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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 473:1-5 (2013)  -  DOI:

Optimal allocation backs Droop’s cell-quota model

Markus Pahlow*, Andreas Oschlies

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany

ABSTRACT: Droop’s cell-quota model is the most successful description of phytoplankton growth in laboratory cultures and is increasingly being introduced into the ecosystem components of biogeochemical models. Although the Droop model’s parameters can be easily interpreted in biological terms, it was nevertheless derived empirically and lacks a sound mechanistic foundation. Here we derive Droop’s model from a simple optimality condition which maximises net growth rate.  Our approach links the maximum cell quota to the cost of nutrient acquisition and suggests that respiration is influenced more strongly by C fixation than by N assimilation.

KEY WORDS: Optimality-based model · Cell quota · Droop model

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Cite this article as: Pahlow M, Oschlies A (2013) Optimal allocation backs Droop’s cell-quota model. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 473:1-5.

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