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Buoyancy potential of dominant green macroalgal species in the Yellow Sea's green tides, China

Fu, Mingzhu, Fan, Shiliang, Wang, Zongling, Song, Wei, Sun, Kaiming, Han, Hongbin, Xiao, Jie, Shen, Songdong
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.140 pp. 301-307
Pyropia yezoensis, Ulva prolifera, algal blooms, field experimentation, light intensity, macroalgae, physiological state, species diversity, water pollution, China, Yellow Sea
Large-scale green tides caused by Ulva prolifera, occurred for 12 consecutive years in the Yellow Sea of China. To resolve the abrupt shift in species composition between attached and floating macroalgal assemblages, field experiments were conducted from May to July 2017 to quantify the net buoyancy force and compare the floating potential of the common green macroalgae from the red algal seaweed Pyropia yezoensis rafts. At the same time, U. prolifera from different sampling locations were tested to study variable buoyancy of this species and the associated influencing factors. Our results illustrated a stronger positive buoyant force and a proportionally greater buoyancy capacity of U. prolifera, compared to the other co-occurring species. Buoyancy is a dynamic trait and is closely correlated with light intensity, morphology and physiological status. The positive buoyancy of U. prolifera is an important factor that helps explain its predominance in the Yellow Sea's large-scale green tides.