Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 9–17 | Cite as

Phytoplankton changes during SE monsoonal period in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, from 2012 to 2015

  • Senming Tang
  • Arief Rachman
  • Nurul Fitria
  • Hikmah Thoha
  • Bin Chen


Phytoplankton species composition and abundance in the Lembeh Strait waters was studied in four cruises of April 2013, May 2014, June 2012 and October 2015, during the period of monsoon transition time of SE monsoon. With data obtained the seasonal alternations of phytoplankton community structures and its driving factors were discussed. A total of 416 taxa belonging to 5 classes of phytoplankton were recorded in the four month surveys. Phytoplankton density was averaged 2 348 cell/L and diatoms and dinoflagellates had the most diversified species. Cyanobacterium was characterized by its low species numbers but high abundance in the waters of Lembeh Strait. Total phytoplankton abundance occurred low in April and October in the monsoon transition period and it raised high in May and June during the SE monsoon. Frequently occurred species were pelagic diatoms in addition to cyanobacterium Trichodesmium. Abundance and diversity of phytoplankton significantly differed seasonally. The diatoms Thalassionema and Pseudo-nitzschia, and cyanobacterium Trichodesmium contributed most to the community dissimilarities. Due to potentially higher nutrient supply in the south of Lembeh Strait, diatoms and dinoflagellates showed higher densities in the south than in the north of the strait. Though, cyanobacterium preferred distributing much evenly in all waters, it had higher density in the southern Lembeh Strait. Total phytoplankton abundance is quite low compared with the Jakarta Bay and some bays in China. Analysis showed that nutrients from upwelling forced by SE monsoon are the key factor varying the monthly phytoplankton abundances. Due to its primitive nature state, Lembeh water can be an ideal location for the study of pelagic ecosystem under merely the influence of macro environment changes with lower background noise from human activities.

Key words

Lembeh Strait phytoplankton diversity community alternation Trichodesmium monsoon 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors thank the researchers and technicians who assisted in the implementation of the study and the help from the Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences.


  1. Abdul-Hadi A, Mansor S, Pradhan B, et al. 2013. Seasonal variability of chlorophyll-a and oceanographic conditions in Sabah waters in relation to Asian monsoon—a remote sensing study. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment, 185(5): 3977–3991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrantes F. 1988. Diatom assemblages as upwelling indicators in surface sediments off Portugal. Marine Geology, 85(1): 15–39, doi: 10.1016/0025-3227(88)90082-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrian Susanto R D. 2003. Identification of three dominant rainfall regions within Indonesia and their relationship to sea surface temperature. International Journal of Climatology, 23(12): 1435–1452, doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1097-0088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baohong C, Muchtar M, Tingting F, et al. 2016. A baseline study of coastal water quality in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2013. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 104(1): 364–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berdalet E. 1997. Phytoplankton in a turbulent world. Scientia Marina, 61(61): 125–140Google Scholar
  6. Capone D G, Zehr J P, Paerl H W, et al. 1997. Trichodesmium, a globally significant marine cyanobacterium. Science, 276(5316): 1221–1229, doi: 10.1126/science.276.5316.1221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen C P, Gao Y H, Lin Peng. 2007. Seasonal changes of phytoplankton communities in waters of mangrove natural reserve in the estuarine of the Zhangjiang River, Fujian Province, China. Marine Sciences (in Chinese), 31(7): 25–31, doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1000-3096.2007.07. 006Google Scholar
  8. Cheng Zaodi, Gao Yahui, Dickman M. 1996. Color Plates of the Diatoms (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Dyhrman S T, Chappell P D, Haley S T, et al. 2006. Phosphonate utilization by the globally important marine diazotroph Trichodesmium. Nature, 439(7072): 68–71, doi: 10.1038/nature04203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Erdmann M V, Vagelli A. 2001. Banggai cardinalfish invade Lembeh Strait. Coral Reefs, 20(3): 252–253, doi: 10.1007/s003380100174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Germi F P. 2015. Over-ocean raptor migration in a monsoon regime: spring and autumn 2007 on Sangihe, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail, 56(25): 104–116Google Scholar
  12. Gieskes W W C, Kraay G W, Nontji A, et al. 1988. Monsoonal alternation of a mixed and a layered structure in the phytoplankton of the euphotic zone of the Banda Sea (Indonesia): A mathematical analysis of algal pigment fingerprints. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 22(2): 123–137, doi: 10.1016/0077-7579(88)90016-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guo Hao. 2004. Alas of Red Tide Species in China’s Coastal Waters (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean PressGoogle Scholar
  14. Hallegraeff G M, Mccausland M A, Brown R K. 1995. Early warning of toxic dinoflagellate blooms of Gymnodinium catenatum in southern Tasmanian waters. Journal of Plankton Research, 17(6): 1163–1176, doi: 10.1093/plankt/17.6.1163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Higginson M J, Altabet M A, Murray D W, et al. 2004. Geochemical evidence for abrupt changes in relative strength of the Arabian monsoons during a stadial/interstadial climate transition. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 68(19): 3807–3826, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2004.03.015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hobson L A, Mcquoid M R. 2001. Pelagic diatom assemblages are good indicators of mixed water intrusions into Saanich Inlet, a stratified fjord in Vancouver Island. Marine Geology, 174(1–4): 125–138, doi: 10.1016/S0025-3227(00)00146-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jephson T. 2012. Diel vertical migration in marine dinoflagellates. Department of Biology, Lund University. Lund: Academic Press, 122Google Scholar
  18. Jin D. 1964. Marine Phytoplankton of China (in Chinese). Shanghai: Shanghai Science and Technique PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Kämpf J, Chapman P. 2016. Seasonal wind-driven coastal upwelling systems. In: Upwelling Systems of the World. Switzerland: Academic Press, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 315–361Google Scholar
  20. Karl D, Michaels A, Bergman B, et al. 2002. Dinitrogen fixation in the world’s oceans. Biogeochemistry, 57–58(1): 47–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kinkade C, Marra J, Langdon C, et al. 1997. Monsoonal differences in phytoplankton biomass and production in the Indonesian seas: tracing vertical mixing using temperature. Deep Sea Research Part I Oceanographic Research Papers, 44(4): 581–592, doi: 10.1016/S0967-0637(97)00002-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koagouw J E, Mamuaya G E, Tarumingkeng A A, et al. 2013. Wind speed data analysis for predictions of sea waves in Bitung Coastal Waters. Aquatic Science & Management, Edisi Khusus 1, 35–39 (Mei 2013)Google Scholar
  23. Kromkamp J, Bie M D, Goosen N, et al. 1997. Primary production by phytoplankton along the Kenyan coast during the SE monsoon and November intermonsoon 1992, and the occurrence of Trichodesmium. Deep Sea Research Part II Topical Studies in Oceanography, 44(6–7): 1195–1212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Liefer J D, Macintyre H L, Novoveská L, et al. 2009. Temporal and spatial variability in Pseudo-nitzschia spp. in Alabama coastal waters: a “hot spot” linked to submarine groundwater discharge?. Harmful Algae, 8(5): 706–714, doi: 10.1016/j.hal. 2009.02.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu Dongyan, Jiang Jinjie, Wang Yan, et al. 2012. Large scale northward expansion of warm water species Skeletonema tropicum (Bacillariophyceae) in China seas. Chinese Journal of Liminology and Oceanography, 30(4): 519–527, doi: 10.1007/s00343-012-1249-xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Margalef R. 1978. Life-forms of phytoplankton as survival alternatives in an unstable environment. Oceanologica Acta, 1(4): 493–509Google Scholar
  27. Parsons M L, Dortch Q, Turner R E. 2002. Sedimentological evidence of an increase in Pseudo-nitzschia (Bacillariophyceae) abundance in response to coastal eutrophication. Limnology & Oceanography, 47(2): 551–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ross S, Wall G. 1999. Evaluating ecotourism: The case of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tourism Management, 20: 673–682, doi: 10.1016/S0261-5177(99)00040-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Satpathy K K, Sahu G, Mohanty A K, et al. 2009. Phytoplankton community structure and its variability during southwest to northeast monsoon transition in the coastal waters of Kalpakkam, east coast of India. International Journal of Oceans & Oceanography, 3(1): 43–74Google Scholar
  30. Seeyave S, Probyn T A, Pitcher G C, et al. 2009. Nitrogen nutrition in assemblages dominated by Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Alexandrium catenella and Dinophysis acuminata off the west coast of South Africa. Marine Ecology Progress, 379(1): 91–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sidabutar T, Bengen D G, Wouthuyzen S, et al. 2016. The abundance of phytoplankton and its relationship to the N/P ratio in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia. Biodiversitas, 17(2): 673–678, doi: 10.13057/biodivCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tang Senming, Chen Xingqun. 2006. Diurnal variations of phytoplankton communities in waters of Quanzhou Bay. Haiyang Xuebao (in Chinese), 28(4): 129–137Google Scholar
  33. Tang Dangling, Kawamura H, Van Dien T, et al. 2004. Offshore phytoplankton biomass increase and its oceanographic causes in the South China Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 268: 31–41, doi: 10.3354/meps268031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tas S, Okus E. 2009. Phytoplankton as an indicator of improving water quality in the Golden Horn Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts, 32(6): 1205–1224, doi: 10.1007/s12237-009-9207-3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Taylor A H, Allen J I, Clark P A. 2002. Extraction of a weak climatic signal by an ecosystem. Nature, 416(6881): 629–632, doi: 10.1038/416629aCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thoha H, Sugestiningsih Sidabutar T, et al. 2007. Note on the Occurrence of Phytoplankton and Its Relation with Mass Mortality in the Jakarta Bay, May and November 2004. Makara Seri Sains, 11(2): 673–678Google Scholar
  37. Thomas L C, Padmakumar K B, Smitha B R, et al. 2013. Spatio-temporal variation of microphytoplankton in the upwelling system of the south-eastern Arabian Sea during the summer monsoon of 2009. Oceanologia, 55(1): 185–204, doi: 10.5697/oc.55-1.185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tomas C R. 1997. Identifying Marine Phytoplankton. San Diego: Academic Press Venrick E L. 1978. 7.1.2 How many cells to count? Phytoplankton Manual. A. Sournia. Paris: UNESCO, 167–180Google Scholar
  39. Wang J J, Tang D L, Sui Y. 2010. Winter phytoplankton bloom induced by subsurface upwelling and mixed layer entrainment southwest of Luzon Strait. Journal of Marine Systems, 83(3): 141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wirtz K W, Wiltshire K. 2005. Long-term shifts in marine ecosystem functioning detected by inverse modeling of the Helgoland Roads time-series. Journal of Marine Systems, 56(3–4): 262–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yulihastin E, Kodama Y M. 2010. Contribution of shallow rain to develop local rainfall type over maritime continent based on TRMM PR Data. In: The Kyoto University Southeast Asia Forum Conference of the Earth and Space Sciences. Kyoto: Academic PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Third Institute of OceanographyMinistry of Natural ResourcesXiamenChina
  2. 2.Research Center for OceanographyIndonesian Institute of SciencesJakartaIndonesia

Personalised recommendations