Modelling ecological pressures and responses in a calcareous lake

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Resource or Project Abstract

*** Small-scale Study Report - see note under Supplemnentary Information ***

The primary aims of the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC (WFD) are to improve, maintain and restore good water quality for all water bodies by 2015 (Anon, 2005). Of critical importance to realising these aims is an understanding of aquatic ecological pressure-response relationships. Understanding ecological pressure-response relationships in freshwater ecosystems requires the analyses of long-term monitoring data, which is often absent or only covers relatively short timescales. Mathematical modelling provides a powerful means of examining long-term ecological pressureresponse relationships. Palaeolimnology, involving sediment-based proxies of environmental conditions, can also help elucidate long-term ecological pressures-response relationships and could potentially be used to validate modelled aquatic ecosystem pressures and responses.
Through a novel approach that integrates modelling and palaeolimnological techniques, an aquatic ecological response model (DYRESM-CAEDYM) was validated for Lough Mask, Co. Mayo. Hindcast daily simulations of in-lake responses (including nutrients, chlorophyll and phytoplankton) were produced and compared with sediment-based reconstructions of in-lake TP concentrations. Both the hindcast and sediment datasets compared well, highlighting the potential for sediment-based DI-TP to be used validation of hindcast in-lake TP concentrations. Furthermore, results indicate that sediment-based proxy data can also help explain model limitations, for example, mechanisms not incorporated in models.
Results from this small study demonstrated how a combined dynamic aquatic ecosystem modelling and palaeolimnological approach can provide valuable insight into aquatic pressures-responses relationships. This research also indicates that the effectiveness of the combined palaeolimnological and dynamic modelling approach is strongly dependent on the resolution of sediment-based data and, in general, relatively high and undisturbed rates of sedimentation are of key importance to the application of this approach. However, this study shows that even in the case of relatively low resolution palaeolimnological data the combined palaeolimnological and modelling approach can provide a useful means of verifying output from and exploring the limitations of aquatic ecological response models.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Sarah Murnaghan
Trinity College Dublin

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Att 1    2008-SS-68_For_SAFER_database.pdf   (0.26 Mb)

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Author(s)Murnaghan, S.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationModelling ecological pressures and responses in a calcareous lake
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier0adfe6c4-7ce1-102d-b891-8d8f2407b579
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-05-18

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Murnaghan, S.   "Modelling ecological pressures and responses in a calcareous lake". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-05-18)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsModelling ecological pressures lake
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2008-SS-68
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeNot Applicable
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceCite usage of this report.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 1
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st January 2008 (01-01-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 31st December 2008 (31-12-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 31st December 2008 (31-12-2008)
Published on SAFERTuesday 9th March 2010 (09-03-2010)
Date of Last EditTuesday 9th March 2010 at 15:24:14 (09-03-2010)
Datasets or Files Updated On Tuesday 9th March 2010 at 15:24:14 (09-03-2010)

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EPA-funded small scale study
Supplementary Information
*** Please note that this report is from a project funded under the EPA Small Scale Studies Programme which aims to support short-term research, usually in the form of a desk review, on priority topics. Reports produced through this scheme may provide preliminary and/or summary findings and should be considered supplemental to more in-depth research of the topic. ***
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