Cite this paper:
Rediat ABATE, GAO Yahui, CHEN Changping, LIANG Junrong, CHEN Weifang, SUN Lin, Demeke KIFILE. Environmental change and its effects on inter-decadal variations of diatom production, species composition and frustule dissolution in a coastal marginal sea[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2017, 35(6): 1362-1373

Environmental change and its effects on inter-decadal variations of diatom production, species composition and frustule dissolution in a coastal marginal sea

Rediat ABATE1,3, GAO Yahui1,2, CHEN Changping1, LIANG Junrong1, CHEN Weifang2, SUN Lin2, Demeke KIFILE4
1 School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China;
2 State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China;
3 College of Natural Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch PO Box 21, Ethiopia;
4 Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, PO Box 1176, Ethiopia
The implications of climate change during the second half of the 20th century have been reported throughout the world. Although marginal seas are sensitive to climate change and anthropogenic impacts, relatively little attention has been given to the South East Asian marginal seas. Thus, to bridge this gap in knowledge, a sediment core was collected from the coastal areas of the Leizhou Peninsula in the South China Sea (SCS) to study the inter-decadal climate change and its consequences using diatom species composition as a proxy record. Diatom absolute abundance varied from 2 300 to 68 000 and averaged 16 000 valves per gram of dry weight (v/gdw). The fractional dissolution index (Fi) was usually below 0.5, which indicates low to moderate preservation of diatom valves at coastal area of the SCS. At the inter-decadal time scale, total diatom abundance was high for the period after 1972, which coincided with 1) increased percentage of planktonic diatom abundance and Fi; 2) emergence and dominance of high productivity indicative cosmopolitan species such as Thalassionema nitzschioides and Paralia sulcata (their relative abundance increased from <1.5% to >7% for the period before and after 1972, respectively); 3) decreased relative abundance of the small-sized eutrophication indicative species, Cyclotella striata, from 70% to 40%. This study reveals that variations in the abundance of diatoms preserved in the sediment was a function of both production and dissolution/preservation of diatom valves, which in turn was intimately connected to the prevailing environmental/climatic conditions. In conclusion, these data reveal the existence of substantial changes in the coastal SCS in response to the 1970s climate shift that was recorded in different parts of the world.
Key words:    benthic diatoms|dissolution index|planktonic diatoms|primary productivity|South China Sea   
Received: 2016-04-24   Revised: 2016-06-08
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