Landscape sustainability, land-water interactions and ecosystem services

We investigate a wide range of questions associated with understanding the current status and future supply of ecosystem services – that is, the benefits provided by nature to people. Much of our work focused on rural landscapes of Wisconsin and the Southern Appalachians, and it often emphasize land-use/land-cover change and the role of land-use legacies. Our current research emphasizes food, energy, water and ecosystems in agricultural landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. During a time of rapid environmental change, we want to understand how to make our landscapes more resilient in the face of climate change. This research builds on a decade of studies geared toward understanding landscape patterns of ecosystem services, including those that depend on biodiversity; how to balance multiple goals in working landscapes; how to conserve biodiversity while sustaining the provisioning services on which also society depends; and how ecosystem services may change with future climate and land-use scenarios. 

Explore more

FEWscapes: Food Energy Water: Our current research extends to the Upper Mississippi Basin. Check back often to see how our projects develop.

Water Sustainability and Climate: Our research in the Yahara Watershed led to new approaches to understanding spatial relationships among a range of ecosystem services. Visit the project website for publications, research briefs, videos and many more resources.

North Temperate Lakes LTER: Much of our work is collaborative with the North Temperate Lakes LTER site.

Selected recent + classic publications

(Please visit our publications page for PDFs)

Qiu, J., C. Queiroz, E. M. Bennett, A. F. Cord, E. Crouzat, S. Lavorel, J. Maes, M. Meacham, A. V. Norstrom, G. D. Peterson, R. Seppelt, and M. G. Turner. 2021. Land-use intensity mediates ecosystem service tradeoffs across regional social-ecological systems. Ecosystems and People 17:264-278.

Carpenter, S. R., E. Booth, M. Motew, S. Zipper, C. Kucharik, X. Chen, S. Loheide, J. Seifert, and M. G. Turner. 2018. Scenarios reveal pathways to sustain future ecosystem services in an agricultural landscape. Ecological Applications 28:119-134.

Ziter, C., R. A. Graves, and M. G. Turner. 2018. How do land-use legacies affect ecosystem services in United States cultural landscapes? Landscape Ecology 32:2205-2218.

Graves, R. A., S. M. Pearson, and M. G. Turner. 2017. Species richness alone does not predict cultural ecosystem service value. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:3774-3779

Rose, K. C., S. R. Greb, M. Diebel, and M. G. Turner. 2017. Annual precipitation as a regulator of spatial and temporal drivers of lake water clarity. Ecological Applications 27:632-643.

Graves, R. A., S. M. Pearson, and M. G. Turner. 2016. Landscape patterns of bioenergy production in a changing climate: implications for crop allocation and land-use competition. Ecological Applications 26:515-529.

Booth, E. G., J. Qiu, S. R. Carpenter, J. Schatz, X. Chen, C. J. Kucharik, S. P. Loheide II, M. M. Motew, J. M. Seifert, and M. G. Turner. 2016. From qualitative to quantitative environmental scenarios: Translating storylines into biophysical modeling inputs at the watershed scale. Environmental Modelling and Software 85:80-97.

Blank, P. J., C. L. Williams, D. W. Sample, T. D. Meehan, and M. G. Turner. 2016. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities. Ecological Applications 26:42-54.

Blank, P. J., D. W. Sample, C. Williams and M. G. Turner. 2014. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.  PLoS ONE 9(10)e109989. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109989

Qiu, J. and M. G. Turner. 2015. Importance of landscape heterogeneity in sustaining hydrologic ecosystem services in an agricultural watershed. Ecosphere 6(11) Article 229.

Qiu, J. and M. G. Turner. 2013. Spatial interactions among ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural watershed. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:12149-12154.

Buffam, I., M. G. Turner, A. Desai, P. J. Hanson, J. Rusak, N. Lottig and S. R. Carpenter. 2011. Integrating aquatic and terrestrial components to construct a complete carbon budget for a north temperate lake district. Global Change Biology 17:1193-1211.

Carpenter, S.R., B.J. Benson, R. Biggs, J.W. Chipman, J.A. Foley, S.A. Golding, R.B. Hammer, P.C. Hanson, P.T.J. Johnson, A.M. Kamarainen, T.K. Kratz, R.C. Lathrop, K.D. McMahon, B. Provencher, J.A. Rusak, C.T. Solomon, E.H. Stanley, M. G. Turner, M.J. Vander Zanden, C.-H. Wu and H. Yuan. 2007. Understanding regional change: comparison of two lake districts. BioScience 57:323-335.

Freeman, R. E., E. H. Stanley and M. G. Turner. 2003. Analysis and conservation implications of landscape change in the Wisconsin River floodplain, USA. Ecological Applications 13:416-431.

Gergel, S. E., M. G. Turner, J. R. Miller, J. M. Melack and E. H. Stanley. 2002. Landscape indicators of human impacts to river-floodplain systems. Aquatic Sciences 64:118-128.

Gergel, S. E., M. D. Dixon and M. G. Turner. 2002. Consequences of human-altered floods: levees, floods and floodplain forests along the Wisconsin River. Ecological Applications 12:1755-1770.

Riera, J., P. R. Voss, S. R. Carpenter, T. K. Kratz, T. M. Lillesand, J. A. Schnaiberg, M. G. Turner, and M. W. Wegener. 2001. Nature, society and history in two contrasting landscapes in Wisconsin, USA: interactions between lakes and humans during the 20th century. Land Use Policy 18:41-51.

Naiman, R. J. and M. G. Turner. 2000. A future perspective on North America’s freshwater ecosystems. Ecological Applications 10:958-970.