Impacts of Asian Dust and Haze Particles Addition on Phytoplankton in Incubation Experiments in the Yellow Sea of China

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Huiwang Gao, Chao Zhang, Ying Liu, Jinhui Shi and Xiaohong Yao, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China
Atmospheric deposition (AD) induced by dust events and air pollutants has been considered as an important source of bio-available nutrients such as N, P, Si and trace metals (e.g., Fe, Cu, Pb) to the oceans. The coastal seas of China are severely affected by AD from Asian dust events and haze episodes, especially in spring and winter. In this study, several on-board incubation experiments were performed in the Yellow Sea of China during 2011 - 2014, to explore the responses of micro-, nano- and pico-phytoplankton to various combinations of Asian dust, nutrients and haze particles by measuring the size-fractionated chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration. In the experiments of Asian dust addition, the concentration of Chl a and the conversion efficiency index of N into Chl a increased by up to ~40 % and ~30 %, respectively, compared to the control, showing enhancement effects on the growth of phytoplankton. The addition of haze particles exhibited more obvious promotions of pico-phytoplankton growth, but more severe inhibitions of micro-phytoplankton growth than other treatments. The incubation experiments conducted in the Yellow Sea also indicated P limitation variations in spring and summer. It was inferred that both Asian dust and haze particles additions had significant impacts on the growth and structure of phytoplankton by modulating the limiting factors.