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Alkaline phosphatase activity in the phosphorus-limited southern Chinese coastal waters

Kang, Wei, Wang, Zhao-Hui, Liu, Lei, Guo, Xin
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2019 v.86 pp. 38-49
alkaline phosphatase, biomass, coastal water, environmental factors, enzyme activity, freshwater, inorganic phosphorus, particulates, phytoplankton, principal component analysis, water temperature, China
Three fractions of alkaline phosphatase activity (APA), including phytoplankton APA (phyto-APA), bacterial APA (bact-APA), and free-APA, were examined in the sea surface microlayer (SML) and the subsurface water (SSW) from Daya Bay, Guishan Island, and Guanghai Bay of southern China. Relationships between APA and environmental parameters were analyzed. The growth of phytoplankton was significantly limited by dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) in the three sea areas, especially in Daya Bay. Total-APA ranged between 1.41 and 35.26 nmol/L/hr, and the highest value was found in Daya Bay. The increased APA in Daya Bay was the result of the increase of phytoplankton biomass and the response of phytoplankton to P limitation. Phyto-APA was the main contributor in Daya Bay, while phyto- and free-APA co-dominated in Guishan Island and Guanghai Bay. Bact-, phyto-, and total-APA showed a significant inverse power function relationship with DIP, and 0.2 μmol/L was the threshold for DIP on particulates and total-APA. Pearson correlation analysis suggested that DIP limitation together with high N levels enhanced APA. High water temperature and freshwater input accelerated APA as well. Principal component analysis clearly separated samples from the three sea areas, as well as from the SML and the SSW, which indicated the differences in environmental parameters and APA levels. Our results highlight the influence of phosphorus limitation and environmental parameters on APA.