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The PROTECH family of models has been developed to simulate the in situ dynamics of phytoplankton in lakes, reservoirs and rivers.
The acronym alludes to: Phytoplankton RespOnses To Environmental CHange.
We use species-specific growth-rates that respond to temperature, light and nutrients, and add specific movement characteristics. By building up from these traits, the best predictions can be made. Our algal library now holds over 100 species types.
C.S. Reynolds and S.C. Maberly presented in Freshwater Biology (Volume 47, Issue 6, June 2002 1183-1188) a method for calculating and comparing the stoichiometric yields of phytoplankton standing crop (as chlorophyll a).
In the article, some examples show how the model distinguishes lakes in which the supportive capacity is constrained mainly by the available phosphorus or by the nitrogen supply or by the light availability. Sites are identified where control moves among the constraining factors.
Also, an instance of lake management is given, where the diagnosis, remedy and the remediation have conformed closely to the model predictions.
The model is available to freely download through this link (you need MS Excel to run the model).
Please contact: Dr Alex Elliott.