Effects of flooding on organic carbon consumption in the East China Sea

C. C. Chen*, G. C. Gong, W. C. Chou, C. C. Chung, F. K. Shiah, K. P. Chiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to determine the effects of flooding on plankton community respiration (CR) in the East China Sea (ECS). In July 2010, a devastating flood occurred in the Changjiang River; the mean monthly discharge was 60 527m3 s1. To compare, the variables 5 were also examined in the low riverine flow of July 2009 (33 955m3 s1). During the flooding, the Changjiang diluted water (CDW) zone, the sea surface salinity (SSS) was ≤ 31 psu, covering almost two thirds of the ECS, which was approximately six times that in the non-flooding period. The mean nitrate concentration was higher in 2010 (6.2 μM) than in 2009 (2.0 μM). However, in the 2010 flood, 10 the mean values of Ch1 a and the bacterial biomass were only slightly higher or even lower than in 2009. Surprisingly, however, the CR was still higher in the flood period than in the non-flood period, with mean values of 105.6 and 73.2mgCm3 d1, respectively. The higher CR in 2010 could be attributed to vigorous plankton activities, especially phytoplankton, at stations in the CDW zone, which were not mostly covered 15 by low SSS in 2009. There was a huge amount of fCO2 drawdown in the 2010 flood. These results suggested that the devastating flood in 2010 had a significant effect on the carbon balance in the ECS. This effect might become more pronounced as extreme rainfall events and flooding magnitudes increase dramatically throughout the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5609-5639
Number of pages31
JournalBiogeosciences Discussions
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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