Maximization of ecoexergy to predict the behavior of the system

It is often of interest to determine among several possibilities which structure of an ecosystem will prevail under given environmental circumstances. Here the thermody-namic variable, eco-exergy, was used as an orientor to describe adaptation and changes in the species composition. In the Mondego Estuary two very different types of communities have been observed:

(1) An Enteromorpha dominant community with the presence of Cyathura carinata, mollusca, and crustacea. The algae community shows often a crash at early summer due to oxygen depletion. This community is found where the salinity is not too low and the nutrient concentration is high.

(2) A Z. noltii dominant community with the presence of oligochaeta, polychaeta, mol-

lusca, and crustacea. This ecosystem is found where the nutrient concentration is lower. Mollusca is more abundant in ecosystem (2) than in ecosystem (1), while for crustacea the reverse is valid.

Table 9.13 Chemical parameters of Mondego River

Chemical parameters

Mondego River

Inner part

Outer p

External N loading (tN year-1)

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