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The bioeconomic impact of altering Mekong water flow on Tonle Sap fisheries of Cambodia : a system dynamics study

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Item Summary

Title: The bioeconomic impact of altering Mekong water flow on Tonle Sap fisheries of Cambodia : a system dynamics study
Authors: Kum, Veasna
Keywords: Tonle Sap
Issue Date: Aug 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
Abstract: This dissertation integrates ecology and economics to quantify the impact of hydrological flow alteration under a high development (HD) scenario of the Mekong Basin on the fisheries of Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. A systemic link of food web ecology to fisheries was developed to model and analyze the dynamic complexity of the ecological-economic system. Tonle Sap is a large shallow lake and phosphorus is the limiting nutrient of the lake, bringing the dynamics of the lake's phosphorus to the forefront of the problem. In this regard, a dynamic model of total phosphorus (TP) for the lake was developed (Chapter 2). Simulation showed that the TP peak concentration under the HD scenario would decrease, although the basic cyclical behavior did not change significantly. The flow of phosphorus in the food web system of the lake is likely to affect fish production because the trophic state of the lake is mesotrophic. Therefore, a dynamic model of nutrient-plankton-fish relationships was developed (Chapter3). Simulation results showed that the alteration of the Mekong's flow would likely have significant impact on the fish production of the lake. This is in line with the "Little Impact, Much Damage" statement by some ecologists studying Tonle Sap floodplain ecosystems. An ecological-economic model for assessing the economic impact of the Mekong's hydrological flow alteration on the Dai fisheries in Tonle Sap was developed in Chapter 4. The ecological model of the plankton-fish sector from chapter 4 was integrated with economic components of the Dai fisheries to estimate the economic impact of the flow alteration. The simulation results showed that the economic loss of the Dai fisheries under the high development scenario compared to the baseline scenario may be approximately 74% (between 61% and 87%) over a period of 10 years. The findings from these studies should help inform the government of Cambodia regarding the potential economic loss for Tonle Sap fisheries from the high development in the upper reach of the Mekong Basin.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Natural Resources and Environmental Management

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