Cite this paper:
Rediat ABATE, GAO Yahui, CHEN Changping, LIANG Junrong, MU Wenhua, Demeke KIFILE, CHEN Yanghang. Decadal variations in diatoms and dinoflagellates on the inner shelf of the East China Sea, China[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2017, 35(6): 1374-1386

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

Rediat ABATE1,3, GAO Yahui1,2, CHEN Changping1,2, LIANG Junrong1,2, MU Wenhua2, Demeke KIFILE4, CHEN Yanghang1
1 School of Life Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China;
2 Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystem, College of the Environment & Ecology, 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
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 29 152 to 177 501 valve/gram (v/g) dw and averaged 72 137 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.
Key words:    anthropogenic impact|benthic diatoms|pigment signature|nutrient concentration|Three Gorges Dam construction   
Received: 2016-01-29   Revised: 2016-09-07
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Articles by Rediat ABATE
Articles by GAO Yahui
Articles by CHEN Changping
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Articles by CHEN Yanghang
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