Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1374–1386 | Cite as

Decadal variations in diatoms and dinoflagellates on the inner shelf of the East China Sea, China

  • Rediat Abate
  • Yahui Gao (高亚辉)
  • Changping Chen (陈长平)
  • Junrong Liang (梁君荣)
  • Wenhua Mu (穆文华)
  • Demeke Kifile
  • Yanghang Chen (陈杨航)
Ecology
  • 37 Downloads

Abstract

Diatoms and dinoflagellates are two major groups of phytoplankton that flourish in the oceans, particularly in coastal zone and upwelling systems, and their contrasting production have been reported in several world seas. However, this information is not available in the coastal East China Sea (ECS). Thus, to investigate and compare the decadal trends in diatoms and dinoflagellates, a sediment core, 47 cm long, was collected from the coastal zone of the ECS. Sediment chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), phytoplankton-group specific pigment signatures of diatoms and dinoflagellates, and diatom valve concentrations were determined. The sediment core covered the period from 1961 to 2011 AD. The chlorophyll-a contents ranged from 2.32 to 73 µg/g dry sediment (dw) and averaged 9.81 µg/g dw. Diatom absolute abundance ranged from 29152 to 177501 valve/gram (v/g) dw and averaged 72137 v/g dw. Diatom valve and diatom specific pigment marker concentrations were not significantly correlated. Peridinin increased after the 1980s in line with intensified use of fertilizer and related increases in nutrient inputs into the marine environment. The increased occurrence of dinoflagellate dominance after the 1980s can be mostly explained by the increase in nutrients. However, the contribution of dinoflagellates to total phytoplankton production (Chl-a) decreased during the final decade of this study, probably because of the overwhelming increase in diatom production that corresponded with the construction of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) and related light availability. Similarly, the mean ratio of fucoxanthin/peridinin for the period from 1982 to 2001 was 6% less than for 1961 to 1982, while the ratio for 2001 to 2011 was 45.3% greater than for 1982 to 2001. The decadal variation in the fucoxanthin/peridinin ratio implies that dinoflagellate production had been gradually increasing until 2001. We suggest that the observed changes can be explained by anthropogenic impacts, such as nutrient loading and dam construction.

Keywords

anthropogenic impact benthic diatoms pigment signature nutrient concentration Three Gorges Dam construction 

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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rediat Abate
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yahui Gao (高亚辉)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changping Chen (陈长平)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junrong Liang (梁君荣)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenhua Mu (穆文华)
    • 2
  • Demeke Kifile
    • 4
  • Yanghang Chen (陈杨航)
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental ScienceXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystem, College of the Environment & EcologyXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.College of Natural ScienceArba Minch UniversityArba MinchEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Zoological SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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