CSDMS 2020 Webinars

CSDMS Summer Science Series II: Modelling of interactions between bioturbation and mud distribution reveals effects on large-scale estuarine morphology

Muriel Bruckner

Utrecht University, Netherlands

Macrobenthic species that live within or on top of estuarine sediments can destabilize local mud deposits through bioturbating activities. The resulting enhanced sediment availability will affect large-scale morphological change. We numerically model two contrasting bioturbating species by means of our novel literature-based eco-morphodynamic model. We find significant effects on local mud accumulation and bed elevation change leading to a large-scale reduction in deposited mud. In turn, the species-dependent mud content redefines their habitat and constricted species abundances. Combined species runs reveal a new ecological feedback facilitating survival of the dominant species as a result of combined eco-engineering activity.

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Of interest for:
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group
  • Coastal Vulnerability Initiative