applicability of resource control theory in a numerical simulation

In regions of low seasonality, resource competition theory (Tilman, Ecology, 58, 338, 1977; Tilman,  Monographs in Population Biology, 17, 1982) is capable of predicting not only the competitive outcome amongst organisms in our model, but also the ecosystems control on the nutrient concentrations. Sensitivity experiments clearly indicate the control on the ambient nutrient by phytoplankton physiology as predicted by the theory. This theory is also applicable to studies of biogeography in relatively stable regions and can help us identify the potential domains of such functional types as Prochloroccus and diaztrophs.

Figure caption: Results from sensitivity experiments: Ratio of macronutrient in (a) double nutrient half saturation (KN) case; (b) halved KN case to macronutrient in control run (no change to KN). Contours are drawn at 2 (indicating nutrient concentrations double the control experiment) and at 0.5 (indicating nutrient concentrations half of the control experiment).

For more information

  • Dutkiewicz, S., M.J. Follows and J. Bragg. Modeling the coupling of ocean ecology and biogeochemistry, 2009: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, GB4017, doi:10.1029/2008GB003405. PDF.
  • IMBER IMBIZO Workshop, Miami, FL, 9-13 November 2008. “Ecological Control of Subtropical Nutrient Concentrations.” S. Dutkiewicz, M.J. Follows, and J.G. Bragg. Oral and poster presentation. See poster (PDF).