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Variable photosynthetic characteristics in waste stabilisation ponds

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte Paterson, David Elliott, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD


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Algae play several key roles in waste stabilisation ponds. A model has been developed to predict algal concentration in waste stabilisation ponds, in which the relationship between photosynthesis and underwater light availability is central. One equation was selected from several alternative expressions that describe this relationship. The selected equation consisted of four photosynthetic parameters. A field sampling programme was designed to investigate the relationships between the photosynthetic parameters and the pond environment. Although initial regression analyses were unsuccessful, distinct diurnal variations were revealed in two key photosynthetic parameters, related to an inverse variation in chlorophyll a concentration. This led to the derivation of a dynamic feedback hypothesis which challenges the classic assumption in algal modelling of constant photosynthetic parameters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weatherell CA, Elliott DJ, Fallowfield HJ, Curtis TP

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 5th International IWA Conference on Waste Stabilisation Ponds

Year of Conference: 2002

Pages: 219-226

ISSN: 0273-1223

Publisher: Water Science and Technology: IWA Publishing


PubMed id: 14510214