Modeling the dynamics of metabolism in montane streams using continuous dissolved oxygen measurements

Christian Birkel, Chris Soulsby, Iain Malcolm, Doerthe Tetzlaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We inferred in-stream ecosystem processes in terms of photosynthetic productivity (P), system respiration (R), and reaeration capacity (RC) from a five parameter numerical oxygen mass balance model driven by radiation, stream and air temperature, and stream depth. This was calibrated to high-resolution (15 min), long-term (2.5 years) dissolved oxygen (DO) time series for moorland and forest reaches of a third-order montane stream in Scotland. The model was multicriteria calibrated to continuous 24 h periods within the time series to identify behavioral simulations representative of ecosystem functioning. Results were evaluated using a seasonal regional sensitivity analysis and a colinearity index for parameter sensitivity. This showed that >95 % of the behavioral models for the moorland and forest sites were identifiable and able to infer in-stream processes from the DO time series for around 40% and 32% of the time period, respectively. Monthly P/R ratios
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5260-5275
Number of pages16
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • stream metabolism
  • dissolved oxygen
  • mass balance models
  • riparian vegetation


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