Aquatic Plant Growth Models

US Army Corps of Engineers | Engineer Research and Development Center | Environmental Lab | Search EL

Four aquatic plant growth simulation models have been developed that can be used to evaluate plant biomass dynamics under various environmental and climatological conditions.

The models are based on the carbon flow through a monotypic vegetation in meter-squared (m2) water columns. The models are quasi two-dimensional, in that they take the plant architecture into consideration. The models can start up with or without plants present, as long as the wintering plant propagules are specified. The models include descriptions of several factors that affect biomass dynamics, such as changes in environmental and climatological conditions, and of biomass removal (harvesting by humans or grazing by animals). The models are provided with default values for plant parameters and environmental conditions. The models are easy to run, because they are packaged within a FORTRAN Simulation Environment (SSE) shell for easy and rapid display of model outputs. The models can be run for periods of 1-5 consecutive years. The models are PC-based and not spatially explicit. However, the models can be run for various cells of a spatial grid stored within a GIS, and the resulting model output can be visualized within the GIS, which enables the generation of spatial maps.

Instructions for users can be found in the four instruction reports.

To run the models for any given site, the user has to:

  • Change the relevant values for plant parameters and environmental conditions in the model input file.
  • Prepare a site-relevant Weather file.

    Effects of changes in environmental conditions addressed:

  • Water transparency: daily (all models)
  • Water level: annual (HYDRIL, MILFO), daily (VALLA, POTAM)
  • Water temperature: daily (all models)

    Effects of changes in climatological conditions addressed:

  • Irradiation, day length, and air temperature change with latitude, daily (all models)

    New developments:

  • Versions that account for effects of current velocity (VALLA, POTAM)
  • A new model that accounts for competition for light under conditions of carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorus limitation (VALLA, POTAM)
  • A new model for simulating biomass of two emergent plant species
    Information: Dr. Elly P.H. Best | Aquatic Plant Models | Webmaster

    Updated August 2011
    Privacy and Security Notice