An Ecosystem Approach to Watershed Management

by Richard Lowrance, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Watershed Research Lab, Tifton, GA, USA,
Kate Joyce, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Watershed Research Lab, Tifton, GA, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Management in the Eighties

Abstract: An example is drawn from the Little River Research Watersheds near Tifton, Georgia. Riparian hardwood forests (low management) and upland agricultural fields (high management) are the two terrestrial ecosystem types most important in producing nutrient and sediment outputs from these watersheds. The outputs from these two terrestrial ecosystems are integrated by the stream ecosystem. Studies on the Little River Watersheds have provided the data necessary to construct models of nutrient cycling in the stream, riparian, and upland ecosystems types and to couple the ecosystems to produce a watershed output. A nitrogen cycling model is presented to demonstrate the use of ecosystem analysis in understanding long-term watershed dynamics and the effects of management manipulations on the watershed response.

Subject Headings: Watersheds | Ecosystems | Rivers and streams | Model analysis | Nitrogen | Data processing | Nutrients | Developing countries | North America | Georgia | United States

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