Photosynthetic oxygen flux by Macrocystis pyrifera: A mass transfer model with experimental validation

Amy T. Hansen, Miki Hondzo, Catriona L. Hurd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The present paper elaborates the development of a mass transfer model to determine rates of photosynthetic oxygen flux from the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in a moving fluid. The model can be used to calculate local dissolved oxygen flux, blade-averaged oxygen flux and daily average net primary productivity for a kelp forest. Predicted rates of photosynthetic oxygen flux agree well with previously reported direct measurements. This model was derived from the fundamental principles of conservation of mass and momentum over a flat plate using an integral method approach and is applicable in laminar, transitional and turbulent flows. It predicts oxygen flux as an explicit function of fluid flow conditions above the kelp blade. Experimental velocity profiles and dissolved oxygen concentration profiles, measured under a range of fluid flow conditions, followed power-law scaling and demonstrated local similarity between oxygen and velocity distribution within the boundary layers above the kelp blade. The proposed model provides a useful tool for estimating rates of photosynthesis with minimal data collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
StatePublished - Jul 28 2011


  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Macrocystis pyrifera
  • Mass transfer
  • Model
  • Photosynthesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Photosynthetic oxygen flux by Macrocystis pyrifera: A mass transfer model with experimental validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this