Articles | Volume 9, issue 6
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 2271–2278, 2016
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 2271–2278, 2016

Model description paper 01 Jul 2016

Model description paper | 01 Jul 2016

FABM-PCLake – linking aquatic ecology with hydrodynamics

Fenjuan Hu1,2, Karsten Bolding1,3, Jorn Bruggeman3,4, Erik Jeppesen1,5, Morgens R. Flindt2, Luuk van Gerven6,7, Jan H. Janse6,8, Annette B. G. Janssen6,7, Jan J. Kuiper6,7, Wolf M. Mooij6,7, and Dennis Trolle1,5 Fenjuan Hu et al.
  • 1Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
  • 2University of Southern Denmark, Department of Biology, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
  • 3Bolding & Bruggeman ApS, Strandgyden 25, 5466 Asperup, Denmark
  • 4Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, the Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
  • 5Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 6Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Department of Aquatic Ecology, 6700 AB Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 7Wageningen University, Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, 6700 AA, the Netherlands
  • 8PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Dept. of Nature and Rural Areas, 3720 AH Bilthoven, the Netherlands

Abstract. This study presents FABM-PCLake, a redesigned structure of the PCLake aquatic ecosystem model, which we implemented in the Framework for Aquatic Biogeochemical Models (FABM). In contrast to the original model, which was designed for temperate, fully mixed freshwater lakes, the new FABM-PCLake represents an integrated aquatic ecosystem model that can be linked with different hydrodynamic models and allows simulations of hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes for zero-dimensional, one-dimensional as well as three-dimensional environments. FABM-PCLake describes interactions between multiple trophic levels, including piscivorous, zooplanktivorous and benthivorous fish, zooplankton, zoobenthos, three groups of phytoplankton and rooted macrophytes. The model also accounts for oxygen dynamics and nutrient cycling for nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon, both within the pelagic and benthic domains. FABM-PCLake includes a two-way communication between the biogeochemical processes and the physics, where some biogeochemical state variables (e.g., phytoplankton) influence light attenuation and thereby the spatial and temporal distributions of light and heat. At the same time, the physical environment, including water currents, light and temperature influence a wide range of biogeochemical processes. The model enables studies on ecosystem dynamics in physically heterogeneous environments (e.g., stratifying water bodies, and water bodies with horizontal gradients in physical and biogeochemical properties), and through FABM also enables data assimilation and multi-model ensemble simulations. Examples of potential new model applications include climate change impact studies and environmental impact assessment scenarios for temperate, sub-tropical and tropical lakes and reservoirs.

Short summary
We present a redesign and further development of a complex and well-known aquatic ecosystem model (PCLake) into the Framework for Aquatic Biogeochemical Models (FABM). So PCLake can run in different hydrodynamic environments, ranging from 0-D to 3-D. We introduce the methods and technical details about how the model was re-designed into a modular structure and the new features of PCLake enabled by FABM. We further present a benchmark test case to verify the new model implementation.