Modeling Combined Stresses on Aquatic Ecosystems

by Jamie D. Anderson, (S.M.ASCE),
Ian P. King, (M.ASCE),
Gerald T. Orlob, (F.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


A mechanistic ecosystem response model is being developed by incorporating exposure/response relationships for selected natural and anthropogenic stresses into an existing hydrodynamic and water quality modeling framework. A candidate system at risk, the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, was selected for preliminary calibration, sensitivity testing and application of the hydrodynamic, water quality, and ecosystem response models. Combined stresses, such as those imposed by salinity, temperature, and toxicants have contributed to declining striped bass and salmonid populations normally supported by the system. Progress is reported on development of alternative scenarios and methods for quantifying risk to sensitive species in order to examine the relationship between stress changes and responses of ecological components of the aquatic ecosystem.

Subject Headings: Ecosystems | Aquatic habitats | Hydrologic models | Water quality | Hydrodynamics | Salinity | Temperature effects | Calibration

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