Coupled simulation of high-frequency dynamics of dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll widens the scope of lake metabolism studies

Vera Istvánovics, Márk Honti

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High frequency time series of dissolved oxygen (DO), delayed chlorophyll fluorescence (Chl) and relevant background variables were recorded on nearly 900 d during 7 yr in large, shallow, meso-eutrophic Lake Balaton (Hungary). Novel models were developed for coupled simulation of diel dynamics of DO and Chl using sequential learning and uncertainty assessment in a Bayesian framework. Despite the generally good model fit for both variables, the uncertainty of the metabolic estimates was high, due primarily to the identification problem of individual metabolic processes. Deviations between observed and simulated DO concentrations suggested that neglect of transient stratification might be responsible for the bulk of the systematic model errors. Net ecosystem production (NEP) was uncertain. Unless air-water oxygen exchange can be estimated from direct measurements, the free-water DO method cannot reliably estimate NEP. Gross primary production (GPP) could satisfactorily be hindcasted assuming non-linear multiplicative dependence on Chl, water temperature and light. Hindcast of community respiration (CR) was less successful, possibly due to the impact of local benthic respiration. Results suggested a major shift in lake metabolism at about 16°C. Below and above this temperature, 70% and 90% of net primary production could be utilized by heterotrophs within a day, respectively. Indirect evidence suggested that biomass-specific net primary production was determined by phosphorus. The large difference between reproductive rates and net growth rates estimated from GPP and Chl and from daily change in Chl, respectively indicated that loss rates of phytoplankton were as important determinants of algal dynamics as reproductive rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-90
Number of pages19
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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