Predictive Modelling of Aquatic Ecosystems at Different Scales using Mass Balances and GIS

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: This thesis presents models applicable for aquatic ecosystems. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) form an important part of the thesis. The dynamic mass balance models focus on nutrient fluxes, biotic/abiotic interactions and operate on different temporal and spatial scales (site, local, regional and international). The relevance and role of scale in mass balance modelling is a focal point of the thesis.A mesocosm experiment was used to construct a model to estimate the nutrient load of phosphorus and nitrogen from net cage fish farming (i.e., the site scale). The model was used to estimate what feeding conditions that are required for a sustainable aquaculture scenario, i.e., a zero nutrient load situation (a linkage between the site scale and the regional scale). A dynamic model was constructed for suspended particulate matter (SPM) and sedimentation in coastal areas (i.e., the local scale) with different morphometric characteristics and distances to the Sea. The results demonstrate that the conditions in the Sea (the regional and international scale) are of fundamental importance, also for the most enclosed coastal areas.A foodweb model for lakes was transformed and recalibrated for Baltic Sea conditions (i.e., the international scale). The model also includes a mass balance model for phosphorus and accounts for key environmental factors that regulate the presuppositions for production and biomasses of key functional groups of organisms. The potential use of the new model for setting fish quotas of cod was examined.For the intermittent (i.e., regional) scale, topographically complex areas can be difficult to define and model. Therefore, an attempt was made to construct a waterscape subbasin identification program (WASUBI). The method was tested for the Finnish Archipelago Sea and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. A comparison to results from a semi-random delineation method showed that more enclosed basins was created with the WASUBI method.