Modeling net ecosystem metabolism influenced by artificial hydrological regulation: AN application to the Yellow River Estuary, China

Shi Tang, Tao Sun, Xiao Mei Shen, Man Qi, Mei Li Feng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study examined the critical effects of artificial hydrological alterations to ecological processes in estuarine ecosystems. We integrated an open-water method of net ecosystem metabolism (NEM) with a system dynamics model of dissolved oxygen (DO) to understand responses of ecosystem function to variation in river flow. Turbidity pulse effects on NEM and temporal variation were emphasized following integration of a light attenuation coefficient-turbidity submodel into the system dynamics model. A logarithmic relationship between freshwater inflow and turbidity was derived from field data. Subsequently, the influence of discharge magnitude, rate of change, and flow timing to NEM variation were analyzed in a case study of the Yellow River Estuary, China. The model results indicated an ecosystem might transform from autotrophic to heterotrophic metabolism in April under the effects of artificial hydrological regulation and turbidity pulses. Furthermore, water temperature was identified as another critical factor influencing NEM, due to its relationship with biological processes. Therefore, the impact of artificial hydrological regulation, and consequent turbidity pulses on NEM would be more influential when water temperature increased during the hotter season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Engineering
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Environmental flow allocation
  • Net ecosystem metabolism
  • System dynamics model
  • Turbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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