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Mathematical Modeling of Macrophyte flow Interactions and the Resulting Zooplankton Distributions

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Technical Report,22 Sep 2015,21 Aug 2018

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University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill United States

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The broad goal of this research project is to develop mathematical models, implement new numerical methods, and leverage existing state-of-the-art tools from computational and experimental fluid dynamics to understand the importance of aquatic plants in modifying the environment of small organisms. Such plants we will describe generally as macrophytes, which include sea grasses, submerged freshwater plants, and emergent vegetation. It is well known that the fluid dynamics within and around macrophyte beds have important ecological consequences on organisms, and these organisms also affect the hydrodynamics within these environments. Modeling flow within macrophyte beds is challenging due to the complex morphologies and material properties of these organisms. Flow properties can vary dramatically in space and time through such layers, and simplified models may not accurately capture mixing dynamics, particle paths, and other flow features important to zooplankton. Recent improvements in scientific computing have made numerical simulations of viscous and unsteady flows through complex and flexible structures feasible. The broad goals of this proposal are to develop new models of macrophytes and zooplankton and to incorporate these models with fluid-structure interaction simulations to reveal the properties of flows within these complex environments and to determine the impact on zooplankton distributions.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Numerical Mathematics
  • Fluid Mechanics

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