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Comparison of two models in the estimation of nitrogen uptake rates using data from 15-N incubation experiments

Author(s): Clavery Tungaraza | Natacha Brion | Willy Baeyens

Journal: Oceanologia
ISSN 0078-3234

Volume: 47;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 387;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Model validity | Nitrogenous nutrients | Uptake rate

This paper compares two uptake rate models, Dugdale & Goering's (D&G) model and Elskens' model. The aim is to provide an insight into how estimates of uptake processes, i.e. regeneration and loss rates from both dissolved and particulate nitrogen pools, influence the total uptake rates when the two models are compared. The uptake rates of three nitrogenous nutrients (nitrate, ammonium and urea) from 15-N incubation experimental data were compared. The comparison indicated that the D&G model underestimated nitrate uptake rates by about 34%, implying a significant regeneration and loss rates of the nutrient. Elskens' model further showed that the loss rates from the dissolved phase were about 40% and 25% for the ammonium and urea pools, respectively, indicating that the D&G model underestimated the experimental uptake rates of the nutrients. On average, nitrification made up about 30% of the total ammonium uptake flux, whereas the sinks from particulate nitrogen and dissolved nitrogen were estimated at 36% and 56%, respectively. The D&G model sometimes overestimated the f-ratio values to about 60% and higher as a result of ammonium and urea uptake rates underestimation. This paper also shows that detritus adsorption, bacterial uptake and cell lysis are equally important processes.
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