Next Article in Journal
Quantum Contextuality with Stabilizer States
Previous Article in Journal
An Entropy-Based Weighted Concept Lattice for Merging Multi-Source Geo-Ontologies
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Entropy 2013, 15(6), 2319-2339; doi:10.3390/e15062319

Characterization of Ecological Exergy Based on Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Lotic Ecosystems

Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea
Alterra, Green World Research, Department of Freshwater Ecosystems, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Research Institute for Basic Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea
Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2013 / Revised: 30 May 2013 / Accepted: 1 June 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [358 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  


The evaluation of ecosystem health is a fundamental process for conducting effective ecosystem management. Ecological exergy is used primarily to summarize the complex dynamics of lotic ecosystems. In this study, we characterized the functional aspects of lotic ecosystems based on the exergy and specific exergy from headwaters to downstream regions in the river’s dimensions (i.e., river width and depth) and in parallel with the nutrient gradient. Data were extracted from the Ecologische Karakterisering van Oppervlaktewateren in Overijssel (EKOO) database, consisting of 249 lotic study sites (including springs, upper, middle and lower courses) and 690 species. Exergy values were calculated based on trophic groups (carnivores, detritivores, detriti-herbivores, herbivores and omnivores) of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. A Self-Organizing Map (SOM) was applied to characterize the different benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the lotic ecosystem, and the Random Forest model was used to predict the exergy and specific exergy based on environmental variables. The SOM classified the sampling sites into four clusters representing differences in the longitudinal distribution along the river, as well as along nutrient gradients. Exergy tended to increase with stream size, and specific exergy was lowest at sites with a high nutrient load. The Random Forest model results indicated that river width was the most important predictor of exergy followed by dissolved oxygen, ammonium and river depth. Orthophosphate was the most significant predictor for estimating specific exergy followed by nitrate and total phosphate. Exergy and specific exergy exhibited different responses to various environmental conditions. This result suggests that the combination of exergy and specific exergy, as complementary indicators, can be used reliably to evaluate the health condition of a lotic ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem health assessment; exergy; self-organizing map; random forest; stream size; nutrients ecosystem health assessment; exergy; self-organizing map; random forest; stream size; nutrients

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bae, M.-J.; Li, F.; Verdonschot, P.F.; Park, Y.-S. Characterization of Ecological Exergy Based on Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Lotic Ecosystems. Entropy 2013, 15, 2319-2339.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Entropy EISSN 1099-4300 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top