Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 9057–9065

Modelling the phytoplankton dynamics in a nutrient-rich solar saltern pond: predicting the impact of restoration and climate change

  • Hajer Khemakhem
  • Jannet Elloumi
  • Habib Ayadi
  • Lotfi Aleya
  • Mahmoud Moussa
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1936-y

Cite this article as:
Khemakhem, H., Elloumi, J., Ayadi, H. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2013) 20: 9057. doi:10.1007/s11356-013-1936-y

Abstract

An ecological model for the solar saltern of Sfax (Tunisia) was established and validated by comparing simulation results to observed data relative to horizontal distributions of temperature, nutrients and phytoplankton biomass. Sensitivity analysis was performed in order to assess the influence of the main ecological model parameters. First applied at the saltern’s pond A1, the model was calibrated with field data measured over 4 years of study (from 2000 to 2003), which allowed an evaluation of parameters such as maximum growth rate of phytoplankton, optimal growth temperature and constant of half saturation for P/N assimilation by phytoplankton. Simulation results showed that the model allowed us to predict realistic phytoplankton variations of the study area, though we were unable to accurately reproduce the nutrient variation. The model was then applied to simulations of the impact of changes in phytoplankton biomass through scenarios such as hypothetic climate changes and saltern restoration.

Keywords

Ecological modelling Primary production Solar saltern Phytoplankton Nutrients 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hajer Khemakhem
    • 1
  • Jannet Elloumi
    • 1
  • Habib Ayadi
    • 1
  • Lotfi Aleya
    • 2
  • Mahmoud Moussa
    • 3
  1. 1.Aquatic Ecosystem Biodiversity Research UnitUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Chrono-Environnement, UMR CNRS 6249Université de Franche-ComtéBesancon CedexFrance
  3. 3.Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis, Laboratoire de Modélisation en Hydraulique et Environnement (LMHE: LR99ES19)Université Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia

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