Organic Matter and Biomarkers of the Changjiang Estuary and East China Sea Shelf

  • Ying WuEmail author
  • Zhuoyi Zhu
  • Hongyan Bao
  • Shuchai Gan
  • Jing Zhang
Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)


As one of most populated river–estuary–shelf regions, the biogeochemistry of organic matter in the Changjiang Estuary and East China Sea (ECS) is critical for a quantitative understanding of global biogeochemical cycles. This chapter summarizes the spatial variation of organic matter and biomarkers from the watershed to the shelf. Monthly data collected from the downstream of the watershed help to elucidate the seasonal variation of biomarkers (e.g., pigments and amino acids) along with hydrological and biological processes. The geochemical characterization of biomarkers in the ECS is well studied, and this chapter provides an overview of the potential controls on biomarkers. Hydrological sorting, in situ primary production, and diagenetic processes contribute to the variable biomarker distribution, composition, and burial in the ECS. Anthropogenic disturbance is illustrated by an evaluation of the impact of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on the composition of terrigenous organic matter and pollutants in the study system. Climate change (e.g., extreme drought), impoundment by the TGD, and the effects of tributaries and lakes in the middle and lower streams of the river may play different roles in the delivery of organic carbon. Although there is high pressure from anthropogenic activities compared with other regions in the world, pollutant concentrations are relatively low and potential ecological risks are limited. With changing fluxes from rivers, and significant modification and burial of organic matter on the shelf due to global change, long-term observations are necessary to develop our knowledge of the biogeochemistry of organic matter in this highly dynamic shelf region.


Organic carbon Biomarker Terrestrial organic matter Changjiang East China Sea 



This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant 2011CB409801/2) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 41021064,41276081).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhuoyi Zhu
    • 1
  • Hongyan Bao
    • 1
  • Shuchai Gan
    • 1
  • Jing Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal ResearchEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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