Landscape Analysis, Integration and Case Studies

 IMG_6326 2

In addition to the projects below, AMP maintains a large GIS database for Ohio agriculture, and offers GIS/mapping services.

Visualizing and Quantifying a Normative Scenario for Northeast Ohio

Collaboration with: the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, Agroecosystem Science
Master’s thesis research by Liz Kolbe (Casey Hoy, Advisor)

About: The visualization and quantification of a normative scenario for agriculture in northeast Ohio was the central focus of Liz Kolbe’s Master’s work in the Hoy lab. In collaboration with local farmers and faculty from the Knowlton School of Architecture and the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, 3 farms were designed and quantified to serve as a normative scenario (or what should and possible could be) for local food production in Northeast Ohio. Mellinger Farm was used as a canvas for the designs. Learn more.


Borrowed Ground: Evaluating the Potential Role of Usufruct in Neighborhood-Scale Foodsheds

Collaboration with: the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, Agroecosystem Science
Master’s thesis research by Ben Kerrick (Casey Hoy, Advisor)

About: Borrowed Ground was spearheaded by Ben Kerrick for his Master’s thesis in Environmental Science with a specialization in Agroecosystem Science. Leveraging his dual degree in City & Regional Planning in OSU’s Knowlton School of Architecture, his background in matching artists with temporary use of vacant space in New York City, and local food systems knowledge, Ben’s work investigates the potential contribution of public and private vacant space to food production and garden access in cities. Learn more.


Acoustically Monitoring the Rhythms of Biodiversity in Agroecosystems

Investigator: Casey Hoy (Agroecosystem management program)

About: Conserving biodiversity is one of the greater global environmental challenges of our time. Protecting the planet’s wide variety of living things ensures that ecosystems function smoothly to provide energy, renewable materials, clean water and air, and food. In agriculture, biodiversity is evident in the many varieties of plants and animals used as food throughout the world. More importantly, it includes the many and varied organisms that allow carbon, water, and nitrogen cycles to operate. However, biodiversity is difficult to measure because of the scope needed to include every living thing in a particular place, from the smallest microbes to the largest animals. This project was based on the idea that when there is high biodiversity, one should be able to hear it, because animals make a wide variety of sounds. The purpose of this project was to evaluate equipment for recording sounds in agricultural ecosystems over time and test how researchers can use those recordings to measure biodiversity efficiently and continuously. Read the OARDC article (current learn more link) or listen to the recordings.


Monitoring Agroecosystem Biodiversity Using Bioacoustics and Remote Recording Units

Collaboration with: the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
Master’s thesis research by Claire Paisley Jones (Casey Hoy, Advisor)

About: The objective of Claire’s Master’s research was to develop an index to measure diversity in agricultural soundscapes, and to compare the index with other measures of biodiversity in these systems.  The Modified Acoustic Entropy Index (H’) meaures the level of niche utilization of the acoustic soundscape, which is hypothesized to relate to the number of species and individuals present in a location. The resulting H’ values can then be used to compare soundscape patterns and acoustic diversity levels over time and between locations in remote recordings.


Exploring the Link between Integrated Pest Management and Agroecosystem Management

Investigators: Casey Hoy, James McCully, José Laborde, Andrés Vargas-López, Rafael Bujanos-Muñiz and Eduardo Rangel

About: Integrated pest management tactics are associated with and can be used simultaneously at various spatial and temporal scales. Integrating pest management tactics requires careful matching of tactics with their most relevant spatial scales, rather than forcing all tactics to be relevant at a single scale, such as an individual field for a single cropping cycle. A case study is provided of the evolution of control tactics from a focus on individual fields with a short time horizon, to improved pest management throughout a region. The case study is of diamondback moth control in the Bajío region of México, a serious enough challenge to force cooperation at regional scales and cause the shift in tactics described. Although diamondback moth populations have increased and the pattern of population fluctuations has changed between 1988 and 2004, management of individual fields can still minimize pest damage through careful use of available control measures. The greater potential for improving control of diamondback moth, however, appears to be changing the agroecosystem itself at larger spatial and temporal scales, perhaps by production and processing of additional crops in the region.

Hoy, C. W. , J. E. McCully, J. Laborde, A. Vargas, R. Bujanos, E. Rangel.  2007.  The linkage between integrated pest management and agroecosystem management:  a case study in the Bajío, México.  American Entomologist.  53:  174-183.


Agritourism Sustainability Model: A Case Study in Northeast Ohio

Investigators: Marcelo Goyzueta (Agroecosystem Management Program); Nathan Hilbert (Agroecosystem Management Program); Casey Hoy (Agroecosystem Management Program)

About: Visiting international scholar Marcelo Goyzueta used Geographic Information Systems (GIS)  to determine locations with potential for the establishment of agritourism business in NE Ohio. Social, environmental and infrastructure variables were considered to rank areas with respect to agritourism potential. View the maps here and here.


Agroecosystem Health Initiative

Collaboration with: the Departments of EntomologyHorticulture and Crop SciencesAnthropologyAgricultural Environmental and Development Economics; and Human and Community Resource Development
Investigators: Krishna Vadrevu (Entomology and Agroecosystem Management Program); John Cardina (Horticulture and Crop Sciences); Fred Hitzhusen (Agricultural Environmental and Development Economics); Isaac Bayoh (Agricultural Environmental and Development Economics); Richard Moore (School of Environment and Natural Resources); Jason Parker (Anthropology); Deb Stinner (Entomology); Ben Stinner (Entomology and Agroecosystem Management Program); Casey Hoy (Entomology and Agroecosystem Management Program)

About: An interdisciplinary team designed a method for quantifying agroecosystem health as a combination of soil health, biodiversity, topography, farm economics, land economics and social organization.  The resulting index can be mapped and used to compare locations or to examine changes over time in agroecosystem health at landscape scales.

Vadrevu KP, Cardina J, Hitzhusen F, Bayoh I, Moore R, Parker J, Stinner B, Stinner D, Hoy C (2008) Case study of an integrated framework for quantifying agroecosystem health. Ecosystems 11:283–306


Linking Airborne Measurements of CO2 with Terrestrial Sources of Carbon over Heterogeneous Landscapes

Collaboration with: NASA
Investigator: Krishna Vadrevu (Entomology and Agroecosystem Management Program)

About: Terrestrial ecosystems are major sources and sinks of carbon. Quantifying their role in the continental carbon budget requires an understanding of both fast (hours to days) and longer-term fluxes (years to decades). Regional-scale in-situ measurements of atmospheric CO2 were made over the conterminous U.S. affording the opportunity to explore how land surface heterogeneity relates to the airborne observations utilizing remote-sensing data products and GIS-based methods. Learn more here and here.


Case Study: the Sugar Creek Watershed

Collaboration with: the School of Environment and Natural Resourcesthe Environmental Sciences Graduate ProgramOrganic Food and Farming Education and ResearchAgricultural Communication, Education and Leadership; the Urban Landscape Ecology Program; and the Department of Entomology


About: Several projects have addressed the economic, ecological and social realities that affect the health of the Sugar Creek Watershed in Northeast Ohio. These include: