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Li Zhang, Yumin Yang, Weihong He, Jie Xu, Ruihuan Li. Fluxes of riverine nutrient to the Pearl River Estuary and its potential eutrophication effect[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1919-7
Citation: Li Zhang, Yumin Yang, Weihong He, Jie Xu, Ruihuan Li. Fluxes of riverine nutrient to the Pearl River Estuary and its potential eutrophication effect[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1919-7

Fluxes of riverine nutrient to the Pearl River Estuary and its potential eutrophication effect

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1919-7
Funds:  Special Project for Marine Economic Development (Six Major Marine Industries) of Guangdong Province under contract No. GDNRC[2020]064; Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) under contract Nos GML2019ZD0303, GML2019ZD0305 and GML2019ZD0402; Innovation Academy of South China Sea Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract Nos ISEE2019ZR02 and ISEE2019ZR03; National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41676075 and 41706085; Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province under contract No. 2018B030320005.
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  • The Pearl River Estuary is becoming eutrophic due to the impact of anthropogenic activities in the past decades. To understand nutrient dynamics and fluxes to Lingdingyang via four outlets (Humen, Jiaomen, Hongqimen and Hengmen), we investigated the spatial distribution and seasonal variation of dissolved nutrients in the Pearl River Estuary, based on fourteen cruises conducted from March 2015 to October 2017, covering both wet (April to September) and dry (October to March next year) seasons. Our results showed that riverine fluxes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved silicate (DSi) into the Lingdingyang through four outlets varied seasonally due to the influence of river discharge, with the highest in spring and the lowest in winter. However, riverine flux of phosphate exhibited little significant seasonal variability. Riverine nutrients into Lingdingyang most resulted through Humen Outlet. The estuarine export fluxes of DIN out of the Pearl River Estuary derived from a box model were higher than fluxes of riverine nutrients in May, likely due to the influence of local sewage, while lower than riverine flux in August. The export fluxes of phosphate were higher than the fluxes of riverine phosphate in May and August. In contrast, large amounts of DSi were buried in the estuary in May and August. Although excess DIN was delivered into the Pearl River Estuary, eutrophication effect was not as severe as expected in the Pearl River Estuary, since the light limitation restricted the utilization of nutrients by phytoplankton.
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