Send to

Choose Destination
J Environ Manage. 2018 Feb 1;207:444-455. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.11.063. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Modelling interactive effects of multiple disturbances on a coastal lake ecosystem: Implications for management.

Author information

Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Electronic address:
Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Coastal lakes, also known as temporarily open/closed estuaries or intermittently closed and open lakes and lagoons, are common worldwide, are typically sites of high biodiversity and often contain abundant macrophyte populations. Anthropogenic stressors such as increased nutrient and sediment loading have adverse effects on submerged macrophytes, and when closed, the lack of tidal flushing makes coastal lakes highly susceptible to eutrophication. Lake openings to the sea may occur naturally, but many coastal lakes are also opened artificially, often to reduce inundation of surrounding land. Here we used a coupled hydrodynamic-ecological model (DYRESM-CAEDYM), modified to include dynamic feedback between submerged macrophyte biomass and sediment resuspension, to explore the interactive effects of multiple disturbances (openings, eutrophication and climate change) on the dynamics of primary producers in a coastal lake (Waituna Lagoon) in South Island, New Zealand. Our results indicate that with exposure to high external nutrient loads, the frequent disturbances caused by artificial openings prevent sustained dominance by algae (algal biomass averaged 192 g C m-2 with artificial openings compared to 453 g C m-2 with no openings). However, under current nutrient loading, climate change is likely to enhance the effects of eutrophication on the system (algal biomass averaged 227 g C m-2 with climate change compared with 192 g C m-2 for current climate). The model provides a decision-support tool to guide lake management in setting limits for nutrient loads and managing the opening regime, in order to prevent eutrophication and the potential collapse of the macrophyte community.


Climate change; Ecological model; Eutrophication; ICOLL; Macrophytes; Ruppia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center