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Tempo-spatial distribution and species diversity of green algae micro-propagules in the Yellow Sea during the large-scale green tide development

Li, Yan, Song, Wei, Xiao, Jie, Wang, Zongling, Fu, Mingzhu, Zhu, Mingyuan, Li, Ruixiang, Zhang, Xuelei, Wang, Xiaona
Harmful algae 2014 v.39 pp. 40-47
Blidingia, Porphyra, Pyropia yezoensis, Ulva prolifera, algal blooms, aquaculture, biogeography, biomass, coasts, macroalgae, species diversity, surveys, China, Yellow Sea
From 2008 to 2013, vast green tides mainly composed of Ulva prolifera consecutively invaded the coast of Qingdao (36°06′N, 120°25′E, PR China) in June and July. Previous studies have shown that the early green tides initially formed in the Porphyra yezoensis aquaculture area of the Subei Shoal, southern Yellow Sea. To date, multiple studies have demonstrated that green algae micro-propagules play an important role in the formation of green tides. In this study, we aimed to assess the temporal and spatial distribution of green algae micro-propagules in an extensive area of the Yellow Sea and to determine the species diversity of propagules during the development of the large-scale green tide. We found that the quantity of micro-propagules increased with the free-floating biomass from the initial generation to the development phase of the green tide in mid May. From late May to mid June, the micro-propagule density decreased sharply despite a continuous increase of the floating macroalgae biomass. In addition, our data indicate that the coastal area of the Subei Shoal has always been the distribution center of the micro-propagules, even prior to the large-scale green tide formation. Furthermore, diverse green algae species, including Ulva prolifera, Ulva linza, Ulva flexuosa, Ulva compressa, Ulva pertusa and Blidingia sp., were identified among the micro-propagules in the survey sea area. Finally, we determined that the distribution of U. prolifera micro-propagules is closely related to the floating algal mats and attached macroalgae on Porphyra aquaculture rafts.