, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 208-225

Examination of silicate limitation of primary production in Jiaozhou Bay, China

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Jiaozhou Bay data collected from May 1991 to February 1994, in 12 seasonal investigations, and provided the authors by the Ecological Station of Jiaozhou Bay, were analyzed to determine the spatiotemporal variations in temperature, light, nutrients (NO 3 −N, NO 2 −N, NH 4 + −N, SiO 3 2− −Si, PO 4 3− −P), phytoplankton, and primary production in Jiaozhou Bay. The results indicated that only silicate correlated well in time and space with, and had important effects on, the characteristics, dynamic cycles and trends of, primary production in Jiaozhou Bay. The authors developed a corresponding dynamic model of primary production and silicate and water temperature. Eq. (1) of the model shows that the primary production variation is controlled by the nutrient Si and affected by water temperature; that the main factor controlling the primary production is Si; that water temperature affects the composition of the structure of phytoplankton assemblage; that the different populations of the phytoplankton assemblage occupy different ecological niches forC, the apparent ratio of conversion of silicate in seawater into phytoplankton biomas andD, the coefficient of water temperature's effect on phytoplankton biomass. The authors researched the silicon source of Jiaozhou Bay, the biogeochemical sediment process of the silicon, the phytoplankton predominant species and the phytoplankton structure. The authors considered silicate a limiting factor of primary production in Jiaozhou Bay, whose decreasing concentration of silicate from terrestrial source is supposedly due to dilution by current and uptake by phytoplankton; quantified the silicate assimilated by phytoplankton, the intrinsic ratio of conversion of silicon into phytoplankton biomass, the proportion of silicate uptaken by phytoplankton and diluted by current; and found that the primary production of the phytoplankton is determined by the quantity of the silicate assimilated by them. The phenomenon of apparently high plant-nutrient concentrations but low phytoplankton biomass in some waters is reasonably explained in this paper.