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Synthesizing models useful for ecohydrology and ecohydraulic approaches: An emphasis on integrating models to address complex research questions

Ecohydrology

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https://doi.org/10.1002/eco.1966

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Abstract

Ecohydrology combines empiricism, data analytics, and the integration of models to characterize linkages between ecological and hydrological processes. A challenge for practitioners is determining which models best generalizes heterogeneity in hydrological behaviour, including water fluxes across spatial and temporal scales, integrating environmental and socio‐economic activities to determine best watershed management practices and data requirements. We conducted a literature review and synthesis of hydrologic, hydraulic, water quality, and ecological models designed for solving interdisciplinary questions. We reviewed 1,275 papers and identified 178 models that have the capacity to answer an array of research questions about ecohydrology or ecohydraulics. Of these models, 43 were commonly applied due to their versatility, accessibility, user‐friendliness, and excellent user‐support. Forty‐one of 43 reviewed models were linked to at least 1 other model especially: Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (linked to 21 other models), Soil and Water Assessment Tool (19), and Hydrologic Engineering Center's River Analysis System (15). However, model integration was still relatively infrequent. There was substantial variation in model applications, possibly an artefact of the regional focus of research questions, simplicity of use, quality of user‐support efforts, or a limited understanding of model applicability. Simply increasing the interoperability of model platforms, transformation of models to user‐friendly forms, increasing user‐support, defining the reliability and risk associated with model results, and increasing awareness of model applicability may promote increased use of models across subdisciplines. Nonetheless, the current availability of models allows an array of interdisciplinary questions to be addressed, and model choice relates to several factors including research objective, model complexity, ability to link to other models, and interface choice.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Synthesizing models useful for ecohydrology and ecohydraulic approaches: An emphasis on integrating models to address complex research questions
Series title:
Ecohydrology
DOI:
10.1002/eco.1966
Edition:
Online first
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description:
e1966