Estimating Nutrients and Chlorophyll <i>a</i> Relationships in Finnish Lakes

2006-12-15T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Olli Malve Song S. Qian
We model the response of chlorophyll <i>a</i>a surrogate for the phytoplankton community volumeto 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 <i>a</i> 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 <i>a</i> response to nutrients outside the lake specific observational range. The hierarchical model is used to calculate probabilities of chlorophyll <i>a</i> 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.