Predicting the resilience and recovery of aquatic systems: a framework for model evolution within environmental observatories

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Maintaining the health of aquatic systems is an essential component of sustainable catchmentmanagement, however, degradation of water quality and aquatic habitat continues to challenge scientistsand policy-makers. To support management and restoration efforts aquatic system models are requiredthat are able to capture the often complex trajectories that these systems display in response to multiplestressors. This paper explores the abilities and limitations of current model approaches in meeting this chal-lenge, and outlines a strategy based on integration of flexible model libraries and data from observationnetworks, within a learning framework, as a means to improve the accuracy and scope of model predictions.The framework is comprised of a data assimilation component that utilizes diverse data streams from sensornetworks, and a second component whereby model structural evolution can occur once the model isassessed against theoretically relevant metrics of system function. Given the scale and transdisciplinarynature of the prediction challenge, network science initiatives are identified as a means to develop and inte-grate diverse model libraries and workflows, and to obtain consensus on diagnostic approaches to modelassessment that can guide model adaptation. We outline how such a framework can help us explore thetheory of how aquatic systems respond to change by bridging bottom-up and top-down lines of enquiry,and, in doing so, also advance the role of prediction in aquatic ecosystem management.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Predicting the resilience and recovery of aquatic systems: a framework for model evolution within environmental observatories
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1002/2015WR017175
Volume 51
Issue 9
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Description 21 p.
First page 7023
Last page 7043
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N