Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 101–110 | Cite as

The response of spring phytoplankton assemblage to diluted water and upwelling in the eutrophic Changjiang (Yangtze River) Estuary

  • Shuqun Song
  • Zhao Li
  • Caiwen LiEmail author
  • Zhiming Yu


A comprehensive study on the phytoplankton standing stocks, species composition and dominant species in the eutrophic Changjiang (Yangtze River) Estuary (CE) was conducted to reveal the response of phytoplankton assemblage to Changjiang Diluted Water (CDW) and upwelling in the spring. Phytoplankton presented peak standing stocks (13.03 μg/L of chlorophyll a, 984.5×103 cells/L of phytoplankton abundance) along the surface isohaline of 25. Sixty-six species in 41 genera of Bacillariophyta and 33 species in 19 genera of Pyrrophyta were identified, as well as 5 species in Chlorophyta and Chrysophyta. Karenia mikimotoi was the most dominant species, followed by Prorocentrum dentatum, Paralia sulcata, Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima and Skeletonema costatum. A bloom of K. mikimotoi was observed in the stratified stations, where the water was characterized by low nitrate, low phosphate, low turbidity, and specific ranges of temperature (18–22 °C) and salinity (27–32). K. mikimotoi and P. dentatum accumulated densely in the upper layers along the isohaline of 25. S. costatum was distributed in the west of the isohaline of 20. Benthonic P. sulcata presented high abundance near the bottom, while spread upward at upwelling stations. CDW resulted in overt gradients of salinity, turbidity and nutritional condition, determining the spatial distribution of phytoplankton species. The restricted upwelling resulted in the upward transport of P. sulcata and exclusion of S. costatum, K. mikimotoi and P. dentatum. The results suggested that CDW and upwelling were of importance in regulating the structure and distribution of phytoplankton assemblage in the CE and the East China Sea.

Key words

phytoplankton species composition algal bloom upwelling estuary 


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The authors thank the colleagues from Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences for their assistance in field and laboratory work.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuqun Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhao Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Caiwen Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhiming Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental ScienceQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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