Physical-biogeochemical interactions and potential effects on phytoplankton and Ulva prolifera in the coastal waters off Qingdao (Yellow Sea, China)

  • Qinsheng WeiEmail author
  • Baodong Wang
  • Qingzhen Yao
  • Zhigang Yu
  • Mingzhu Fu
  • Junchuan Sun
  • Bochao Xu
  • Linping Xie
  • Ming Xin


In recent years, the spectacular massive green tide of Ulva prolifera has become a recurrent phenomenon appearing every summer in the coastal waters off Qingdao (Yellow Sea, China), attracting the attention of scientists and local government. Based on multidisciplinary data collected during summer and winter, this study focuses on the hydrological characteristics and regional biogeochemical processes in coastal waters off Qingdao. The results show that the boundary of the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) can reach the Qingdao coastal region in summer and is locally raised to the upper layers to form coastal upwelling beyond tidal mixing and favorable wind. The regional summer upwelling off the Qingdao coast effectively enriches the nutrient concentrations in the upper water column and thus promotes growth of phytoplankton but reduces the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration and pH value in the bottom. The regional summer upwelling off Qingdao coast may facilitate the growth and regional blooming of the U. prolifera that migrate to this region with the southerly wind. Additionally, the effects of the front on the aggregation of U. prolifera may be significant. In winter, the Yellow Sea Warm Current (YSWC) extends and spreads along the offshore region off the Subei Shoal towards the Qingdao coastal sea. This tongue-shaped warm water meets the cold coastal water off Qingdao, which leads to the formation of a physical front. As a consequence, remarkable fronts of nutrient and chlorophyll a (Chl a) also form between the shoreward warm water and the cold coastal water. This study increases the understanding of the interactions between the regional physical, chemical, and biological processes off the Qingdao coast.

Key words

biogeochemical process upwelling front Ulva prolifera Qingdao coast southern Yellow Sea 


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We are grateful to the survey team and crew for their help and cooperation during the field investigation.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qinsheng Wei
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Baodong Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qingzhen Yao
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zhigang Yu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mingzhu Fu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junchuan Sun
    • 1
  • Bochao Xu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Linping Xie
    • 1
  • Ming Xin
    • 1
  1. 1.The First Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental SciencePilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao)QingdaoChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology of Ministry of EducationOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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