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Contribution of rainfall vs. water management to Mediterranean wetland hydrology: Development of an interactive simulation tool to foster adaptation to climate variability
- Lefebvre, Gaëtan, Germain, Christophe, Poulin, Brigitte
- Environmental modelling & software 2015 v.74 pp. 39-47
- climate, climate change, computer software, ecosystems, evapotranspiration, hydrologic models, marshes, monitoring, rain, soil water, water allocation
- Mediterranean wetlands are increasingly managed to maintain their functions and services following modification in water allocation, embankment and climate change, calling for proactive and adaptive water management. In a first step, we used long-term monitoring of water levels in 37 adjacent embanked marshes in the Camargue as a repeated non-controlled experiment to build a hydrological model. Without information on water input/output by marsh users, we could nevertheless estimate evapotranspiration under flooding and dry conditions, and soil water coefficient. The model provided a high predictive accuracy (adjusted R2 = 0.73–0.83) of monthly water levels when applied to an independent sample of 12 marshes. In a second step we developed an interactive decision-aid tool that allows users to visualize the impact of their management strategy (desired water level at a specific month) on subsequent water levels, and their consequence on different components of the ecosystem over a 10-yr period.