Site-Specific Determination of Kinetic Coefficients for Modeling Algal Growth

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering; Department of Biological Sciences


Mathematical models for phytoplankton growth require specification of a suite of kinetic coefficients. Values for these coefficients may be established through field and laboratory experimentation or through model calibration, guided by literature estimates. Uncertainty in coefficient selection influences model performance and reliability. Here, a site-specific approach to the determination of selected kinetic coefficients used in modelling phytoplankton growth is described. The technique involves laboratory incubation of natural phytoplankton assemblages under controlled conditions of light and temperature. Example applications are provided for two eutrophic systems: Onondaga Lake, New York and Green Bay, Lake Michigan. Kinetic coefficients derived according to the proposed technique are field verified through in situ incubations of natural phytoplankton assemblages. The value of the approach for reducing model uncertainty is explored using Monte-Carlo analysis.

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© 1993

Publication Title

Ecological Modelling