Aquatic Ecodynamics

Projects


Quantifying the resilience of complex aquatic landscapes to environmental changes

ARC Discovery Project: CI's Matthew Hipsey & Justin Brookes (UAd) and international collaborators. Aquatic systems are under increasing pressures from anthropogenic activities and climate change. The long- term sustainable management of our water resources requires a quantitative assessment of how patterns of water, carbon and nutrients move through diverse and spatially heterogeneous aquatic landscapes, yet this remains poorly understood.

Whilst our ability to model aquatic environments such as lakes, rivers and estuaries has advanced considerably, it remains difficult to simulate ecosystem dynamics across more complex aquatic landscapes. New model approaches are required that are able to accommodate spatial heterogeneity, connectivity between diverse sub-systems, and complex feedback and co-evolution processes that shape the signatures we observe in biogeochemical cycles.

A way forward lies in the integration of the diversity of models of ecohydrology and aquatic system dynamics, with environmental sensing data in a way that balances process-driven and data-driven approaches for exploring landscape function. We are developoing a model system that can be used to quantify biogeochemical budgets and signatures that characterise individual sub-systems within the landscape, but also to support the quantification of how the landscape as a whole responds to environmental change. Whilst such a coupled system is complex and has many uncertainities, approaches to assess model performance using several theoretically relevant metrics of ecosystem function are being used. Efforts to improve model predictions through assimilation of observed data using Bayesian Hierarchical Modelling are also being developed.

Click here for more information about each task in the approach.

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References

A three-dimensional hydro-geochemical model to assess lake acidification risk. Hipsey, M.R., Salmon, S.U. and Mosley, L.M., 2014. Environmental Modelling & Software, in press. [link]

The impact of extreme low flows on the water quality of the Lower Murray River and Lakes (South Australia). Mosley, L.M., Corkhill, E., Heneker, T.M., Skinner, D., Aldridge, K.T., and Hipsey, M.R. 2013. Water Resources Management, 26(13): 3923-3946.

Blueprint for a unifying framework for synthesis of aquatic ecodynamics. Hipsey, M.R., Hamilton, D.P., Hanson, P.C., Brookes, J.D., Trolle, D, and Bruce, L.C. 2012. In: R. Seppelt, A.A. Voinov, S. Lange, D. Bankamp (Eds.), 2012 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs), June 2012.

The importance of model structural complexity when simulating aquatic food webs. Li, Y. and Hipsey, M.R., 2013. MODSIM2013 - 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2013, Adelaide, Australia. PDF

Wetland vegetation-hydrology co-evolution in response to rainfall variability. Coletti, J.Z., Vogwill, R. and Hipsey, M.R., 2013. MODSIM2013 - 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2013, Adelaide, Australia. [link]

Developing predictive insight into changing water systems: use-inspired hydrologic science for the Anthropocene. Thompson, S.E., Sivapalan, M., Harman, C.J., Srinivasan, V., Hipsey, M.R., Reed, P., Montanari, A., and Bloschl, G., 2013. Hydrology & Earth System Sciences, 17, 5013-5039. [link]