We demonstrate a practical approach to integrating models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management. In selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico, we employed Land Change Modeller to assess the vulnerability of areas with native vegetation to conversion into crops, pasture, and urban areas. We then used SedNet, a catchment modelling tool, to map the sources and estimate pollutant loads delivered to the Gulf by these catchments. Following these analyses, we used modelled river plumes to identify marine areas likely influenced by land-based pollutants. Finally, we prioritised areas for catchment management based on objectives for conservation of terrestrial biodiversity and objectives for water quality that recognised links between pollutant sources and affected marine areas. Our objectives for coastal-marine water quality were to reduce sediment and nutrient discharges from anthropic areas, and minimise future increases in coastal sedimentation and eutrophication. Our objectives for protection of terrestrial biodiversity covered species of vertebrates. We used Marxan, a conservation planning tool, to prioritise interventions and explore spatial differences in priorities for both objectives.
This dataset comprises four sub-datasets with spatial and non-spatial information required to develop and integrate models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management in selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico:
Biodiversity data (01_BIO): includes table with information about species endemicity, protection/threat status, and conservation goals (Excel Spreadsheet) and species distribution models of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (ESRI Shapefile format).
Modelling spatial data (02_GIS): includes maps (ESRI Shapefile format) of land-use and vegetation cover maps for 4 time periods (i.e. original extent of native vegetation before extensive clearing and modern agriculture, 1976, 1993, and 2000); modelling domain masks (Gulf of California and study region); natural protected areas; wildlife management units; terrestrial vegetation types; drainage basins; digital elevation model; terrestrial bioregions; marine management units (including conservation value); analysis/planning units; major rivers; and roads.
Land-use Change Models (03_LCM): includes maps (ESRI Raster Grid format) depicting the probability of change from natural vegetation to three anthropic land uses: cropland, modified pasture and urban areas (modelled using Land Use Change Modeller).
Water Quality data (04_WQ): includes maps (ESRI Shapefile and Raster Grid formats), key parameters (Excel Spreadsheets), and data processing/analysis (PDF) underlying catchment modelling (using SedNet or N-SPECT models), comprised by: catchment delineation; land classes and vegetation cover; riparian vegetation map; soil key characteristics (hydrologic soil group, erodibility, curve numbers); floodplain mapping; pollutant event mean concentrations (EMC); rainfall and precipitation settings; rainfall erosivity mapping; evapotranspiration map; reservoir mapping; modelled river plumes; hydrometric data collation and processing, as well as geographic location, flow data and sediment data (for regulated and unregulated hydrometric stations); and soil spatial layers (clay and nutrient content).