Hydro-bio-geo-socio-chemical interactions and the sustainability of residential landscapes

Peter M. Groffman, Amanda K. Suchy, Dexter H. Locke, Robert J. Johnston, David A. Newburn, Arthur J. Gold, Lawrence E. Band, Jonathan Duncan, J. Morgan Grove, Jenny Kao-Kniffin, Hallee Meltzer, Tom Ndebele, Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, Colin Polsky, Grant L. Thompson, Haoluan Wang, Ewa Zawojska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Residential landscapes are essential to the sustainability of large areas of the United States. However, spatial and temporal variation across multiple domains complicates developing policies to balance these systems' environmental, economic, and equity dimensions. We conducted multidisciplinary studies in the Baltimore, MD, USA, metropolitan area to identify locations (hotspots) or times (hot moments) with a disproportionate influence on nitrogen export, a widespread environmental concern. Results showed high variation in the inherent vulnerability/sensitivity of individual parcels to cause environmental damage and in the knowledge and practices of individual managers. To the extent that hotspots are the result of management choices by homeowners, there are straightforward approaches to improve outcomes, e.g. fertilizer restrictions and incentives to reduce fertilizer use. If, however, hotspots arise from the configuration and inherent characteristics of parcels and neighborhoods, efforts to improve outcomes may involve more intensive and complex interventions, such as conversion to alternative ecosystem types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpgad316
JournalPNAS Nexus
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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