Aquatic Sciences

, 81:3 | Cite as

Quantifying the ecological stability of artificial aquatic ecosystems: a case study of an artificial lake in Chengdu, China

  • Fang-Fang Chen
  • Gong-Ping Su
  • Hai-Yan Mou
  • Xuan Liang
  • Yi Chen
  • Tian-Qi Ao
  • Wen-Qing ChenEmail author
  • Yun-Zhen LiEmail author
Research Article


An urban artificial lake is generally constructed as a macrophytic lake ecosystem; it has a simple ecosystem structure that results in a fragile ecosystem and weak stability. The ecosystem stability obviously changes with the water quality and the season, especially in summer and autumn. The purpose of this study was to establish a stability evaluation system for an artificial lake ecosystem and verify the system applicability using Lake Luxe as a case study. The system was established by the following three steps: (1) select reference period; (2) establish seasonal and annual evaluation methods by determining the ecological units by an “ecological checklist” (the populations and communities of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthos) and then calculating the seasonal stability indices (SIs) and annual stability indices (SIy) of each ecological unit; calculating each seasonal or annual ecosystem stability index using these calculated SI and ecological units attributes; and calculating the ecosystem stability index for many years; (3) obtain the evaluation results. The results obtained by the seasonal evaluation method showed that the ecosystem community structure was unstable in spring and the total ecosystem biomass was unstable in summer. The redundancy analysis results between phytoplankton stability values and environmental variables showed that dissolved oxygen (DO), total nitrogen (TN), and chlorophyll a (Chla) were the main driving variables that could be used as indicators for the sustainable management of artificial lakes.


Ecological stability Artificial aquatic ecosystem Phytoplankton community Sustainable management 



We gratefully acknowledge the Lake Luxe Management Organization for the help on the fieldwork.


  1. Beaver JR, Jensen DE, Casamatta DA, Tausz CE, Scotese KC et al (2013) Response of phytoplankton and zooplankton communities in six reservoirs of the middle Missouri River (USA) to drought conditions and a major flood event. Hydrobiologia 705(1):173–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carpenter S, Walker BJ, Anderies JM, Abel N (2001) From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems 4(8):765–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen C, Wang GX, Zhu ZY, Yin DQ (2006) Study on eco-remediation in urban-ponds: restoring submerged macrophytes. J Lake Sci 18(5):523–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Costanza R, d'Arge R, de Groot R, Farber S, Grasso M, Hannon B, Limburg K, Naeem S, O'Neill RV, Paruelo J, Raskin RG, Sutton P, van den Belt M (1997) The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387(6630):253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Donohue I, Petchey OL, Montoya JM et al (2013) On the dimensionality of ecological stability. Ecol Lett 16:421–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dzialowski AR, Bonneau JL, Gemeinhardt TR (2013) Comparisons of zooplankton and phytoplankton in created shallow water habitats of the lower Missouri River: implications for native fish. Aquat Ecol 47(1):13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Elton CC (1958) The ecology of invasions by animals and plants. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grimm V, Wissel C (1997) Babel or the ecological stability discussions: an inventory and analysis of terminology and a guide for avoiding confusion. Oecologia 109(3):323–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Groffman PM, Baron JS, Blett T et al (2006) Ecological thresholds: the key to successful environmental management or an important concept with no practical application? Ecosystems 9(1): 1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gsell AS, Özkundakci D, He´bert MP, Adrian R (2016) Quantifying change in pelagic plankton network stability and topology based on empirical long-term data. Ecol Ind 65:76–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harte J (1977) Ecosystem stability and the distribution of community matrix eigenvalues. In: Halforn E (ed) Systems theory and ecology. Academic, London, pp 453–465Google Scholar
  12. Hill AR (1975) Ecosystem stability in relation tostresses caused by human activities. Can Geogr 19(3):206–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hu HJ, Wei YX (2006) The freshwater algae of china-systematics. Taxonomy and Ecology Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  14. Ives AR, Dennis B, Cottingham KL, Carpenter SR (2003) Estimating community stability and ecological interactions from time-series data. Ecol Monogr 73(2):301–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jentsch A, Beierkuhnlein C, White PS (2002) Scale the dynamic stability of forest ecosystems and the persistence of biodiversity. Silva Fennica 36(1):393–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jin XC, Tu QY (1990) Survey standards of lake eutrophication. China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  17. Justus J (2008) Complexity diversity and stability. In: Sahotra S, Plutyns S (eds) Chapter 18: a companion to the philosophy of biology. Blackwell, Malden, pp 321–350Google Scholar
  18. Kwak SJ, Yoo SH, Shin CO (2002) A multiattribute index for assessing environmental impacts of regional development projects: a case study of Korea. Environ Manag 29(2):301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Laabir M, Jauzein C, Genovesi B et al (2011) Influence of temperature salinity and irradiance on the growth and cell yield of the harmful red tide dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella colonizing Mediterranean waters. J Plankton Res 33(10):1550–1563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lehman CL, Tilman D (2000) Biodiversity stability and productivity in competitive communities. Am Nat 156(5):534–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li RR (2014) The water environment evolution and ecological risk assessment of Chagan Lake wetland. PhDThesis, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology Chinese Academy of SciencesGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu ZL, Jiang YH (2006) Statistical principles. Press of University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  23. Loverde-Oliveira SM, Huszar VLM, Mazzeo N, Scheffer M (2009) Hydrology-driven regime shifts in a shallow tropical lake. Ecosystems 12(5):807–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu JJ (1990) Wetlands in China. East China Normal University Press, Shanghai (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  25. Ma F, Yang JX, Wei L (2010) Atlas of environmental microorganism. China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  26. MacArthur R (1955) Fluctuations of animal populations and a measure of community stability. Ecology 36(3):533–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Margalef R (1968) Perspectives in ecological theory. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  28. Milsum JH (1966) Biological control systems analysis. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Mordeson JN, Wierman MJ, Clark TD et al (2013) Linear models in the mathematics of uncertainty. In: Kacprzyk J (ed) Chapter 6: the analytic hierarchy process. Springer, Berlin, pp 93–117Google Scholar
  30. Parparov A, Gal G (2017) Quantifying ecological stability: from community to the lake ecosystem. Ecosystems 20(5):1015–1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Parparov A, Gal G, Zohary T (2015) Quantifying the ecological stability of a phytoplankton community: the Lake Kinneret case study. Ecol Ind 56:134–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Peterson G, Allen CR, Holling CS (1998) Ecological resilience biodiversity and scale. Ecosystems 1(1):6–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pimn SL (1984) The complexity and stability of ecosystems. Nature 307(5949):321–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Quiblier C, Leboulanger C, Sane S et al (2008) Phytoplankton growth control and risk of cyanobacterial blooms in the lower Senegal River delta region. Water Res 42:1023–1034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reynolds CS (1992) Eutrophication and the management of planktonic algae: what Vollenweider couldn’t tell us. In: Sutcliffe DW, Jones JG (eds) Eutrophication: research and application to water supply. Freshwater Biological Association, Ambleside, pp 4–29Google Scholar
  36. Reynolds CS (2006) The ecology of phytoplankton. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rykiel E (1985) Towards a definition of ecological disturbance. Austral Ecol 10(3):361–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Salgado J, Sayer C, Carvalho L et al (2010) Assessing aquatic macrophyte community change through the integration of palaeolimnological and historical data at Loch Leven, Scotland. J Paleolimnol 43(1):191–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schindler DW (1977) Evolution of phosphorus limitation in lakes. Science 195(4275):260–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schulte RPO, Lantinga EA, Struik PC (2003) Analysis of the production stability of mixed grasslands: I: a conceptual framework for the qualification of production stability in grassland ecosystems. Ecol Model 159(1):43–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shi HH, Shen CC, Li F, Wang YZ (2014) Parameter sensitivity analysis of a coupled biological-physical model in Jiaozhou Bay. Acta Ecol Sin 34(1):41–49Google Scholar
  42. Sommer U (ed) (1989) Plankton ecology: succession in plankton communities Brock/Springer series in contemporary bioscience. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  43. State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of China (2002a) Monitoring and analysis method of water and wastewater. China Environmental Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  44. State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of China (2002b) Environmental quality standard for surface water (GB3838-2002). China Environmental Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  45. Tilman D (1999) The ecological consequences of changes in biodiversity: a search for general principles. Ecology 80(5):1455–1474Google Scholar
  46. Umnov AA (1997) A study of ecosystem “stability” using a mathematical model. In: Alimov AF, Bul’on VV (eds) The responses of lake ecosystems to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions, vol 272. Proceedings of Zoological Institute, Saint-Petersburg, pp 303–310Google Scholar
  47. Van Geest GJ, Coops H, Scheffer M, Nes EHV (2007) Long transients near the ghost of a stable state in eutrophic shallow lakes with fluctuating water levels. Ecosystems 10(1):37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Walker B, Carpenter S, Anderies N et al (2002) Resilience management in social-ecological systems: a working hypothesis for a participatory approach. Conserv Ecol 6(1):840–842Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Architecture and EnvironmentSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.College of Water Resource and HydropowerSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.Sichuan Academy of Environmental SciencesChengduChina

Personalised recommendations