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DRERIP Ecosystem Conceptual Model: Delta Aquatic Foodweb$0.00
DRERIP Ecosystem Conceptual Model: Delta Aquatic FoodwebCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife | October 3, 2008...Summary
This model is a stylization of the actual food web dynamics of the Sacramento?San Joaquin Delta, which are highly dynamic. The region itself...
This model is a stylization of the actual food web dynamics of the Sacramento?San Joaquin Delta, which are highly dynamic. The region itself comprises a variety of habitats, determined by salinity regimes, residence time, hydrology, benthos and physical structure. These physical parameters, or drivers, determine species composition and trophic relationships. The Delta is a tidal system which is subject to varying water inflow. Because inflow and outflow vary as the result of anthropogenic alterations and water management needs, habitats are not static. Rather they are subject to hourly, daily, seasonal and inter?annual variation, and different organisms respond in different ways to these time scales, depending upon their own life histories.
Thus salinity and temperature regimes may create different outcomes from food web interactions, based upon how species distributional and recruitment patterns overlap. In general, food web linkages are not static or linear. Organisms switch feeding strategies opportunistically, and these patterns of variability in feeding strategy tend to increase with trophic level. Many organisms, particularly plankton, undergo many generations in the course of a year, and selective forces may allow for rapid evolution which can alter habitat preferences or other life history characteristics.
The Delta food web is further dynamic in that new species are regularly introduced into the Estuary, competing with, replacing, or preying upon other organisms. For example, the overbite clam, Corbula amurensis, was introduced in 1986, precipitating a cascade of changes that are still not wholly understood. Zebra and quagga mussels are expected to invade the Delta within the next few years, and will bring further changes.
The topology of a food web model will be necessarily complex given these factors. Even without such variability, the potential linkages create a spider web of relationships that is difficult if not impossible to disentangle. In order to create a working model of the Delta food web that is useful for education, for hypothesis?generation, and for management decision?making, it is necessary to create limits to what linkages will be examined.
In order to do this, this Delta food web model focuses on organisms that supply food for fish. This is particularly important given the recent concern for pelagic organism decline, which is described mostly for fishes, some of which are listed as endangered or threatened. A key assumption is that fish are integrators of ecosystem function.
Also included in the model are invasive organisms that have a large impact on food web dynamics (such as C. amurensis), as are organisms that are particularly abundant (such as the copepod Limnoithona tetraspina), whether or not they are used directly by fish.
DRERIP Ecosystem Conceptual Model: Floodplain$0.00
DRERIP Ecosystem Conceptual Model: FloodplainCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife | January 22, 2008...Summary
Elements common to all models (Figure 1). Gray shapes (“plaques” in Word parlance) are other DRERIP models. Brown polygons are modifying factors. Pink...
Elements common to all models (Figure 1). Gray shapes (“plaques” in Word parlance) are other DRERIP models. Brown polygons are modifying factors. Pink rectangles are primary outputs of direct interest to Delta restoration planners (e.g., splittail). Blue rectangles are hydrological characteristics or variables, primarily pertaining to the primary river that is the source of inundation to the floodplain of interest but some rectangles represent “secondary hydrology” such as water deriving from direction precipitation on the floodplain, and groundwater and tributary inputs. Blue-green rectangles represent inundated habitat characteristics – properties of the floodplain during periods of inundation.
Model 1 (Creating the Template) captures the linkages and processes that create the habitat mosaic—the physical template of a given floodplain, such as topography and vegetative communities (Figure 2). Note that habitat mosaic is more than vegetative communities as it also includes topographic features like side channels, oxbows, and wetlands. This is a very basic model, so we didn’t attempt to use the information-coded arrows to indicate importance, predictability, etc. This model describes how floodplain topography and vegetation, important features treated as more or less static in the other models, are created and maintained. This model encompasses time scales ranging from a single flood event (e.g., bank erosion) to decades or centuries (successional processes in a floodplain forest). Delta restoration planners can use model 1 to understand management options for creating and maintaining habitat mosaics on a given floodplain.
Model 2 (Inundating the template) depicts how a given floodplain, with topography and vegetation created within Model 1, is inundated by river flows and other sources of water to create specific conditions within the inundated floodplain that are important to the species or processes described in model set 3 (Figure 3). The hydrology first encounters river-floodplain topography (e.g., the relative elevations of floodplain to river stage) to determine if the floodplain becomes inundated; the other linkages only occur if flow magnitude is capable of exceeding the inundation threshold. Inundation is a function of flow magnitude in the river, along with contributions from other hydrological sources (e.g., local tributaries, high water table), and the relative elevation and connectivity of the river-floodplain topography. If inundation occurs, the floodwaters interact with the topography and vegetation created in Model 1. As inundation occurs across this mosaic it results in a variety of inundated habitat characteristics—conditions that directly affect biota and processes during the period of inundation. These inundated habitat characteristics are the primary inputs for Model Set 3. This model is primarily focused at the temporal scale of a single flood season. Delta restoration planners can use model 2 to evaluate how management actions can influence the inundation of floodplain habitat mosaics and characteristics of the inundated habitat.
Model Set 3 (Management outputs) illustrates how the inundated habitat characteristics, developed in Model 2, interact with a few other key elements to influence the production of biota of direct interest to delta restoration planners, including algae, zooplankton, splittail, and juvenile Chinook salmon (Figures 4 - 7). Model Set 3 encompasses a temporal scale of a single flood season. Model Set 3 can be used to evaluate how specific characteristics of the inundated floodplain affect specific outputs of management interest.
Figure 4 provides a basic overview of the inputs and outputs and relationships between the models in Model Set 3. Figure 5 focuses on the production of algae (phytoplankton and epibenthic algae) and zooplankton, structured as a food web. Figures 6 and 7 show how the inundated habitat characteristics and base of the food web (algae and zooplankton) affect the production of splittail and Chinook salmon, respectively.
Primary management outputs from floodplain models:
1. Primary productivity, in terms of phytoplankton, the most nutritious organic matter for the downstream delta (Muller-Solger et al. 2002) and secondary productivity (zooplankton and macroinvertebrates). Because several important species in the delta are food-limited, as indicated by low first-year survival, floodplain restoration has been promoted as a means of increasing productivity to these species and ecosystems (Jassby and Cloern 2000).
2. Juvenile Chinook
4. Habitat mosaic and riparian structure for a variety of species.
The first three management outputs are Model 3 outputs. For these a user can work backwards through the models to understand how management options can increase the productivity of a specific desired output. For example, if the desired output is biologically available Carbon for downstream ecosystems (algae), then Figure 5 (Model 3) indicates that residence time and intra-annual frequency are important characteristics; for these characteristics of inundation to occur, Figure 3 (Model 2) indicates that the frequency of inundation can be influenced either through hydrologic or topographic manipulations, and the narrative for Model 1 provides background information on the processes that create and maintain floodplain topography. The management output ‘riparian structure’ is a Model 1 output.