tions) aggregate throughout a watershed. Watershed-scale models, such as the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), have been developed to predict the effects of agronomic practices on water and sediment. SWAT operates on a daily time step and can perform simulations over a long time (30 years) by using physical landscape characteristics (including soil types and topography), data on land cover and land use, weather data, and physical-chemical properties of compounds to simulate processes that dictate routing of water and sediment. The primary routes for chemicals to enter water from a site of application in SWAT are surface runoff and infiltration of applied chemicals into groundwater that can reach surface waters through lateral flow and recharge. Thus, SWAT has an interface with PRZM/EXAMS or the Groundwater Loading Effects of Agricultural Management Systems (GLEAMS) (Leonard et al. 1989; Knisel and Davis 2000) model and can be used to predict chemical concentrations at particular points in a watershed over variable intervals.
Geospatial data are critical for exposure modeling and for describing species’ habitats. The committee was asked to consider what constitutes authoritative geospatial data. The following sections discuss the delineation of habitat, describe the criteria for authoritative geospatial data, and provide several examples of various types of authoritative geospatial data.
Characterization and Delineation of Habitat
Habitat refers to the abiotic and biotic environmental attributes in an area that allow an organism to survive and reproduce (Hall et al. 1997). Habitat configuration, area, and quality—which vary over space and time—affect probabilities of persistence of populations and species. Because habitat by definition supports survival and reproduction, the term suitable habitat is redundant, and the term unsuitable habitat is contradictory. Habitat is species-specific, although a specific abiotic or biotic attribute might be a habitat component for multiple species; habitat is not synonymous with land cover, vegetation, or vegetation structure (Hall et al. 1997). Detailed explanations and discussions of the concept of habitat are included in Fretwell (1972), Morrison and Hall (2002), and Mitchell (2005). Characterization and delineation of species’ habitats is necessary to estimate where and when a given pesticide and a given species might co-occur, to make spatially and temporally explicit calculations of pesticide exposure, and to specify the spatial structure of population models used in effects analyses.
The first step in delineating habitat is to compile data on species occurrence and, ideally, data on species’ demography and environmental attributes that are associated with occurrence and measured in the field. Numerous publications have compared methods for identifying and statistically modeling asso-