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Pamela Matson
Books

Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution

Pamela Matson, Walter P. Falcon, Ashley Dean, Rosamond L. Naylor, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Peter Jewett, Ellen McCullough, Michael Beman, Amy Luers, David Lobell, Toby Ahrens, John Harrison, Gerrit Schoups, Lee Addams, David S. Battisti, Jose Luis Minjares
Island Press, 2011 November 25, 2011

Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

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Journal Articles

Evolution of the Knowledge System for Agricultural Development in the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico

Ellen McCullough, Pamela Matson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011 May 23, 2011

Knowledge systems—networks of linked actors, organizations, and objects that perform a number of knowledge-related functions that link knowledge and know how with action—have played a key role in fostering agricultural development over the last 50 years. We examine the evolution of the knowledge system of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, a region often described as the home of the green revolution for wheat, tracing changes in the functions of critical knowledge system participants, information flows, and research priorities.

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Journal Articles

A Case Study of Land Reform and Coastal Land Transformation in Southern Sonora, Mexico

Amy Luers, Rosamond L. Naylor, Pamela Matson
Land Use Policy, 2006 December 31, 2006
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Journal Articles

Business Strategies for Conservation on Private Lands: Koa Forestry as a Case Study

Josh Goldstein, James B. Friday, Pamela Matson, Rosamond L. Naylor, Peter Vitousek
Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, 2006 June 27, 2006

Innovative financial instruments are being created to reward conservation on private, working lands. Major design challenges remain, however, to make investments in biodiversity and ecosystem services economically attractive and commonplace. From a business perspective, three key financial barriers for advancing conservation land uses must frequently be addressed: high up-front costs, long time periods with no revenue, and high project risk due to long time horizons and uncertainty.

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Journal Articles

Analysis of Wheat Yield and Climate Trends in Mexico

David Lobell, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Gregory P. Asner, Pamela Matson, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon
Field Crops Research, 2005 December 31, 2005

Wheat yields in Mexico, which represent an important measure of breeding and management progress in developing world wheat production, have increased by 25% over the past two decades. Using a combination of mechanistic and statistical models, we show that much of this increase can be attributed to climatic trends in Northwest states, in particular cooling of growing season nighttime temperatures.

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Journal Articles

Agricultural runoff fuels large phytoplankton blooms in vulnerable areas of the ocean

J. Michael Beman, Kevin R. Arrigo, Pamela Matson, J. Michael Beman, Kevin R. Arrigo, Pamela Matson
Nature, 2005 March 10, 2005

Biological productivity in most of the world's oceans is controlled by the supply of nutrients to surface waters. The relative balance between supply and removal of nutrients-including nitrogen, iron and phosphorus-determines which nutrient limits phytoplankton growth. Although nitrogen limits productivity in much of the ocean, large portions of the tropics and subtropics are defined by extreme nitrogen depletion. In these regions, microbial denitrification removes biologically available forms of nitrogen from the water column, producing substantial deficits relative to other nutrients.

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Journal Articles

Patterns and Controls of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Waters Draining a Subtropical Agricultural Valley

John Harrison, Pamela Matson
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2003 December 31, 2003

Although nitrous oxide (N20) emission from agricultural runoff is thought to constitute a globally important source of this greenhouse gas, N20 flux from polluted aquatic systems is poorly understood and scarcely reported, especially in low-latitude (0-30 degree) regions where rapid agricultural intensification is occurring. We measured N20 emissions, dissolved N20 concentrations, and factors likely to control rates of N20 production in drainage canals receiving agricultural and mixed agricultural/urban inputs from the intensively farmed Yaqui Valley of Sonora, Mexico.

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Journal Articles

Method for Quantifying Vulnerability, Applied to the Agricultural System of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, A

Amy Luers, David Lobell, Leonard S. Sklar, C. Lee Addams, Pamela Matson
Global Environmental Change, 2003 December 31, 2003

We propose measuring vulnerability of selected outcome variables of concern (e.g. agricultural yield) to identified stressors (e.g. climate change) as a function of the state of the variables of concern relative to a threshold of damage, the sensitivity of the variables to the stressors, and the magnitude and frequency of the stressors to which the system is exposed. In addition, we provide a framework for assessing the extent adaptive capacity can reduce vulnerable conditions.

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Journal Articles

Illustrating the coupled human-environment system for vulnerability analysis: Three case studies

B.L. Turner II, Pamela Matson, James J. McCarthy, Robert W. Corell, Lindsey Christensen, Noelle Eckley, Grete K. Hovelsrud-Broda, Jeanne X. Kasperson, Roger E. Kasperson, Amy Luers, Marybeth L. Martello, Svein Mathiesen, Rosamond L. Naylor, Colin Polsky, Alexander Pulsipher, Andrew Schiller, Henrik Selin, Nicholas Tyler
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003 July 8, 2003

The vulnerability framework of the Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability Program explicitly recognizes the coupled human-environment system and accounts for interactions in the coupling affecting the system's responses to hazards and its vulnerability. This paper illustrates the usefulness of the vulnerability framework through three case studies: the tropical southern Yucatan, the arid Yaqui Valley of northwest Mexico, and the pan-Arctic.

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Journal Articles

Framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science, A

B.L. Turner II, Roger E. Kasperson, Pamela Matson, James J. McCarthy, Robert W. Corell, Lindsey Christensen, Noelle Eckley, Jeanne X. Kasperson, Amy Luers, Marybeth L. Martello, Colin Polsky, Alexander Pulsipher, Andrew Schiller
PNAS, 2003 July 8, 2003

Global environmental change and sustainability science increasingly recognize the need to address the consequences of changes taking place in the structure and function of the biosphere. These changes raise questions such as: Who and what are vulnerable to the multiple environmental changes underday, and where? Research demonstrates that vulnerability is registered not by exposure to hazards (perturbations and stresses) along but also resides in the sensitivity and resilience of the system experiencing such hazards.

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Journal Articles

Globalization of Nitrogen Deposition: Consequences for Terrestial Ecosystems, The

Pamela Matson, K. Lohse, S. Hall
AMBIO, 2002 December 31, 2002

The sources and distribution of anthropogenic nitrogen (N), including N fertilization and N fixed during fossil-fuel combustion, are rapidly becoming globally distributed. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems to anthropogenic N inputs are likely to vary geographically. In the temperate zone, long-term N inputs can lead to increases in plant growth and also can result in over-enrichment with N, eventually leading to increased losses of N via solution leaching and trace-gas emissions, and in some cases, to changes in species composition and to ecosystem decline.

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Journal Articles

Agricultural Sustainability and Intensive Production Practices

Tilman, D., Cassman, K., Pamela Matson, Rosamond L. Naylor, Polasky, S.
Nature, 2002 August 8, 2002

A doubling in global food demand projected for the next 50 years poses huge challenges for the sustainability both of food production and of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Agriculturalists are the principal managers of global useable lands and will shape, perhaps irreversibly, the surface of the Earth in the coming decades.

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Journal Articles

Nitrogen leaching and soil nitrate, nitrite and ammonium levels under differing fertilizer management in an irrigated wheat system in northern Mexico

W.J. Riley, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Pamela Matson
Nutrient Cyling in Agroecosystems, 2001 December 31, 2001

Nitrate leaching from agricultural soils can represent a substantial loss of fertilizer nitrogen (N), but a large variation in losses has been reported. We report N leaching losses under four N fertilizer treatments and two farmer's fields in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico. In these irrigated wheat systems, farmers typically apply 250 kg N as anhydrous ammonia (knifed in) or urea (broadcast), with 75% applied directly before planting and 25% at the time of the first post-planting irrigation.

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Journal Articles

Integration of Environmental, Agronomic, and Economic Aspects of Fertilizer Management

Pamela Matson, Rosamond L. Naylor, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
Science, 1998 April 3, 1998

Nitrogen fertilization is a substantial source of nitrogen-containing trace gases that have both regional and global consequences. In the intensive wheat systems of Mexico, typical fertilization practices lead to extremely high fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO). In experiments, lower rates of nitrogen fertilizer, applied later in the crop cycle, reduced the loss of nitrogen without affecting yield and grain quality. Economic analyses projected this alternative practice to save 12 to 17 percent of after-tax profits.

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Journal Articles

Agricultural intensification and ecosystem properties

Pamela Matson, W.J. Parton, A.G. Power, M. Swift
Science, 1997 July 25, 1997

Expansion and intensification of cultivation are among the predominant global changes of this century. Intensification of agriculture by use of high-yielding crop varieties, fertilization, irrigation, and pesticides has contributed substantially to the tremendous increases in food production over the past 50 years. Land conversion and intensification, however, also alter the biotic interactions and patterns of resource availability in ecosystems and can have serious local, regional, and global environmental consequences.

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Journal Articles

NOx emission from soil: Implications for Air Quality Modeling in Agricultural Regions

Pamela Matson, P. Roth
Annual Review of Energy and Environment, 1996 December 31, 1996
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Journal Articles

Food, Conservation, and Global Environmental Change: Is Compromise Possible?

Rosamond L. Naylor, Pamela Matson
EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 1993 April 13, 1993
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