W3 Seminar: Coupling natural and human models in the context of a lake ecosystem


11:45 am-12:35 pm
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Weizhe Weng, Assistant Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, UF


Lakes support a myriad of ecosystem services that benefit humans and have quantifiable economic effects, including the provisioning of drinking water and recreational activities. These services can be compromised by poor water quality, which commonly occurs when lakes are impacted by excessive nutrient inputs from nonpoint source pollution such as phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural runoff. Given the importance of the coupling between people and freshwater lakes, it is essential to create an integrated, multi-disciplinary tool that captures the reciprocal linkages between people and freshwater systems: human actions affect ecosystems, which in turn affect human well-being and future behavior. Using Lake Mendota (Madison, Wisconsin, USA) as a case study, we developed a novel, coupled natural and human systems (CNHS) model that captures how land-use decision making interacts with hydrological and limnological processes to transform nutrient loads into changes in lake water quality, and how altered water quality feeds back to human systems by affecting the amenities that people value. In this talk, I will describe the details of the CNHS modeling framework and the insights to advance lake management efforts to protect and improve water quality.


Hosted by

Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands