Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

Martin Auer

Committee Member 1

Pengfei Xue

Committee Member 2

Cory P. McDonald


Cladophora glomerata is a filamentous green alga native to the Great Lakes. However, its nuisance growth in phosphorus rich waters negatively affects the lakes’ aesthetic and water quality. The Great Lakes Cladophora Model (GLCM) v1, developed in 1982, was the first mechanistic model to simulate Cladophora growth basing phosphorus availability and environmental conditions followed by Cladophora Growth Model and GLCM v2. In this study, the light and temperature mediation factors for Cladophora net growth are revised as a necessary step prior to the development of a self-shading algorithm. The concept of a fixed-value, maximum achievable biomass (carrying capacity) employed in the previous models is replaced by an approach where the maximum realized biomass is determined mechanistically. The canopy (self-shading) algorithm, incorporated in the GLCM framework, models the effects of light attenuation within the algal mat on the net biomass production of Cladophora. The resultant GLCM v3 is more mechanistic and eliminates the need of an overly deterministic carrying capacity term.