The Okubo pond is an agricultural pond located in the Itoshima area of Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It was constructed for irrigating a nearby cultivated area. A monitoring program from August 11 to November 26, 2008, suggested the risk of eutrophication in the water body. The high total nitrogen concentration (1.34 mg/l), high total phosphorus concentration (0.06 mg/l) and extreme oxygen depletion (2 mg/l on 5 November 2008) exceeded the Japanese standards for paddy irrigation water. Furthermore, luxuriant algal blooming in October indicated a hypereutrophic status according to the OECD (1982) criteria. In this study, a one-box ecosystem model was developed to obtain an insight into the seasonal variations in the algal concentrations and chemical components of the Okubo pond with the aims of protecting its aquatic ecosystem and maintaining its water quality. The model was based on a completely mixed system and included 12 water-quality indices: green algae, blue-green algae, diatoms and dinoflagellates, cryptophytes, zoo-plankton, particulate organic matter, dissolved organic matter, phosphate-phosphorus, ammonia-nitrogen, nitritenitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, and dissolved oxygen. The monitoring data were used to verify the model simulation. Model evaluation suggested good agreement between the predicted and the observed data for the seasonal variations in the algal, nutrient, and dissolved oxygen concentrations. To determine the sensitivity of the model parameters, a sensitivity analysis was conducted leading to the conclusion that the optimal temperature, growth rate, and respiratory rate of the four algal groups, especially the ideal temperature for blue-green and green algae are the most influential factors determining the variability affecting the model inference. From the model simulation, the water temperature and nutrient concentration were considered to be the key limiting factors controlling alternative algal blooms in this period.
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