Estimating Nutrients and Chlorophyll a Relationships in Finnish Lakes
journal contributionposted on 15.12.2006, 00:00 by Olli Malve, Song S. Qian
We model the response of chlorophyll aa surrogate for the phytoplankton community volumeto variations in lake total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) concentrations. The model is fitted to a large cross-sectional data set from the Finnish Lake monitoring network. The objective is to support the Finnish Government in identifying management actions to achieve compliance of the chlorophyll a concentration standard with a given confidence level and to provide tools for the estimation of critical (target) loads for nutrients in monitored lakes. We develop a Bayesian hierarchical linear model which combines advantages of both the currently preferred non-hierarchical lake-type-specific linear model and lake-specific linear model fitted separately using data from a single lake. The hierarchical model is less biased at lake-level compared to the lake type model. In contrast to the lake model, it predicts the lake specific chlorophyll a response to nutrients outside the lake specific observational range. The hierarchical model is used to calculate probabilities of chlorophyll a concentration exceeding the standard under different nitrogen and phosphorus concentration combinations. These probabilities can be used to estimate acceptable nitrogen−phosphorus concentration combinations by a lake manager. We discuss how our study can be useful in implementing the European Water Framework Directive.