Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 49(2): 323-337


Influence of environmental changes on phytoplankton pattern in Daya Bay, South China Sea

Mei-Lin Wu1,2, You-Shao Wang1, Yu-Tu Wang1, Fu-Lin Sun1, Cui-Ci Sun1, Zhao-Yu Jiang1 and Hao Cheng1

1State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Road Xingang, Guangzhou 510301, China

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In this study, we analyzed the environmental (physical and chemical) and biological (phytoplankton) data obtained from the Daya Bay, South China Sea, during 4 cruises, carried out in January, April, August and October, 2001. The main objective of this study was to identify the key environmental factors affecting phytoplankton structure in the bay. The results suggest that environmental factors like temperature and nutrients ratios have great influence on phytoplankton succession. Environmental factors are affected by the combination of human activities and nature processes. The limiting factor transited from N limiting in winter to P limiting in spring. Hydrodynamic processes (mixing in winter and stratification in summer) seem to be another main driving force for phytoplankton growth. The diatoms were the dominant group during most of the year and the dominant species were Chaetoceros affinis, Chaetoceros lorenzianus, and Nitzschia pungens all the year round.

Key words:  Nutrients, phytoplankton, limiting factors, Daya Bay, Principal component analysis