Process-based modeling for ecosystem service provisioning: Non-linear responses to restoration efforts in a quarry lake under climate change

Qing Zhan* (Corresponding author), Lisette N. de Senerpont Domis, Miquel Lürling, Rafael Marcé, Tom S. Heuts, Sven Teurlincx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Healthy freshwater ecosystems can provide vital ecosystem services (ESs), and this capacity may be hampered due to water quality deterioration and climate change. In the currently available ES modeling tools, ecosystem processes are either absent or oversimplified, hindering the evaluation of impacts of restoration measures on ES provisioning. In this study, we propose an ES modeling tool that integrates lake physics, ecology and service provisioning into a holistic modeling framework. We applied this model to a Dutch quarry lake, to evaluate how nine ESs respond to technological-based (phosphorus (P) reduction) and nature-based measures (wetland restoration). As climate change might be affecting the future effectiveness of restoration efforts, we also studied the climate change impacts on the outcome of restoration measures and provisioning of ESs, using climate scenarios for the Netherlands in 2050. Our results indicate that both phosphorus reduction and wetland restoration mitigated eutrophication symptoms, resulting in increased oxygen concentrations and water transparency, and decreased phytoplankton biomass. Delivery of most ESs was improved, including swimming, P retention, and macrophyte habitat, whereas the ES provisioning that required a more productive system was impaired (sport fishing and bird watching). However, our modeling results suggested hampered effectiveness of restoration measures upon exposure to future climate conditions, which may require intensification of restoration efforts in the future to meet restoration targets. Importantly, ESs provisioning showed non-linear responses to increasing intensity of restoration measures, indicating that effectiveness of restoration measures does not necessarily increase proportionally. In conclusion, the ecosystem service modeling framework proposed in this study, provides a holistic evaluation of lake restoration measures on ecosystem services provisioning, and can contribute to development of climate-robust management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119163
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date10 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023


  • Climate change impacts
  • Ecological modeling
  • Ecosystem service modeling
  • Eutrophication control
  • Freshwater ecosystem restoration
  • Wetland restoration


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