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Identification of a minimal adequate model to describe the biomass dynamics of river epilithon.

Boulêtreau, Stéphanie and Izagirre, Oihana and Garabétian, Frédéric and Sauvage, Sabine and Elosegi, Arturo and Sanchez-Pérez, José-Miguel Identification of a minimal adequate model to describe the biomass dynamics of river epilithon. (2008) River Research and Applications, 24 (1). 36-53. ISSN 1535-1459

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rra.1046


The present study sought to identify a minimal adequate model to describe the biomass dynamics of river epilithon, a functional indicator of river health. Identification of minimal adequate models is particularly necessary in river management, given the reduced number of variables authorities are willing to measure routinely. A model previously developed for epilithon dynamics in a pre-alpine river was applied to epilithon biomasses recorded in contrasting hydrological, trophic and light conditions at various sites in the Agu¨era stream (Spain) over 3 years (11 case studies). A model selection tool, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), was used to determine the optimal combination of parameters. In nine of 11 case studies, the best model described epilithon biomass dynamics as the equilibrium between phototrophic growth and discharge-dependent loss and ignored light, temperature and nutrient influences. The best adequate minimal model i.e. the model that is the best trade-off between goodness-of-fit and model simplicity performed best, in years in which clearly contrasting short low and high water periods occurred. During years with less marked hydrodynamics, many other abiotic or biotic processes influenced epilithon biomass dynamics. In these cases, weaker goodness-of-fit had to be accepted to avoid excessively increasing model complexity.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to John Wiley & Sons editor. The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rra.1046/abstract
HAL Id:hal-03477000
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea - EHU (SPAIN)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:01 Jun 2012 12:49

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