Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version

September 2002


Published in Aquatic Ecosystem Classification and Reference Conditions STAR Progress Review Workshop.


In agriculturally dominated regions, land use practices have an unusually large impact on water bodies and, therefore, land use may reduce the utility of current ecoregion-based approaches to lake classification by dampening the signals that underlie the ecoregion framework. A team of water quality researchers has been assembled to develop a comprehensive classification scheme for agriculturally dominated ecosystems, using Nebraska as a highly representative model. Three objectives critical to achieving this goal are to establish: (1) a protocol for aggregating water bodies in agricultural ecosystems into classification strata and identifying reference conditions for these classes; (2) the role of remote sensing and the Geographic Information System in a classification strategy; and (3) a technology transfer link between the proposed classification system and end-users.