Changing Nutrients, Oxygen and Phytoplankton in the East China Sea

  • Jianfang ChenEmail author
  • Dewang Li
  • Haiyan Jin
  • Zhibing Jiang
  • Bin Wang
  • Bin Wu
  • Qiang Hao
  • Xiangyu Sun
Part of the Atmosphere, Earth, Ocean & Space book series (AEONS)


Biogeochemical processes in the East China Sea are substantially affected by anthropogenic nutrient inputs. The dramatic decadal changes in nutrient concentrations were mainly due to the increases of DIN and DIP in the Changjiang (Yangtze) River since 1980s. As a result, phytoplankton abundance increased dramatically between 1958 and 2016 in both the Changjiang Estuary and the East China Sea. Before 1980s, chain-forming diatoms were dominant, while increasing of large-cell dinoflagellates is probably related to increasing DIN/silicate ratio. Increasing nutrient input and phytoplankton abundance greatly impact seasonal hypoxia condition in the East China Sea. Hypoxia is relatively sporadic and patchy before 2013. In 2016 and 2017, hypoxic events were more severe, occurring over larger areas with dramatically lower minimum values of dissolved oxygen. Notwithstanding, occurrences of bottom hypoxia in the East China Sea are highly dynamic and are significantly influenced by episodic events such as wind mixing.


East china sea Nutrients Phytoplankton Dissolved oxygen Decadal change 



This work was jointly funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0900901), Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1709201, 41706183, 41706120, 41806095, 41876198), and Long Term Observation and Research Plan in the Changjiang Estuary and the Adjacent East China Sea Project (LORCE) established by the Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR. Two anonymous reviewers provided very comprehensive and constructive comments which helped strengthening the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianfang Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dewang Li
    • 1
  • Haiyan Jin
    • 1
  • Zhibing Jiang
    • 1
  • Bin Wang
    • 1
  • Bin Wu
    • 1
  • Qiang Hao
    • 1
  • Xiangyu Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem DynamicsSecond Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural ResourcesHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityZhoushanChina

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