Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause large economic losses every year in aquaculture and fisheries worldwide, due to shellfish toxicity and mass fish mortality. Understanding HABs dynamics requires an integrated strategy that includes not only observation but also modelling. Models are essential tools toward defining the complexity of HAB events and forecasting their occurrence (e.g. bloom initiation, intensity, duration, and decline).
Coupling physical effects (turbulence, shear, advection) and biological behaviour (migration, physiological adaptation) holds the key to understand HABs dynamics. However, biological models are still at basic stages due to the lack of knowledge of the life history parameters and behaviour patterns of HABs species. In this project, we propose the development of an expert system, using non-linear techniques, which will include existing and newly acquired knowledge of the behaviour of HABs species in the study areas. This expert system will account for the physiological condition and behaviour of individual organisms in a Lagrangian particle-tracking model. Advection and diffusion used to force the IBM will be obtained from simulations of coupled physical models This multidisciplinary modelling approach will be a very useful tool to elucidate the mechanisms involved in HABs dynamics through the joint effects of organism behaviour and physical forcing.
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