Zhao, Z., Capelle, JJ, de Smit, JC, Gerkema, T, van de Koppel, J, Yuan, L, Bouma, TJ, Stability of subtidal mussel beds under hydrodynamic stress: A novel approach for threshold quantification and risk assessment (in preparation for publication).

Determining the critical threshold for runoff (CDT) for example by flow is very important in estimating risks to ecosystems. It helps identify vulnerable areas to make management decisions. On mussel plots, some individuals or groups may be less sensitive to disturbances because of their adaptation to the environment. In addition, differences in aggregation and topography of the bottom and how mussels organize can lead to large differences in disturbances, such as velocities close to the bottom and upwelling by waves. This may vary from place to place. This means that the CDT can vary within a mussel plot. Previous studies have shown that mussel beds in different areas with similar disturbances can vary greatly in their response. This may be due to local conditions. Although not yet well proven, the correlation between CDT and how the area is may help reduce the difficult work of measuring CDT on a spot-by-spot basis. This would allow a more precise assessment of risk.

To read more about this see: Knowledge base: stability of mussel beds under hydrodynamic stress.

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