Spring and fall bloom
Simple model of the spring bloom in coastal temperate coastal waters. Nitrogen is assumed to be the limiting nutrient, so the model is based on N only. The model represents one liter of water. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) accumulates in the water column during winter and has reached 250 µmol/L on March 1st where the model starts. At this time the light intensity have just reached the level necessary to initiate the bloom.

Model setup
N uptake: Michaelis Menten kinetics with a maximum growth rate that doubles the population each day. Km=5µM.

Grazing: Michaelis Menten kinetics with a maximum daily uptake equal to the N in the population. Km=50µM.

Sloppy eating: 60% of the grazing is wasted to PON

Death: 5% of the zooplankton dies each day

Mineralization: 1% of the PON is mineralized to DIN each day

For the first 6 days the phytoplankton grows exponentially and depletes the DIN pool. The peak in phytoplankton is followed by a delayed peak in zooplankton due to its slower growth rate. Slowly the zooplankton graze down the spring bloom and the nitrogen is transformed to the pool of particulate dead organic nitrogen (PON). While this happens the phytoplankton is kept low by the still high zooplankton which allow the DIN pool to increase from day 25 to day 55. Eventually the phytoplankton escapes the top down control and we see a secondary bloom based on regenerated DIN.

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