, Volume 568, Issue 1, pp 245–253 | Cite as

Spatial, seasonal and species variations of harmful algal blooms in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea

  • DanLing Tang
  • BaoPing Di
  • Guifeng Wei
  • I-Hsun Ni
  • Im Sang Oh
  • SuFen Wang
Primary Research Paper


The occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HABs), in terms of frequency and area in the Chinese coastal waters, have been increasing since 1980s and caused considerable economic losses. In the present study, we have analyzed spatial and seasonal characteristics of HAB events in the southern Yellow Sea and East China Sea along Chinese coast from 1933 to 2004. With a total 435 HAB records, the most frequent HAB occurrence area (FHA) is off the Yangtze River mouth and another two FHA areas are located south of the Yangtze River estuary along about isobaths of 30–60 m coastal water in the East China Sea. The time of HAB occurrence shifted during our study period: from autumn (August–October) before 1980s to July–August in 1980s, during May–July in 1990s, and May–June for the period of 2000–2004. Causative species were found to be different: Noctiluca scintillans and Skeletonema costatum were dominant causative species prior to 2000; and Prorocentrum donghaiense Lu was dominant from 2000 to 2004 and also caused large blooms in May. Trichodesmium sp. caused many HABs in autumn (August–October) prior to 1980s with only one HAB between 1980 and 2004. The changes of the dominant HAB species may have affected the timings of HAB occurrence, as well as the increasing HAB-affected areas in recent years.


harmful algal bloom distribution species variation Yellow Sea and East China Sea 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • DanLing Tang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • BaoPing Di
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guifeng Wei
    • 2
  • I-Hsun Ni
    • 3
  • Im Sang Oh
    • 4
  • SuFen Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.LED, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of the HydrobiologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Environment Biology and Fishery ScienceNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityTaiwan
  4. 4.Research Institute of Oceanography and School of Earth and Environmental SciencesSeoul National UniversityRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Environment ScienceFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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