Effects of projected future urban land cover on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff to Chesapeake Bay

Allen D. Roberts, Stephen D. Prince, Claire A. Jantz, Scott J. Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This paper examined the effects of simulated land cover/land use (LC/LU) change from 2000 to 2030 on nutrient loadings to the Chesapeake Bay. The SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model was used with anticipated watershed-wide LC/LU change from a growth forecast model that provides spatially explicit probabilities of conversion to impervious surface. The total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loadings estimated to enter the Chesapeake Bay were reduced by 20% and 19%, respectively. In general, as development replaced other LC/LUs from 2000 to 2030, TN and TP runoff was significantly reduced by losses of non-point, non-urban source loadings, yields, and land-to-water delivery. The simulation results suggest future changes in landscape composition and configuration at catchment and riparian stream buffer width scales could lower TN and TP runoff to the estuary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1758-1772
Number of pages15
JournalEcological Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Estuaries
  • Landscape metrics
  • Nutrients
  • Projected urbanization
  • Remote sensing
  • Riparian stream buffers
  • Rivers/streams
  • SLEUTH model
  • SPARROW model
  • Watershed management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of projected future urban land cover on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff to Chesapeake Bay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this