Phytoplankton RespOnses To Environmental CHange (PROTECH)
PROTECH simulates changing dynamics of phytoplankton species in lakes and reservoirs, particularly Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), and predicts harmful algal blooms. It is used: (1) by researchers to study climate change impacts and sensitivity to nutrient pollution; and (2) by Environment Agency, Natural England and water companies to inform water regulation and management.
PROTECH is a process model that simulates algal biomass and community (species) composition plus water chemistry (oxygen and dissolved carbon concentrations) at daily time intervals at different water depths. It combines: daily weather and nutrient input data; an algal library containing more than 100 species types; species-specific growth-rates that respond to temperature, light and nutrients; and specific algal movement characteristics. By building up from these traits, the best predictions can be made. PROTECH has been applied to different water bodies around the world and can be used for research or applied management and treatment scenarios for lakes and reservoirs.
PROTECH was first developed by UKCEH in 1995, since when it has been continually applied and improved on lakes and reservoirs around the world.
PROTECH is uniquely able to simulate a community of algal types, capturing the traits of a wide range of different species and modelling them simultaneously, to forecast not just the overall algal biomass but the species composition. Understanding species composition is important for deciding on effective water treatment options.
PROTECH was developed by UKCEH. Application of the model to specific lakes and reservoirs relies on local partners and collaborators provide daily data on weather and nutrient input/discharge concentrations.
PROTECH is an expert system requiring specialist knowledge. UKCEH may operate PROTECH as a paid service for agreed partners and projects, subject to conditions. Contact the model owner.
PROTECH was developed during the 1990s using then core budget. PROTECH now relies on paid service provision to cover costs.
PROTECH is used by UKCEH and other researchers, plus public and private sector water managers.