Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Challenges in using hydrology and water quality models for assessing freshwater ecosystem services: A review
    Freshwater ecosystems contribute to many ecosystem services, many of which are being threatened by human activities such as land use change, river morphological changes, and climate change. Many disciplines have studied the processes underlying freshwater ecosystem functions, ranging from hydrology to ecology, including water quality, and a panoply of models are available to simulate their behaviour. This understanding is useful for the prediction of ecosystem services, but the model outputs must go beyond the production of time-series of biophysical variables, and must facilitate the beneficial use of the information it contains about the ecosystem services it describes. This article analyses the literature of ad hoc approaches that aim at quantifying one or more freshwater ecosystem services. It identifies the strategies adopted to use disciplinary-specific models for the prediction of the services. This review identifies that hydrological, water quality, and ecological models form a valuable knowledge base to predict changes in ecosystem conditions, but challenges remain to make proper and fruitful use of these models. In particular, considerations of temporal and spatial scales could be given more attention in order to provide better justifications for the choice of a particular model over another, including the uncertainty in their predictions.
      462Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    Incorporation of Ecosystem Services values in the Integrated Management of Irish Freshwater Resources - ESManage
    The ESManage project tested an eight-step methodological framework to help embed ecosystem services and the ecosystem services approach into policy and decision-making for the sustainable management of water resources, as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It involved identification of relevant freshwater ecosystem services, prediction of how they change when management measures are implemented and economic valuation of those changes. The focus of the research was on ecosystem services from rivers, engaging stakeholders in three case study catchments to explore the ecosystem services derived from these very different rivers and undertake economic valuation of the benefits that people obtain from enhancements to ecosystem services in those rivers. Modelling, using both a hydrological and a nutrient load apportionment model, was used to quantify changes in flows and inputs of pollutants (nutrients and sediment) associated with the alternative catchment management scenarios (e.g. intensification, extensification and riparian measures such as tree planting), whereas Bayesian belief network modelling was used to predict the resulting changes in ecological responses and their effects on selected ecosystem services (e.g. clean water, angling, wildlife). The focus was on managing diffuse pollution from agriculture, assuming unchanged inputs from domestic septic tanks and point sources, e.g. wastewater treatment plants, that also contribute to water quality problems in the study catchments. The intensification scenarios considered potentially pro rata changes in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment inputs assumed to arise from an increase in stocking density, whereas extensification related to the corresponding effects as a result of reductions in stocking density. The “choice experiment” valuation technique was then used to quantify the economic benefits that people obtained from enhancements to river ecosystem services. In addition, data were collected on the cost of wastewater treatment to demonstrate the benefits of natural regulating ecosystem services.