A perspective on water quality in connected systems: modelling feedback between upstream and downstream transport and local ecological processes

Sven Teurlincx*, Dianneke van Wijk, Wolf M. Mooij, Jan J. Kuiper, Inese Huttunen, Robert J. Brederveld, Manqi Chang, Jan H. Janse, Ben Woodward, Fenjuan Hu, Annette B.G. Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food production for a growing world population relies on application of fertilisers and pesticides on agricultural lands. However, these substances threaten surface water quality and thereby endanger valued ecosystem services such as drinking water supply, food production and recreational water use. Such deleterious effects do not merely arise on the local scale, but also on the regional scale through transport of substances as well as energy and biota across the catchment. Here we argue that aquatic ecosystem models can provide a process-based understanding of how these transports by water and organisms as vectors affect – and are affected by – ecosystem state and functioning in networks of connected lakes. Such a catchment scale approach is key to setting critical limits for the release of substances by agricultural practices and other human pressures on aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, water and food production and the trade-offs between them may be managed more sustainably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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