We are living in a period of unprecedented change of the global environment. Patterns observed on the landscape result from both natural processes and policy, regulatory and management decisions of individual Federal, State, county, and private organizations. Determining the impacts of natural processes and human actions, predicting their effects, and developing models and tools to evaluate different actions as expressed through changes in the landscape are critical to ensuring a sustainable future for all, both economically and ecologically.
A conceptual model of the landscape will be developed that describes the components of the landscape (structure) and the interactions among those components (function). The conceptual model will also be used to identify monitoring needed to measure and evaluate potential indicators of landscape condition and change at scales necessary to inform management issues and practices. Over time, the findings of the Landscape Monitoring task will be applied and tested on other landscapes so that our ability to deliver integrated landscape monitoring at multiple scales across the North American landscape will be enhanced.
The Landscape Monitoring task will address the following questions:
- What are the forcing functions or key factors affecting landscape condition and change including, but not limited to, those factors perceived to influence nutrient cycling and biological communities (particular threatened & endangered species)?
- What conservation, restoration, and remediation activities could be implemented to protect and improve the integrity and function of the landscape? What science is needed to support these efforts?