Measures of population pressure, referring in general to the stress upon the environment by human consumption of resources, are imperative for environmental sustainability studies and management. Development based on resource consumption is the predominant factor of population pressure. This paper presents a spatial model of population pressure by linking consumption associated with regional urbanism and ecosystem services. Maps representing relative geographic degree and extent of natural resource consumption and degree and extent of impacts on surrounding areas are new, and this research represents the theoretical research toward this goal. With development, such maps offer a visualization tool for planners of various services, amenities for people, and conservation planning for ecologist. Urbanization is commonly generalized by census numbers or impervious surface area. The potential geographical extent of urbanism encompasses the environmental resources of the surrounding region that sustain cities. This extent is interpolated using kriging of a variable based on population wealth data from the U.S. Census Bureau. When overlayed with land-use/land-cover data, the results indicate that the greatest estimates of population pressure fall within mixed forest areas. Mixed forest areas result from the spread of cedar woods in previously disturbed areas where further disturbance is then suppressed. Low density areas, such as suburbanization and abandoned farmland are characteristic of mixed forest areas.
Additional Publication Details
Interpolating a consumption variable for scaling and generalizing potential population pressure on urbanizing natural areas