A Mathematical Model For Light and Nutrient Modulated Growth of Phytoplankton Species Under the Influence of Benthic Grazing and Nutrient Forcing

Daniel Robert William Bielich


It is well documented that the recent colonization of Lake Michigan by dreissenid bivalves lead to a dramatic reconfiguration of the lake's ecosystem. These changes resulted in benthification, which is a transport of a substantial part of the ecosystem's biomass to the bottom of the lake's water. While various datasets support this observation, a quantitative evaluation of overall ecosystem productivity, its spatial distribution and its effects on the dynamics of the lake ecosystem are not fully understood. The formulation, parameterization and numerical solution of mathematical models representing the major components of the altered lake ecology could help the understanding and quantitative evaluation of the new ecological dynamics. We present a detailed formulation of a simplified mathematical model and a numerical method for its solution. The model takes into account the competition among primary producer species for the varying light and two different nitrogeneous nutrient sources in the pelagic, as well as the impact of the grazing and nutrient recylcing by a substantial and changing dreissenid mussel population in the benthos.


Phytoplankton, Quagga Mussel, Mathematical Model,

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