Modelling of interactions between bioturbation and mud distribution reveals effects on large-scale estuarine morphology
- Utrecht University, Geosciences, Physical Geography, Utrecht, Netherlands (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Macrobenthic species that live within or on top of estuarine sediments can destabilize local mud deposits through their bioturbating activities. Resulting enhanced sediment availability will affect redistribution of fines and hence large-scale morphological change. To quantify this biological control on the morphological development of estuaries, we numerically model two contrasting bioturbating species present in NW-Europe by means of our novel literature-based eco-morphodynamic model. We find significant effects of both bioturbators on local mud accumulation and bed elevation change, leading to a large-scale reduction in deposited mud and gently sloped intertidal floodplains. In turn, the species-dependent reduction of mud content redefines their habitat and leads to constricted species abundances. Our results show that species-specific macrobenthic bioturbation determines large-scale morphological change through mud redistribution. This suggests that macrobenthic species have subtly changed estuarine morphology through space and time, depending on their distribution and composition.
How to cite: Brückner, M., Schwarz, C., and Kleinhans, M.: Modelling of interactions between bioturbation and mud distribution reveals effects on large-scale estuarine morphology, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6840, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6840, 2020