A computer ecosystem model applied for studying the food web and water quality of Lake Kinneret, with emphasis on top-down control
Vardit Makler, Tamar Zohary, Gideon Gal, and Yohay Carmel
Research Objective: The objective of this research is to study the impacts of planktivorous fish on the food web and water quality in Lake Kinneret by using an ecosystem simulation model. The application of the model will provide a better understanding of possible impacts and processes.
Research activity: The research activity will be focused on adding the fish trophic level to the ecological model DYRESM- CAEDYM.
DYRESM-CAEDYM was developed in the Centre for Water Research at the University of Western Australia. The model couples a one-dimensional hydrodynamics model (DYRESM) with an aquatic ecological model (CAEDYM) This allows for investigations into the relationships between physical, biological and chemical variables in water bodies over seasonal and inter-annual timescales.
The model system DYRESM-CAEDYM has been applied to Lake Kinneret, the current version, however, has only limited capacity in its ability to simulate the predator (fish) trophic level. These abilities have yet to be tested and implemented and require significant expansion as Lake Kinneret is the only natural fresh-water lake in Israel and a major drinking water resource its water quality is of major importance to the country.
In this research, the fish trophic level will be examined for the first time and greatly expanded to incorporate components currently not included. This will allow the evaluation of the effect of fish on the food web and water quality in Lake Kinneret and may provide a long thought after clue into the reasons for the major changes that have occurred in the lake since the mid 1990’s.