Modelling spatial heterogeneity of phytoplankton in Lake Mangueira, a large shallow subtropical lake in South Brazil

C.R. Fragoso, D.M.L. Motta Marques, W. Collischonn, C.E.M. Tucci, E.H. van Nes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


We present a model describing phytoplankton growth in Lake Mangueira, a large subtropical lake in the Taim Hydrological System in South Brazil (817 km2, average depth 2 m). The horizontal 2D model consists of three modules: (a) a detailed hydrodynamic module for shallow water, which deals with wind-driven quantitative flows and water level, (b) a nutrient module, which deals with nutrient transport mechanisms and some conversion processes and (c) a biological module, which describes phytoplankton growth in a simple way. We solved the partial differential equations numerically by applying an efficient semi-implicit finite differences method to a regular grid. Hydrodynamic parameters were calibrated to continuous measurements of the water level at two different locations of the lake. An independent validation data set showed a good fit of the hydrodynamic module (R2 ¿ 0.92). The nutrient and biological modules were parameterized using literature data and verified by comparing simulated phytoplankton patterns with remote sensing data from satellite images and field data of chlorophyll a. Moreover, a sensitivity analyses showed which parameters had the largest influence on the simulated phytoplankton biomass. The model could identify zones with a higher potential for eutrophication. It has shown to be a first step towards a management tool for prediction of the trophic state in subtropical lakes, estuaries and reservoirs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • water-quality
  • salinity simulations
  • growth
  • temperature
  • stability
  • dynamics
  • scale
  • sea
  • coefficients
  • chlorophyll


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling spatial heterogeneity of phytoplankton in Lake Mangueira, a large shallow subtropical lake in South Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this