Special Issue "Ecological Modeling in Geosciences: Ecosystem Services Assessment and Valuation"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Biogeosciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chrysi S. Laspidou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Thessaly, Pedion Areos, Volos, 38334, Greece
Interests: resource Nexus and water informatics, mathematical modeling and simulation of physical-chemical and biological processes that take place in natural aquatic systems and other ecosystems, urban water issues, resource depletion and sustainability, virtual water and water-carbon-ecological footprint
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Sergei Petrovskii
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Mathematics and Actuarial Science, University of Leicester, UK
Interests: mathematical ecology; climate change; mass extinctions; nonlinear dynamics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecosystem services are the benefits provided to humanity by ecosystems, which include a wide range of services, from food, clean water, biomass, and flood protection, to cultural heritage and a sense of place, to name a few. Man-made pressures, such as rapid urbanization, intense agriculture and unprecedented industrial development in some parts of the word, as well as stressors, such as climate change, place ecosystem services under severe threat. Decision-makers need clear information on how ecosystem services are assessed and valued, what is the demand for them from society, how biodiversity underpins these services, the capacity of ecosystems to provide them and the pressures impairing that capacity. Ecological modeling is a powerful tool used in geosciences that can help quantify these complex and often abstract issues. It can be used to map and assess ecosystems and their services, it can provide a valuation of ecosystem services and the importance of considering all ecosystem services and natural capital and processes, human beneficiaries and service flows to society as part of an interconnected system. In this issue, we explore all new advancements in relevant fields that can also advance ecological modeling of ecosystem services in a holistic and integrated manner. New approaches are more precise and robust in obtaining data and in modeling stressors and disturbances in ecosystems; using such approaches for modeling ecosystem services is expected to lead to more safe, stable and sustainable ecosystems.

Prof. Chrysi Laspidou
Prof. Sergei Petrovskii
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Ecosystem stressors
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • System Dynamics Modelling
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Global Warming Can Lead to Depletion of Oxygen by Disrupting Phytoplankton Photosynthesis: A Mathematical Modelling Approach
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060201 - 03 Jun 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3497
Abstract
We consider the effect of global warming on the coupled plankton-oxygen dynamics in the ocean. The net oxygen production by phytoplankton is known to depend on the water temperature and hence can be disrupted by warming. We address this issue theoretically by considering [...] Read more.
We consider the effect of global warming on the coupled plankton-oxygen dynamics in the ocean. The net oxygen production by phytoplankton is known to depend on the water temperature and hence can be disrupted by warming. We address this issue theoretically by considering a mathematical model of the plankton-oxygen system. The model is generic and can account for a variety of biological factors. We first show that sustainable oxygen production by phytoplankton is only possible if the net production rate is above a certain critical value. This result appears to be robust to the details of model parametrization. We then show that, once the effect of zooplankton is taken into account (which consume oxygen and feed on phytoplankton), the plankton-oxygen system can only be stable if the net oxygen production rate is within a certain intermediate range (i.e., not too low and not too high). Correspondingly, we conclude that a sufficiently large increase in the water temperature is likely to push the system out of the safe range, which may result in ocean anoxia and even a global oxygen depletion. We then generalize the model by taking into account the effect of environmental stochasticity and show that, paradoxically, the probability of oxygen depletion may decrease with an increase in the rate of global warming. Full article
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Article
Virtual Crop Water Export Analysis: The Case of Greece at River Basin District Level
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050161 - 03 May 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
An analysis of virtual crop water export through international trade is conducted for Greece, downscaled to the River Basin District (RBD) level, in order to identify critical “hotspots” of localized water shortage in the country. A computable general equilibrium model (MAGNET) was used [...] Read more.
An analysis of virtual crop water export through international trade is conducted for Greece, downscaled to the River Basin District (RBD) level, in order to identify critical “hotspots” of localized water shortage in the country. A computable general equilibrium model (MAGNET) was used to obtain the export shares of crops and associated irrigation water was calculated for all major crops in Greece. A distinction between virtual crop water locally consumed and traded internationally was made for all Greek RBDs. Cotton was identified as a large water consumer and virtual water exporter, while GR08 and GR10 were identified as the RBDs mostly impacted. The value of virtual water exported was calculated for all crop types and fruits and vegetables were identified as the crop most beneficial, since they consume the least water for the obtained value. Full article
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Review

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Review
Challenges in Using Hydrology and Water Quality Models for Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Services: A Review
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020045 - 27 Jan 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
Freshwater ecosystems contribute to many ecosystem services, many of which are being threatened by human activities such as land use change, river morphological changes, and climate change. Many disciplines have studied the processes underlying freshwater ecosystem functions, ranging from hydrology to ecology, including [...] Read more.
Freshwater ecosystems contribute to many ecosystem services, many of which are being threatened by human activities such as land use change, river morphological changes, and climate change. Many disciplines have studied the processes underlying freshwater ecosystem functions, ranging from hydrology to ecology, including water quality, and a panoply of models are available to simulate their behaviour. This understanding is useful for the prediction of ecosystem services, but the model outputs must go beyond the production of time-series of biophysical variables, and must facilitate the beneficial use of the information it contains about the ecosystem services it describes. This article analyses the literature of ad hoc approaches that aim at quantifying one or more freshwater ecosystem services. It identifies the strategies adopted to use disciplinary-specific models for the prediction of the services. This review identifies that hydrological, water quality, and ecological models form a valuable knowledge base to predict changes in ecosystem conditions, but challenges remain to make proper and fruitful use of these models. In particular, considerations of temporal and spatial scales could be given more attention in order to provide better justifications for the choice of a particular model over another, including the uncertainty in their predictions. Full article
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