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Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 4;9(1):5648. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42020-4.

East China Sea increasingly gains limiting nutrient P from South China Sea.

Author information

Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Taiwan Ocean Research Institute, National Applied Research Laboratories, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.
State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou, China.
Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan, China.
Department of Marine Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Geological Oceanography and State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.
Department of Marine Science, R.O.C. Naval Academy, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Environmental Engineering, Innovation and Development Center of Sustainable Agriculture (IDCSA), National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.
Department of Maritime Police, Central Police University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


The Taiwan Strait (TS) directly connects two of the richest fishing grounds in the world - the East China Sea (ECS) and the South China Sea (SCS). Carbon and nutrient supplies are essential for primary production and the Yangtze River is an important source for the ECS. However the ECS is severely P-limited. The TS transports an order of magnitude more carbon and a factor of two more phosphate (P) to the ECS than the Yangtze River does. To evaluate the temporal variability of these supplies, the total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), nitrate plus nitrite (N), P, and silicate (Si) fluxes through the TS were estimated using empirical equations for these parameters and the current velocity, which was estimated using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). These empirical equations were derived from in situ salinity and temperature and measured chemical concentrations that were collected during 57 cruises (1995-2014) with a total of 2096 bottle samples. The 24-month moving averages of water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes significantly increase with time, so does the satellite chlorophyll a concentration. More importantly, the increased supply of the badly needed P from the TS is more than that from the Yangtze River.

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