Saturation Kinetics for Preferential Nitrogen Uptake

by David S. Bowles, (A.M.ASCE),
William J. Grenney, (M.ASCE),

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 4, Pg. 833-836

Document Type: Journal Paper


Mathematical models of aquatic systems frequently represent phytoplankton growth dynamics in nutrient limited environments by saturation or Michaelis-Menton type kinetics. When nitrogen is the limiting nutrient and both ammonia and nitrate are present, the representation is complicated by the fact that one form of nitrogen may substitute nutritionally for the other, and the uptake rate of ammonia is significantly faster than that of nitrate. A modified form of nonlinear saturation kinetics, to represent the preference of algae for the ammonia form of nitrogen over the nitrate form, is proposed and examined.

Subject Headings: Ammonia | Nitrates | Kinetics | Nitrogen | Nutrients | Mathematics | Mathematical models | Aquatic habitats

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