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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: November 2009

7 - The spatial–ecological model: hydrology and ecology



This chapter describes the hydrological and ecological modelling that underlies the integrated modelling approach in this study. In addition, some general characteristics of the intermediate results are discussed. Aggregation of the latter will be pursued in later chapters. Modelling the interaction of hydrology and vegetation of a wetland has three main elements.

A water quantity model, describing amounts of groundwater and surface water expected at specified locations in the present hydrological conditions;

A water quality model, describing the chemistry of groundwater and surface water at specified locations; and

An ecological model describing the presence of wetland plant species at specified locations, depending on local environmental conditions.

These three models interact, as summarised in Table 7.1. The water quantity model provided inputs to the water quality model, while both these models predict the abiotic conditions that serve as input for the ecological model.

A set of boundary conditions is needed to define the domains of the models. These boundary conditions can then be manipulated in scenarios. However, some input variables of the model are assumed to be static in the time domain adopted here, e.g. soil texture.

The modelling has a spatial dimension. Therefore, each of the models requires spatially differentiated input.