Land Use Research

Should I stay or should I go? Patterns of building and re-building after wildfires.


Across the United States, the number and cost of wildfires are rising. While rebuilding lost homes is common, Patricia Alexandre finds some unexpected patterns as communities recover from these infernos.
Jan 2016
landscape scene

Satellite classification of tree species


How to map trees which crowns are less than 30 m with 30 m resolution? Ask Konrad Turlej!
Jan 2016
Field work

Measuring trail use with remote detectors


We suspect that bird reproductive success and community composition may be negatively affected by recreational use of natural areas. But, how do we quantify recreational use?
Jan 2016
Study lake in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Northern Wisconsin

The differential importance of aquatic insect productivity on terrestrial, insectivorous bird guilds.


Aerial insectivore birds have experienced population declines while other insectivore guilds have not. Paul’s research shows that aerial insectivore abundance is related to aquatic insect emergence, while gleaner abundance is not.
Jan 2016
Study area map

Forest change in Caucasus in 1980-2010


In the Western Caucasus in 1985-2010, the deforestation rate was surprisingly low compared to other Russian regions. The biggest hotspot of forest disturbance was construction for Olympic Games – 2014 that happened within Sochi National Park.
Jan 2016
Potential distribution for jaguars in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

Finding critical habitat for jaguars when potential distributions of species is not enough: Connectivity to the rescue


For the jaguar in México, habitat connectivity might be the most conservation sound option to avoid decimation. Carlos designed a model that integrates potential distribution and connectivity which could influence management of jaguars in Central Mexico.
Jan 2016

Forest Changes in the Altay


In central Siberia, old growth forests are threatened by illegal logging. Finding these sites by foot is an overwhelming task, and researchers turn to the skies, using satellites, in their conservation efforts.
Jan 2015

The dynamic habitat index and biodiversity in Thailand


Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate, often due to habitat degradation and loss. To help optimize conservation planning and monitoring, Naparat Suttidate has developing and testing an easy method to predict biodiversity in Thailand based on remote sensing data.
Mar 2014

Where should we burn? Prioritizing prescribed fire in Wisconsin


Controlled burning is one of the most effective tools for restoring grasslands and savannas across the Midwest. But there are many more lands needing burning than there are resources available.
Mar 2014

Recreational trails are affecting bird reproduction


We might be loving our wildlife habitat to death. Research by Max Henschell, a PhD student, has found that recreational enjoyment of protected areas may be impacting birds.
Mar 2014

Change in alpine wetlands of Southwest China and its implications for wintering Black-necked Cranes


After a period of increase, Black-necked Cranes have been in decline at Napahai wetland since 2000. These patterns appear linked to the growth of the nearby city of Shangri-La.
Mar 2014

Using Land Use Change Projections to Estimate Threats to Freshwater Ecoystems


Freshwater ecosystems are essential for humans and biodiversity, yet they threatened by human activities. Sebastian Martinuzzi's study assessed the consequences of future land use change on freshwater ecosystems in the US.
Mar 2014

The importance of riparian forests to conservation and landscape connectivity in temperate Chile


Land use change and forest fragmentation are a worldwide problem. Isabel Rojas-Viada is employing a novel solution by focusing on riparian forest corridors in Chile.
Jan 2014

Forest degradation in Mexico and spectral mixture analysis


Forests of Mexico are under threat due to development, both for urban and agricultural purposes. However, it is not clear the spatial and temporal extent to which this is happening. SILVIS PhD candidate, Carlos Ramirez Reyes is exploring this using remote sensing data, and a novel method, spectral mixture analysis.
Jan 2014

Birds that Love Insects that Love Lakes: How Insect Populations and Lake Characteristics Impact Avian Aerial Insectivores in Northern Wisconsin


Paul Schilke, MS candidate in the SILVIS Lab, is conducting research in northern Wisconsin to investigate how insects that live around lakes affect the birds that feed on those insects.
Jan 2014

The power of maps and the beauty of old ones


Historical maps are pretty AND useful. Catalina is using them to determine the effects of past land use on subsequent land cover change in the Carpathian Region of Europe.
Jan 2014

Using Bayesian statistics to predict housing growth in the U.S.


Information about housing densities at fine spatial scales is critical to understanding how human development impacts wildlife. Nick Keuler, statistician for the SILVIS lab, and Roger Hammer at Oregon State University are using Bayesian statistics to project US census data to smaller spatial scales.
Jan 2014

Helping to train the next generation of conservation scientists: running the IGERT on biodiversity conservation in novel ecosystems


Research topics range from economics to entomology, and research locations literally span the globe. Some might call administering such a grant challenging, but to Shelley Maxted, it's a treat.
Feb 2013

Where will novel ecosystems in the United States exist in the future?


Novel ecosystems, ecosystems with strong human influence are an important new challenge for ecology. Will these ecosystems increase in number in the future? Where?
Feb 2013

Future land use changes and their potential impact on the Nation's areas of biodiversity significance


Sebastian Martinuzzi investigates how future land use changes in the United States could impact the Nation's areas of biodiversity significance, with help from economic-based scenarios
Feb 2013

Conservation conflicts: Housing growth in conservation priority areas in Wisconsin


Sarah Carter uses projections of future housing development to identify those sites requiring immediate conservation attention in order to successfully conserve Wisconsin's biodiversity.
Feb 2013

Always on the bright side of life: removing clouds and their shadows in satellite imagery


Satellite imagery provides invaluable information regarding land cover features over time. However, since many satellite-based image sensors cannot see through clouds, imagery researchers need to screen cloudy pixels from cloud-free pixels in order to analyze land change through time.
Feb 2013

Hot moments for biodiversity conservation - Social and political transitions as opportunities for conservation


When it comes to creating protected areas for conservation, ecologists tend to focus on the where. However, to establish new protected areas, the question of when may be just as important.
Jan 2013

It's all a game - Land Use and Conservation in everyone's hands


What if someone told you that you could be of great help to science in general and conservation in particular and have fun at the same time? Forward Trails is a Massive Multiplayer Online Game that allows you to do just that!
Jan 2013

Assessing landscape suitability for reintroduction of American marten (Martes americana) using an agent-based model


Identifying potential sites for the successful reintroduction of a species is difficult. Post-doc Steve Wangen applies an agent-based method to the reintroduction of the American marten into northern Wisconsin.
Jan 2013

Massaging the U.S. Census to look at the WUI and at housing growth trends


Dave Helmers sits down with me and gives the skinny on how he turns U.S. Census data into ecologically relevant products for answering some of the most pressing questions in land-change conservation science.
Jan 2013

Housing development is eroding the value of protected lands


Locations in and around natural areas are especially appealing for housing development. Unfortunately, this development may have undesirable consequences.
Jan 2013

Monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation in Mexico


Carlos Ramirez Reyes develops a way to monitor deforestation in Mexico using satellite images from 1990 to present.
Jan 2013

Small-versus large-scale farming in Eastern Europe


Using powerful remote sensing technologies, Patrick Culbert seeks to map the size of agricultural fields with an unprecedented degree of detail, over large areas.
Jan 2013

Park-people relationships: are we using a glass half empty approach?


Protected area conservation is dependent to some extent on the goodwill of communities living around them. This is especially true in a developing country context, where people can pose a threat because they rely on these areas for their day to day needs, such as fuelwood and food. Teri Allendorf is working to understanding how local residents value the protected areas they live near.
Jan 2013

Monitoring forest disturbance and re-growth from dense time series of satellite imagery stacks in the Carpathians


The availability of multitemporal, dense time series of Landsat imagery opens new possibilities for tracking forest dynamics in areas of complex landcover in Europe
Jan 2013

When a tree falls in the woods, can a satellite image tell you why?


All disturbances are not created equal. Matthias Baumann has been developing image-processing algorithms that distinguish between anthropogenic and natural disturbances in the temperate forest region of European Russia.
Jan 2013

Understanding where we've been: implications of land-use legacies in the Carpathians for future conservation and planning initiatives


Not knowing how land has been used in the past makes it difficult to understand how it is being used now and even more difficult to predict how it will be used in the future, especially in regions with multiple socio-economic shocks, such aslike the Carpathian Basin. Our team is working on that.
Jan 2013

Why and where did farmers abandon their fields in the Ukraine?


The breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered rapid and widespread farmland abandonment across Eastern Europe. Using remote sensing and statistical models, Matthias Baumann mapped where abandonment occurred in Ukraine and explained why it happened where it did.
Aug 2011

Magic inspires science: documenting forest pattern change in Mexico's Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve and what it means for its biodiversity and its people


Dr. Oscar Cardenas is working to better understand patterns of forest change in the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve to develop more effective management tools addressing a range of issues from biodiversity conservation to sustainable development programs and epidemiological applications.
Aug 2011

Going, going, going - gone! The loss of alpine meadows in Yunnan


Jodi Brandt studies mountain ecosystem succession in China. This loss of alpine pastures affects both people and biodiversity. Which factors are responsible for these changes?
Aug 2011

Habitat connectivity of European Bison in the Carpathians- bringing together subpopulations of an almost extinct species in the wild


Landscape connectivity analysis could help to bring back the almost extinct population of European Bison in the Carpathians. Elzbieta Laszczak research on habitat connectivity indicates where to fill the gaps for successful connection of different bison herds thereby reducing inbreeding.
Aug 2011

Change in and near Kavkaskzy Nature Reserve in the Caucasus Mountains


Eugenia Bragina has started an exciting new project to understand land cover changes in and around nature reserves in Russia, and how these changes affect wildlife populations.
Jul 2011

Housing Growth, Conservation Corridors, and the United States National Wildlife Refuge System


Across the US, hundreds of wildlife refuges conserve migratory birds, endangered species and their habitats. However, their relative pristine nature also attracts development and that may hamper the very conservation goals the refuges were designed to achieve.
Jul 2011

Deforestation patterns in Mexico, and the effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services programs


If poverty leads to deforestation in Mexico, can we prevent deforestation by paying landowners to sustainably manage forest? Carlos Ramirez Reyes is trying to answer this question using remotely sensed data.
Jul 2011

Conservation planning for two of Wisconsin's most treasured landscapes: the Baraboo Hills and the Northwest pine barrens


Sarah Carter has been working on Wisconsin conservation issues for more than 10 years. Her current project asks how we can identify conservation priorities in some of Wisconsin's most treasured landscapes, including the Baraboo Hills and the Northwest Wisconsin pine barrens.
Nov 2010

Weaving the conservation landscape: habitat connectivity and the future of the National Wildlife Refuge System


Could land use change threaten the US National Wildlife Refuge System? PhD student Chris Hamilton uses cutting-edge technologies to find an answer.
Nov 2010

New multi-scale landscape indices for spatial pattern analysis


Understanding how spatial patterns of vegetation explain the distribution of organisms is a central theme within Landscape Ecology. Avi Bar Massada developed a novel method to quantify these patterns, which may be more effective than existing methods. He illustrates its effectiveness with bird data from Wisconsin's Fort McCoy.
Sep 2010

Institutional change and logging in post-Soviet Russia


After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, privatization of timber firms was expected to provide an efficient mechanism for the management of forest resources in Russia. Kelly Wendland analyzes how economic factors have impacted harvesting since transition and explores whether weak governance effected investment decisions in European Russia.
Aug 2010

Patterns and processes of agricultural abandonment in Eastern Europe


Alexander Prishchepov is looking at region in Eastern Europe that allows constructing and testing hypothesis about land use changes in a transition from command to market economy.
Aug 2010

If you build it, they will come - but can you still conserve biodiversity?


If you build it, they will come is a cliche, to say the least. In the context of parks, recreation trails, and conservation of biodiversity, Marty Pfeiffer offers a new twist on the old cliche: If they come, can you still conserve biodiversity?
Aug 2010

Land use scenarios and effects on bird habitat in Northern Wisconsin


Trends in land use, and in turn wildlife habitat loss, are closely interlinked with economics. Predicting forest bird diversity under different simulated land use scenarios, including both ecological and economic parameters, improves our understanding of the effects and drivers of habitat loss.
Aug 2010

The Collapse of Socialism and the Rise of Fire in Kalmykia


Grassland fires in Kalmykia, Russia increased dramatically following the collapse of socialism. Socio-economic changes reduced livestock numbers and therefore grazing pressure on grasslands. Maxim Dubinin analyzed over 20 years of satellite images to quantify this change.
Aug 2010

Simulating future land use across the United States


Dave Helmers and collaborators are using Open Source software tools in an NSF funded study predicting future land use change across the U.S.
Jul 2010

Housing growth and road density in and near Park Service holdings in the Midwest


Worldwide, intensifying land use is limiting management options inside and out of national parks. Shelley Maxted and others developed a land use monitoring approach and applied it to two parks in the Midwest to assess development pressures. They found considerable changes in road and housing density and landscape fragmentation.
Jul 2010

Patterns of logging in the last two decades in temperate forests of Russia


Social and economic changes occurring in post-socialist Russia have led to shifting patterns of selective logging in the understudied temperate forests of Russia, potentially leading to poor estimates of carbon stocks across this vast region. Matthias Baumann hopes to describe these patterns of forest cover change and refine methods for remotely sensing selective logging and determining it's impacts on carbon stock estimates for these forests.
Jul 2010

Zoning has heterogeneous effects on housing growth, but in most cases is not strong enough to affect ecosystem functions


Is zoning an appropriate tool to protect lakes? Van Butsic answered this question for a study region in Northern Wisconsin. He found out that zoning is only effective on lakes with a certain baseline development. One size fits all zoning is ineffective.
Jul 2010

Studying Intertwined Networks of Human-Natural Relationships in Northwest Yunnan, China


Last fall, Jodi Brandt started a new, exciting project studying intertwined networks of human-natural relationships in NW Yunnan, China. Jodi will primarily use high-tech remote sensing and geographic information system approaches to uncover some of the mysteries of her study region.
Mar 2010

Post-USSR Land Cover Change in Eastern Europe - Socioeconomic Forcings, Effects on Biodiversity, and Future Scenarios


With an increasing human population and expanding impact on the environment, extinctions are happening at an unprecedented pace. So what would happen if people suddenly left the land and let it return to a natural state. Well, just such a scenario is playing out in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the former U.S.S.R..
Jan 2010

The Legacy of Past Housing Patterns is Important to Explain Today's Plant Invasions


How important is the past to understand present plant invasions? Gregorio Gavier Pizarro recently found that plant invasions may depend more on historic housing and road patterns than on today's urban sprawl. To the contrary, contemporary forest fragmentation explained invasions better than fragmentation legacies.
Jan 2010