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Several modified versions of the Monod model have been proposed to simulate algal dynamics in lakes by keeping the parent model's advantages of simplicity and low data requirement. This study evaluated the performance of a widely-used modified Monod model in predicting algal dynamics at various time scales in Lake Tai, a typical shallow lake in east China, using multiple time series. Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration was used as a surrogate for algal (CyanoHABs: cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms) growth and the independent variables were total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and either water temperature or air temperature. The evaluation indicated that the model parameters could have distinctly different values, depending on whether or not constraints are imposed, time scales, and types of nutrients. The model performance varied in terms of time scales as well as magnitudes and fluctuations of Chl-a and TN or TP concentrations, achieving a relative better performance for the monthly rather than three-day time scale and for the central part rather than bays of the study lake. The model with TP as the independent variable had a better performance than the model with TN as the independent variable, regardless of the time scale used. The temperature-nutrient interactions were important for algal growth when the temporal fluctuations of these two factors were large but the interactions could become minimal otherwise.

Original Publication Citation

Huang, J., Xu, Q. J., Wang, X. X., Xi, B. D., Jia, K. L., Huo, S. L., . . . Xu, B. B. (2015). Evaluation of a modified monod model for predicting algal dynamics in Lake Tai. Water, 7(7), 3626-3642. doi: 10.3390/w7073626