Nele Ina Schuwirth: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Name PD Dr. Nele Ina Schuwirth
FieldEcological modeling
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Telephone+41 58 765 55 28
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science

701-0426-00LModelling Aquatic Ecosystems Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.
3 credits2GN. I. Schuwirth, P. Reichert
AbstractKnowledge about processes in aquatic ecosystems will be compiled to mathematical models of such systems. This integration of knowledge stimulates understanding across disciplines and makes it possible to evaluate hypotheses. The participants will be confronted with ecosystem models of increasing complexity und apply them practically based on an implementation in R.
ObjectiveStudents are able to

- describe the most important biological, biochemical, chemical and physical processes in aquatic ecosystems in the form of mathematical models;

- recognise and explain the interaction of processes in aquatic ecosystems and estimate the resulting behaviour of the entire system;

- mathematically describe important sources of stochasticity and uncertainty in model predictions and quantify their influence on model results;

- formulate models of aquatic ecosystems, implement them in a programming environment and use them to address problems in practice.
ContentBasic concepts:
Principles of modelling environmental systems, formulation of mass balance equations, formulation of transformation processes.

Formulation of ecosystems processes:
Physical processes (transport and mixing, sedimentation, gas exchange, detachment and resuspension), chemical processes (chemical equilibria, sorption), biological processes (primary production, respiration, death, consumption, mineralization, nitrification, hydrolysis, bacterial growth, colonization).

Consideration of Stochasticity and Uncertainty
Sources, description, and propagation of stochasticity and uncertainty

Didactic models of aquatic ecosystems:
Lake phytoplankton model, lake phyto- and zooplankton model, two box oxygen and phosphorus lake model, model of biogeochemical cycles in a lake, oxygen and nutrient household model of a river, benthic population model of a river.

Research models of aquatic ecosystems:
Research lake models, research river models.

Exercises implementing and practicing the application of the didactic models using libraries of the program package for statistical computing and graphics R (
Lecture notesManuscript in English
Prerequisites / NoticeEcology: Basic knowledge about structure and function of aquatic ecosystems.
Mathematics: Basics of analysis, differential equations, linear algebra, and probability.