Segmented Population Model of Primary Productivity

by Guenton C. Slawson, Jr., Ecological Sci. Div., NUS Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.,
Lorne G. Everett, General Electric-TEMPO, Center for Advanced Studies, Santa Barbara, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 127-138

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper summarizes the initial phases of a study program focused on the development of models usable for predicting the effects of changes in environmental factors such as nutrient inputs in aquatic ecosystems. A methodology for distributing primary productivity measurements among segments of the algal population has been formulated and tested. Such segmentation is a prerequisite for the development of biological population models that allow consideration of biotic diversity, food web stability, and ecosystem complexity. In addition, models such as that presented imply that optimization of the scope of biological sampling programs is possible. Although populations at the species level may provide useful information for characterizing an aquatic ecosystem, such detailed information may not be essential for describing dynamic ecosystem processes. For the case presented herein, total algal productivity rates were adequately approximated as the sum of the activity of each algal division.

Subject Headings: Aquatic habitats | Biological processes | Optimization models | Nutrients | Webs (structure) | Case studies

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