The river Mesta case study: A qualitative model of dissolved oxygen in aquatic ecosystems

E. Nakova, F.E. Linnebank, B. Bredeweg, P. Salles, Y. Uzunov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamics of the dissolved oxygen in water bodies is the result of complex interactions involving physical and biological processes. Understanding how the balance of these influences determines the amount of oxygen available for living organisms is a key factor to interpret the water body conditions, and eventually to use dissolved oxygen as an indicator of the water quality. In this paper we present a Qualitative Reasoning model developed to improve understanding of changes in the amount of dissolved oxygen in different segments of the river Mesta in Bulgaria. Effects on dissolved oxygen result from changes in physical, chemical and biological processes induced both by natural and anthropogenic activities within the watershed. To explore the possibility of establishing a landmark value that may change according to specific conditions, we developed the concept of flexible value mapping, which dynamically captures changes in the dependencies between the landmark value and the values of other quantities as the conditions of the system change during the simulations. The paper also discusses the concept of dominance of a specific process over other competing processes affecting a quantity. With the model described here, we aim to discuss possible solutions to interesting modelling problems and to provide the community of ecological modellers support for educational activities and water resources management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-357
Number of pages19
JournalEcological Informatics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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