Semi-empirical modeling of microalgae photosynthesis in different acclimation states – Application to N. gaditana
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The development of mathematical models capable of accurate predictions of the photosynthetic productivity of microalgae under variable light conditions is paramount to the development of large-scale production systems. The process of photoacclimation is particularly important in outdoor cultivation systems, whereby seasonal variation of the light irradiance can greatly influence microalgae growth. This paper presents a dynamic model that captures the effect of photoacclimation on the photosynthetic production. It builds upon an existing semi-empirical model describing the processes of photoproduction, photoregulation and photoinhibition via the introduction of acclimation rules for key parameters. The model is calibrated against a dataset comprising pulsed amplitude modulation fluorescence, photosynthesis rate, and antenna size measurements for the microalga Nannochloropsis gaditana in several acclimation states. It is shown that the calibrated model is capable of accurate predictions of fluorescence and respirometry data, both in interpolation and in extrapolation.
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