Ecoinformatics Conference Service, International Conference on Ecological Informatics 6


Peter Goethals, Liesbet Colson, Pieter Boets, Ans Mouton, Koen Lock

Last modified: 2008-09-14


Cellular automata have the advantage to enable the description of river ecosystems in a dynamic and spatial explicit manner, with the use of a relative small data set and ecological expert knowledge. Due to this, this technique is very convenient to describe the possible outcome of river restoration projects, where both water and habitat quality improvement measures are considered. Three applications will be illustrated on the basis of examples in Belgium.

As a first example, the spatial explicit character of cellular automata is used to simulate the effect of different patterns and types of spawning areas, which are often lacking in many rivers and have to be reinstalled in the coming years to fulfill the needs of the habitat directive. Secondly, the impact and potential mitigation strategies concerning invasive species is modeled in a set of channels used for shipping. A third application is the modeling of endangered species (eg stoneflies), who have an aquatic larval stage combined with a terrestrial adult stage. Cellular automate are very convenient to combine aquatic and terrestrial habitat modeling in a spatial explicit and dynamical framework, which is needed to model the populations of such particular species