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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of river inputs on nutrient and organic-carbon conditions and net ecosystem metabolism in the Kaoping (Taiwan) coastal sea

J.-J. Hung A C , C.-M. Ho A and F.-K. Shiah B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Oceanography, Asian-Pacific Ocean Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

B Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

C Corresponding author. Email: hungjj@mail.nsysu.edu.tw

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(8) 697-709 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF13183
Submitted: 11 July 2013  Accepted: 30 October 2013   Published: 16 June 2014

Abstract

This study aims to understand the variability of net ecosystem metabolism in a tropical sea. The contrasting pattern of metabolic state between wet and dry seasons was caused by the pronounced difference of river exports in the Kaoping coastal sea. The depth-integrated gross primary production (IGPP) through the euphotic zone ranged from 2451 to 16 230 mg C m–2 day–1 in summer, and from 844 to 5549 mg C m–2 day–1 in winter, and was apparently regulated by oceanic temperature, nutrients and organic carbon. The depth-integrated dark community respiration (IDCR), attributed largely to bacterial respiration (BR, ~69%), ranged from 861 to 12 418 mg C m–2 day–1 in summer, and from 997 to 5781 mg C m–2 day–1 in winter. GPP and DCR correlated inversely with salinity but positively with nutrients, Chlorophyll a, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC). The autotrophic state (IGPP : IDCR > 1) prevailed in most stations in summer, whereas the heterotrophic state (IGPP : IDCR < 1) occurred in all but Station B1 in winter. Bacterial production (BP) and bacterial respiration (BR) also correlated inversely with salinity but positively with nutrients and DOC. Bacterial carbon demand (BCD) was 0.15 GPP in summer and 0.64 GPP in winter, supporting the autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions in summer and winter, respectively. The metabolic state is apparently determined by seasonal variation of temperature and river exports.

Additional keywords: autotrophic condition, community respiration, gross primary production, heterotrophic condition, river discharge.


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