Effects of abiotic factors on ecosystem health of Taihu Lake, China based on eco-exergy theory

Wang, C., Bi, J., & Fath, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9440-6842 (2017). Effects of abiotic factors on ecosystem health of Taihu Lake, China based on eco-exergy theory. Scientific Reports 7 p. 42872. 10.1038/srep42872.

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A lake ecosystem is continuously exposed to environmental stressors with non-linear interrelationships between abiotic factors and aquatic organisms. Ecosystem health depicts the capacity of system to respond to external perturbations and still maintain structure and function. In this study, we explored the effects of abiotic factors on ecosystem health of Taihu Lake in 2013, China from a system-level perspective. Spatiotemporal heterogeneities of eco-exergy and specific eco-exergy served as thermodynamic indicators to represent ecosystem health in the lake. The results showed the plankton community appeared more energetic in May, and relatively healthy in Gonghu Bay with both higher eco-exergy and specific eco-exergy; a eutrophic state was likely discovered in Zhushan Bay with higher eco-exergy but lower specific eco-exergy. Gradient Boosting Machine (GBM) approach was used to explain the non-linear relationships between two indicators and abiotic factors. This analysis revealed water temperature, inorganic nutrients, and total suspended solids greatly contributed to the two indicators that increased. However, pH rise driven by inorganic carbon played an important role in undermining ecosystem health, particularly when pH was higher than 8.2. This implies that climate change with rising CO 2 concentrations has the potential to aggravate eutrophication in Taihu Lake where high nutrient loads are maintained.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2017 08:31
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:28
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/14417

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