Case Studies: Orientors and Ecosystem Properties in Coastal Zones

  • Daniel Baird


Carbon flow networks of 11 coastal ecosystems were constructed from comprehensive data bases collected over the past decade. These models include upwelling systems, shallows seas, large and small estuaries, a coastal lagoon, and a beach/surf zone. The trophic and cycling structure of each model was analysed by means of network analysis in an attempt to identify on or more system level properties for inter-system comparison. results from these analyses show that although a number of very useful system level indices, such as total system throughput, development capacity, ascendency, the magnitude of recycling, P/B ratio, etc., can be calculated, the identification of one universal orientor is not yet possible. The calculated values of the different system attributes for the different ecosystems vary greatly between them. However, dimensionless indices, such as the normalised A/C ratio, showeda declining trend from upwelling systems to small esturies, whilst the FCI ratio followed an inverse trend. This paper examines a number of system properties and their value towards a better understanding of ecosystem behaviour and structure.


Particulate Organic Carbon Coastal Lagoon Average Path Length Surf Zone Upwelling System 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • Daniel Baird

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