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Hydro-biogeochemical processes and their implications for Ulva prolifera blooms and expansion in the world's largest green tide occurrence region (Yellow Sea, China)

Wei, Qinsheng, Wang, Baodong, Yao, Qingzhen, Fu, Mingzhu, Sun, Junchuan, Xu, Bochao, Yu, Zhigang
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.645 pp. 257-266
Ulva prolifera, algal blooms, coastal water, coasts, eutrophication, nutrients, particulates, phytoplankton, summer, synergism, China, Yellow Sea
The hydro-biogeochemical processes in the world's largest area of green tide occurrence, off the Jiangsu coast in the Yellow Sea, are investigated in the summer, and their implications for Ulva prolifera blooms are discussed. The results show that the offshore transport of coastal water and the inshore upwelling of offshore bottom water both occur off the Jiangsu coast, and the upwelling position is consistent with the 20- to 30-m isobath off the Subei Shoal. The upwelling results in nutrient supplementation off the shoal, where a rapid decrease in the suspended particulate matter content contributes to good light conditions. As a result, a high-value area of phytoplankton is formed within the 20- to 30-m isobath. Eutrophication in the shoal has provided nutrients for the frequent occurrence of Ulva prolifera in recent years, whereas the upwelling area off the shoal has served as a “service station” or “courier station” for floating Ulva prolifera and promoted the species' propagation. The propagation of Ulva prolifera in the upwelling area and its blooms within the Subei Shoal can have a spatially synergistic effect, leading to its large-scale development. Our findings reveal the mechanisms that trigger the world's largest green tides from the perspective of physical-biogeochemical interactions.