Journal article

Quantifying and predicting the benefits of environmental flows: Combining large-scale monitoring data and expert knowledge within hierarchical Bayesian models

J Angus Webb, Siobhan C de Little, Kimberly A Miller, Michael J Stewardson



Despite large investments of public funds into environmental flows programs, we have little ability to make quantitative predictions of the ecological benefits of restored flow regimes. Rather, ecological predictions in environmental flow assessments typically have been qualitative and based largely upon expert opinion. Widely applicable, quantitative models would help to justify existing flow programs and to inform future planning. Here, we used a hierarchical Bayesian analysis of monitoring data coupled with expert-derived prior distributions, to develop such a model. We quantified the relationship between the duration and frequency of inundation, and encroachment of terrestrial vegetation..

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