Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows

Barbara J. Robson, Rebecca E. Lester, Darren S. Baldwin, Nicholas R. Bond, Romain Drouart, Rob ROLLS, Darren S. Ryder, Ross M. Thompson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Environmental flows are designed to enhance aquatic ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms; however, to date most attention has been paid to the effects on habitat quality and life-history triggers, especially for fish and vegetation. The effects of environmental flows on food webs have so far received little attention, despite food-web thinking being fundamental to understanding of river ecosystems. Understanding environmental flows in a food-web context can help scientists and policy-makers better understand and manage outcomes of flow alteration and restoration. In this paper, we consider mechanisms by which flow variability can influence and alter food webs, and place these within a conceptual and numerical modelling framework. We also review the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to modelling the effects of hydrological management on food webs. Although classic bioenergetic models such as Ecopath with Ecosim capture many of the key features required, other approaches, such as biogeochemical ecosystem modelling, end-to-end modelling, population dynamic models, individual-based models, graph theory models, and stock assessment models are also relevant. In many cases, a combination of approaches will be useful. We identify current challenges and new directions in modelling food-web responses to hydrological variability and environmental flow management. These include better integration of food-web and hydraulic models, taking physiologically-based approaches to food quality effects, and better representation of variations in space and time that may create ecosystem control points.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-128
    Number of pages21
    JournalWater Research
    Volume124
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

    Fingerprint

    food web
    modeling
    Ecosystems
    ecosystem modeling
    individual-based model
    bioenergetics
    ecosystem
    stock assessment
    food quality
    Population dynamics
    Aquatic ecosystems
    Hydraulic models
    habitat quality
    effect
    Graph theory
    aquatic ecosystem
    population dynamics
    Fish
    life history
    Restoration

    Cite this

    Robson, Barbara J. ; Lester, Rebecca E. ; Baldwin, Darren S. ; Bond, Nicholas R. ; Drouart, Romain ; ROLLS, Rob ; Ryder, Darren S. ; Thompson, Ross M. / Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows. In: Water Research. 2017 ; Vol. 124. pp. 108-128.
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    abstract = "Environmental flows are designed to enhance aquatic ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms; however, to date most attention has been paid to the effects on habitat quality and life-history triggers, especially for fish and vegetation. The effects of environmental flows on food webs have so far received little attention, despite food-web thinking being fundamental to understanding of river ecosystems. Understanding environmental flows in a food-web context can help scientists and policy-makers better understand and manage outcomes of flow alteration and restoration. In this paper, we consider mechanisms by which flow variability can influence and alter food webs, and place these within a conceptual and numerical modelling framework. We also review the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to modelling the effects of hydrological management on food webs. Although classic bioenergetic models such as Ecopath with Ecosim capture many of the key features required, other approaches, such as biogeochemical ecosystem modelling, end-to-end modelling, population dynamic models, individual-based models, graph theory models, and stock assessment models are also relevant. In many cases, a combination of approaches will be useful. We identify current challenges and new directions in modelling food-web responses to hydrological variability and environmental flow management. These include better integration of food-web and hydraulic models, taking physiologically-based approaches to food quality effects, and better representation of variations in space and time that may create ecosystem control points.",
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    Robson, BJ, Lester, RE, Baldwin, DS, Bond, NR, Drouart, R, ROLLS, R, Ryder, DS & Thompson, RM 2017, 'Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows', Water Research, vol. 124, pp. 108-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.031

    Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows. / Robson, Barbara J.; Lester, Rebecca E.; Baldwin, Darren S.; Bond, Nicholas R.; Drouart, Romain; ROLLS, Rob; Ryder, Darren S.; Thompson, Ross M.

    In: Water Research, Vol. 124, 01.11.2017, p. 108-128.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows

    AU - Robson, Barbara J.

    AU - Lester, Rebecca E.

    AU - Baldwin, Darren S.

    AU - Bond, Nicholas R.

    AU - Drouart, Romain

    AU - ROLLS, Rob

    AU - Ryder, Darren S.

    AU - Thompson, Ross M.

    PY - 2017/11/1

    Y1 - 2017/11/1

    N2 - Environmental flows are designed to enhance aquatic ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms; however, to date most attention has been paid to the effects on habitat quality and life-history triggers, especially for fish and vegetation. The effects of environmental flows on food webs have so far received little attention, despite food-web thinking being fundamental to understanding of river ecosystems. Understanding environmental flows in a food-web context can help scientists and policy-makers better understand and manage outcomes of flow alteration and restoration. In this paper, we consider mechanisms by which flow variability can influence and alter food webs, and place these within a conceptual and numerical modelling framework. We also review the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to modelling the effects of hydrological management on food webs. Although classic bioenergetic models such as Ecopath with Ecosim capture many of the key features required, other approaches, such as biogeochemical ecosystem modelling, end-to-end modelling, population dynamic models, individual-based models, graph theory models, and stock assessment models are also relevant. In many cases, a combination of approaches will be useful. We identify current challenges and new directions in modelling food-web responses to hydrological variability and environmental flow management. These include better integration of food-web and hydraulic models, taking physiologically-based approaches to food quality effects, and better representation of variations in space and time that may create ecosystem control points.

    AB - Environmental flows are designed to enhance aquatic ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms; however, to date most attention has been paid to the effects on habitat quality and life-history triggers, especially for fish and vegetation. The effects of environmental flows on food webs have so far received little attention, despite food-web thinking being fundamental to understanding of river ecosystems. Understanding environmental flows in a food-web context can help scientists and policy-makers better understand and manage outcomes of flow alteration and restoration. In this paper, we consider mechanisms by which flow variability can influence and alter food webs, and place these within a conceptual and numerical modelling framework. We also review the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to modelling the effects of hydrological management on food webs. Although classic bioenergetic models such as Ecopath with Ecosim capture many of the key features required, other approaches, such as biogeochemical ecosystem modelling, end-to-end modelling, population dynamic models, individual-based models, graph theory models, and stock assessment models are also relevant. In many cases, a combination of approaches will be useful. We identify current challenges and new directions in modelling food-web responses to hydrological variability and environmental flow management. These include better integration of food-web and hydraulic models, taking physiologically-based approaches to food quality effects, and better representation of variations in space and time that may create ecosystem control points.

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    KW - Ecohydrology

    KW - Ecosystems

    KW - Food webs

    KW - Prediction

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    U2 - 10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.031

    DO - 10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.031

    M3 - Review article

    VL - 124

    SP - 108

    EP - 128

    JO - Water Research

    JF - Water Research

    SN - 0043-1354

    ER -

    Robson BJ, Lester RE, Baldwin DS, Bond NR, Drouart R, ROLLS R et al. Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows. Water Research. 2017 Nov 1;124:108-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.031