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Ecological Value Restoration: a demo SEA for the island of Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands

Yazdi, Shasi Fekri (2012) Ecological Value Restoration: a demo SEA for the island of Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands.

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Abstract:In order to have a demonstration of strategic assessment of the management plan of Schiermonnikoog National Park (BIP+) f rom environmental point of view (SEA), one of the programs of this plan named desired development of the Westerplas lake has been considered in this research. According to the plan, water quality of the lake is very poor due to eutrophication. The consultative body of the park has determined three alternative improving measures (scenarios) for the core problem: “declining Westerplas naturalness”. To shape a common understanding between the stakeholders and the university party, a conceptual model around the mentioned issue is built. The concepts around the core problem and their relationships behaviour are identified systematically. They are obtained through participatory modelling exercise, in which the stakeholders’ local knowledge and their experience about the ecological system of the lake are exploited to build the problem tree and Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM). Having applied a preliminary analysis on the created cognitive map, the most important concept in the map was “maintenance practises”. The result of the analysis is in line with the stakeholder’s initial opinion about the main problem, and the related scenarios they had been suggesting with regard to maintenance practices. The similarity shows that the constructed conceptual model is representing the understanding of the stakeholder’s about the system well enough. This common conceptual model allows us to discuss and present our further results in a known frame work to stakeholders. “Connecting the lake to Wadden Sea” was the selected scenario for this research (among the suggested scenarios) to be developed. For the sake of the simplicity, ‘free access of Wadden Sea to Westerplas area’ was assumed. Based on this assumpt ion, a base quantitative model for the system including 3D spatial model of the area, inundation frequency map, inundation duration map and the envisaged salt marsh vegetation zonation was developed. Spatial modelling of the bounded system (the Westerplas area), is obtained using the combination of DEM and a topographic map of the lake bottom. Albeit, the integrity of the two data sets were checked in prior to the combination. This has been done using height difference check, removing systematic effects and check the normality of the height differences’ distribution. To generate inundation frequency and inundation duration maps, analysis of the tidal regime of the Wadden Sea was necessary. The water height measurements of Schiermonnikoog within the past 12 years were extracted from Rijkswaterstaat database. This data set has 10min temporal resolution. The function of water height with respect to time, and the function of water level durations were calculated and analysed, and the frequency of inundation for each elevation were calculated. The inundation frequency map is calculated using the generated spatial model and calculated inundation f requencies. This map provides both frequency and the extent of inundation for each elevation in the lake area. Similar map is generated using the spatial model and calculated inundation duration. Having calculated the inundation f requency, different vegetation types in five zones were determined. These are the vegetation types which are going to grow in each particular elevation, provided the scenario is deployed. The zonation types are adopted for our study area from the existing ecological literature of the Dutch salt marshes. Through these maps, the stakeholders can see the simulation of the effect of deploying the scenario. This gives them the opportunity to analyse the ecological and environmental effects of implementation of such a scenario and support their management decisions. Although only one scenario is developed, the provided information (the spatial model and inundation maps) is essential for other possible scenarios as well. Key words: Westerplas Lake, Fuzzy Cognitive Map, participatory modelling exercise, SEA demonstration, spatial modelling, inundation frequency and duration, salt mash zonation
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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