Ecological Process Fundamentals of Ecological Machinery
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Ecological Process Fundamentals of Ecological MachineryINTRODUCTIONAll ecosystem receive energy inputs from natural sources.Engineered ecosystems receive energy from mechanical sources in construction, operation or both. Ecosystem self-organization is controlled by energy inputs. If operating design goals cannot be met by natural energy inputs then operational machinery must be employed. Here, we consider process fundamentals of operating ecological machinery.We offer two brief examples for this poster (this subject really needs a large textbook): Hydraulic machinery in temperate, shallow, eutrophic lakes to prevent formation of anoxic hypolimnia. Aeration machinery in treatment wetlands to manage effluent quality.
Scott Wallace North American Wetland Engineering, 20 North Lake Street, Forest Lake, Minnesota 55025 www.nawe-pa.com
David Austin Dharma Living Systems, 8018 NDCBU, 125 La Posta, Taos, New Mexico 87571 www.dharamlivingsystems.com
MECHANICAL MIXING CAN WORK . . . BUT SUSTAINED SUCCESS REQUIRES CAREFUL ECOLOGICAL & SOCIAL DESIGNLake restoration is non-trivial. Mixing design requires coupled hydrodynamic and thermal modeling as a first-order determination of project feasibility.Light penetration is substantially a function of phytoplankton density. Mixing may increase light penetration, but only if it is coupled to appropriate ecosystem processes.Phytoplankton density is a function of nutrient availability and filter-feeding (pelagic & benthic) communities.Filter-feeding community structure can be radically improved by elimination of hypoxic hypolimnia, but Biomanipulation may still be required to control planktivorous fish populations. Public acceptance / cooperation?Nutrient availability is a complex design / management problem that mixing may or may not address.Successful destratification may shift primary productivity from algae to submerged macrophytes. Culturally acceptable? Ecological machinery is just an energy subsidy, not a complete design.