paganini, Cassidy Rankine, Duccio Rocchini, Amy Rosenthal, Maria J. Santos, Lucie Viciano

Calibration and validation for the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) mission concept: Recommendations for a multi-sensor system for imaging spectroscopy and thermal imagery

The primary objective of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) mission is to measure biological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical features of the Earth's surface, realizing a key conceptual component of the envisioned NASA Earth System Observatory (ESO). SBG is planned to launch as a two-platform mission in the late 2020s, the first of the
Kevin R. Turpie, Kimberly Ann Casey, Christopher J. Crawford, Liane S Guild, Hugh H. Kieffer, Guoqing (Gary) Lin, Raymond F. Kokaly, Alok Shrestha, Cody Anderson, Shankar N. Ramaseri Chandra, Robert O. Green, Simon Hook, Constantine Lukashin, Kurt Thome

The global wildland-urban interface

The wildland–urban interface (WUI) is where buildings and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle. It is where human–environmental conflicts and risks can be concentrated, including the loss of houses and lives to wildfire, habitat loss and fragmentation and the spread of zoonotic diseases. However, a global analysis of the WUI has been lacking. Here, we present a global map of the 2020 WUI at 10 
F. Schug, Avi Bar-Massada, Amanda Renee Carlson, H. Cox, Todd Hawbaker, D. Helmers, Patrick Hostert, D. Kaim, Neda K. Kasraee, S. Martinuzzi, Miranda H. Mockrin, Kira A. Pfoch, Volker C. Radeloff

Human and infrastructure exposure to large wildfires in the United States

An increasing number of wildfire disasters have occurred in recent years in the United States. Here we demonstrate that cumulative primary human exposure—the population residing within the perimeters of large wildfires—was 594,850 people from 2000 to 2019 across the contiguous United States (CONUS), 82% of which occurred in the western United States. Primary population exposure increased by 125% i
Arash Modaresi Rad, John T. Abatzoglou, Jason R. Kreitler, Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, Amir AghaKouchak, Nicholas Hudyma, NIcholas Nauslar, Mojtaba Sadegh

Named landforms of the World: A geomorphological and physiographic compilation

Prior to the current era of digital geomorphological mapping, global and regional-scale land surface characterization was advanced by qualitative interpretations that relied on human visualization aided by disciplinary knowledge of geophysical processes combined with extensive field study. In the early twentieth century, Fenneman proposed to devise systematic physiographic divisions of the United
Charlie Frye, Roger Sayre, Alexander Murphy, Deniz Karagulle, Moira Pippi, Mark Gilbert, Jaynya Richards

Anthropogenic landcover impacts fluvial dissolved organic matter composition in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Landcover changes have altered the natural carbon cycle; however, most landcover studies focus on either forest conversion to agriculture or urban, rarely both. We present differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular composition within Upper Mississippi River Basin low order streams and rivers draining one of three dominant landcovers (f
Derrick R. Vaughn, Anne M. Kellerman, Kimberly Wickland, Robert G. Striegl, David C. Podgorski, Jon R. Hawkings, Jaap Nienhuis, Mark Dornblaser, Edward G. Stets, Robert G. M. Spencer

Ecological Coastal Units – Standardized global shoreline characteristics

A new set of resources is now available that describe global shoreline characteristics. High resolution (30 m), globally comprehensive Coastal Segment Units (CSUs) and Ecological Coastal Units (ECUs) were developed in a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Esri, and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The data were produced from a segmentation and characterizati
Roger Sayre, Kevin Butler, Keith Van Graafeiland, Sean Breyer, Dawn Wright

Natural infrastructure in dryland streams (NIDS) can establish regenerative wetland sinks that reverse desertification and strengthen climate resilience

In this article we describe the natural hydrogeomorphological and biogeochemical cycles of dryland fluvial ecosystems that make them unique, yet vulnerable to land use activities and climate change. We introduce Natural Infrastructure in Dryland Streams (NIDS), which are structures naturally or anthropogenically created from earth, wood, debris, or rock that can restore implicit function of these
Laura M. Norman, Rattan Lal, Ellen Wohl, Emily Fairfax, Allen C. Gellis, Michael M. Pollock

A comprehensive assessment of mangrove species and carbon stock on Pohnpei, Micronesia

Mangrove forests are the most important ecosystems on Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia, as the island communities of the central Pacific rely on the forests for many essential services including protection from sea-level rise that is occurring at a greater pace than the global average. As part of a multi-component assessment to evaluate vulnerabilities of mangrove forests on Pohnpei,
Victoria Woltz, Elitsa I. Peneva-Reed, Zhiliang Zhu, Eric L. Bullock, Richard A. MacKenzie, Maybeleen Apwong, Ken Krauss, Dean B. Gesch

Human populations in the world’s mountains: Spatio-temporal patterns and potential controls

Changing climate and human demographics in the world's mountains will have increasingly profound environmental and societal consequences across all elevations. Quantifying current human populations in and near mountains is crucial to ensure that any interventions in these complex social-ecological systems are appropriately resourced, and that valuable ecosystems are effectively protected. However,
James M. Thornton, Mark A. Snethlage, Roger Sayre, Davnah R. Urbach, Daniel Viviroli, Daniele Ehrlich, Veruska Muccione, Philippus Wester, Gregory Insarov, Carolina Adler

Contrasting Common Era climate and hydrology sensitivities from paired lake sediment dinosterol hydrogen isotope records in the South Pacific Convergence Zone

Hydroclimate on ‘Uvea (Wallis et Futuna) is controlled by rainfall associated with the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), the southern hemisphere's largest precipitation feature. To extend the short observational precipitation record, the hydrogen isotopic composition of the algal lipid biomarker dinosterol (δ2Hdinosterol) was measured in sediment cores from two volcanic crater lakes on ‘Uvea.
Ashley E. Maloney, Julie N. Richey, Daniel B. Nelson, Samantha N Hing, David A. Sear, Jonathan D. Hassall, Peter G. Langdon, Ursula Sichrowsky, Robert Schabetsberger, Atoloto Malau, Jean-Yves Meyer, Ian W. Croudace, Julian P. Sachs

A global ecological classification of coastal segment units to complement marine biodiversity observation network assessments

A new data layer provides Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) labels for global coastal segments at 1 km or shorter resolution. These characteristics are summarized for six US Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) sites and one MBON Pole to Pole of the Americas site in Argentina. The global coastlines CMECS classifications were produced from a partitioning of a 3
Roger Sayre, Kevin Butler, Keith Van Graafeiland, Sean Breyer, Dawn Wright, Charlie Frye, Deniz Karagulle, Madeline T. Martin, Jill Janene Cress, Tom Allen, Rebecca Allee, Rost Parsons, Bjorn Nyberg, Mark Costello, Peter Harris, Frank Muller-Karger