Study of the nutrient and plankton dynamics in Lake Tanganyika using a reduced-gravity model
Naithani, Jaya, Darchambeau, François, Deleersnijder, Eric, Descy, Jean-Pierre, and Wolanski, Eric (2007) Study of the nutrient and plankton dynamics in Lake Tanganyika using a reduced-gravity model. Ecological Modelling, 200 (1-2). pp. 225-233.
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An eco-hydrodynamic (ECOH) model is proposed for Lake Tanganyika to study the plankton productivity. The hydrodynamic sub-model solves the non-linear, reduced-gravity equations in which wind is the dominant forcing. The ecological sub-model for the epilimnion comprises nutrients, primary production, phytoplankton biomass and zooplankton biomass. In the absence of significant terrestrial input of nutrients, the nutrient loss is compensated for by seasonal, wind-driven, turbulent entrainment of nutrient-rich hypolimnion water into the epilimnion, which gives rise to high plankton productivity twice in the year, during the transition between two seasons. Model simulations predict well the seasonal contrasts of the measured physical and ecological parameters. Numerical tests indicate that the half saturation constant for grazing by zooplankton and the fish predation rate on zooplankton affect the zooplankton biomass measurably more than that of phytoplankton biomass. This work has implications for the application of this model to predict the climatological biological productivity of Lake Tanganyika.
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