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The evaluation of marine biological value of the Jiangsu coastal zone (east of China) under the interference of human activities

Yu, Wenwen, Zou, Xinqing, Zhang, Dongju, Wang, Teng, Wang, Chenglong, Yao, Yulong, Zhang, Hu, Ben, Chengkai, Yuan, Jianmei
Ecological indicators 2019
anthropogenic activities, biodiversity, coasts, ecosystems, environmental indicators, fish, habitats, nekton, new species, phytoplankton, predators, sand, zooplankton, China
Using the marine biological valuation method, we selected five ecosystem components, namely, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, macrozooplankton, macrobenthos, and nekton, to evaluate the marine biodiversity value of Jiangsu’s offshore areas in 2006 (early-term coastal development) and 2014 (mid-term coastal development), and the impact of human activities on the values were analyzed based on the differences between the two time periods. In general, the biological value (BV) of the Jiangsu offshore area changed in the context of high-intensity human activities, disrupting the original spatial pattern of the natural geographical attributes indicated by the BV in 2006. From the perspective of various ecosystem components, the impact on macrobenthos is long-lasting and significant, the impact on plankton is temporary and recoverable, and the presence of offshore structures leads to the formation of new habitats that attract new species and more predators (fishes), with the BV of nekton in the radial sand ridge area being higher than that in other marine areas. The results of our approach confirm the importance of areas that were previously identified for protection (particularly in the central regions). Our results also highlight the value of currently unprotected sites, mainly in the northern and southern regions. Highlighting the impact of high-intensity human activities on the BV of Jiangsu lays a foundation for developing future marine spatial plans and provides a scientific reference and basis for administrative departments to develop marine management decisions.