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Generic analysis of the response of calcifying microalgae to an elevation of pCO2 : qualitative vs quantitative analysis

Olivier Bernard 1 Antoine Sciandra 2
1 COMORE - Modeling and control of renewable resources
LOV - Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : Calcifying microalgae can play a key role in atmospheric CO2 trapping through large scale precipitation of calcium carbonate in the oceans. However, recent experiments revealed that the associated fluxes may be slow down by an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. In this paper we design models to account for the decrease in calcification and photosynthesis rates observed after an increase of pCO2 in Emiliania huxleyi chemostat cultures. Since the involved mechanisms are still not completely understood, we consider various models, each of them being based on a different hypothesis. These models are kept at a very general level, by maintaining the growth and calcification functions in a generic form, i.e. independent on the exact shape of these functions and on parameter values. The analysis is thus performed using these generic functions where the only hypothesis is an increase of these rates with respect to the regulating carbon species. As a result, each model responds differently to a pCO2 elevation. Surprisingly, the only models whose behaviour are in agreement with the experimental results correspond to carbonate as the regulating species for photosynthesis. Finally we show that the models whose qualitative behaviour are wrong could be considered as acceptable on the basis of a quantitative prediction error criterion.
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Olivier Bernard, Antoine Sciandra. Generic analysis of the response of calcifying microalgae to an elevation of pCO2 : qualitative vs quantitative analysis. Revue Africaine de la Recherche en Informatique et Mathématiques Appliquées, INRIA, 2008, 9, pp.57-84. ⟨hal-01277921⟩

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