Testing an environmental flow-based decision support tool: evaluating the fish model in the Murray Flow Assessment Tool

Lester, Rebecca, Pollino, Carmel A. and Cummings, Courtney 2019, Testing an environmental flow-based decision support tool: evaluating the fish model in the Murray Flow Assessment Tool, Environmental modelling and software, vol. 111, pp. 72-93, doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.09.012.

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Title Testing an environmental flow-based decision support tool: evaluating the fish model in the Murray Flow Assessment Tool
Author(s) Lester, RebeccaORCID iD for Lester, Rebecca orcid.org/0000-0003-2682-6495
Pollino, Carmel A.
Cummings, Courtney
Journal name Environmental modelling and software
Volume number 111
Start page 72
End page 93
Total pages 22
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2019-01
ISSN 1364-8152
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Applications
Engineering, Environmental
Environmental Sciences
Computer Science
Engineering
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Habitat suitability model
Ecological response model
Preference curve
Evaluation
Murray-Darling Basin
HABITAT SUITABILITY
DYNAMICS
EXPLICIT
RIVERS
Summary © 2018 Robust environmental decision support tools are critical to maximise the ecological benefit of management decisions. However the models that underpin these rarely undergo rigorous evaluation. Here, we evaluated components of a scenario-based habitat suitability model, the Murray Flow Assessment Tool, by correlating model outputs against fish monitoring data collected since its development. Overall, we detected a low correlation between habitat suitability scores for fish and fish assemblages during low-flow conditions, including when lags in fish response to hydrological inputs were introduced. Scores specific to fish functional groups were also poorly correlated with data for those groups. Finally, model outcomes were highly sensitive to methods used to combine both individual indices and weightings for each component. Thus, we recommend using constant weightings, simple and consistent combination methods and reconsidering the number of fish functional groups as simplifications to this model and in the development of similar habitat suitability models elsewhere.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.09.012
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30118691

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