Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (7): 748-756.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015284

Special Issue: Marine Biodiversity Under Global Climate Change

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Time series variation of plankton in a remote industrial island, Taiwan Strait, southwestern Taiwan

Meng-Hsien Chen1, *(), Saou-Lien Wong2, Tzu-Chun Chen1, Chen-Tung Chen1   

  1. 1 Department of Oceanography, “Sun Yat-sen University”, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 80424
    2 Department of Aquaculture, Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan 91201
  • Received:2015-10-21 Accepted:2016-04-14 Online:2016-08-04
  • Chen Meng-Hsien E-mail:mhchenvic@gmail.com

Eighteen years of monitoring data at four sections along the coastline of Taisi Township, Yunlin County, between 1993 and 2010 were used to study the effects of power plant on plankton. Sampling was conducted at depths of 10 m and 20 m in each section. Among the four seasons, the fourth quarter (October to December) had the lowest average abundance of plankton over the years. However, the peak abundance of different types of plankton occurred in different seasons. Zooplankton had the highest abundance during the first and second seasons (January to June) while phytoplankton, shrimp larvae and crab larvae had the greatest abundance in the 2nd quarter (April to June) and the peak in fish egg and fish larvae occurred from the 1st to the 3rd quarter (January to September). Cumulative data from 18 years shows that the pH of SEC5 often dipped below 7.8 since the 3rd quarter of 2000. pH value lower than 7.8 were frequently measured in the stations of section 5. Each time the pH value is under 7.8, the quantities of zooplankton (75±69 ind./m3), phytoplankton ((1.60±2.28)×103 cell/L), shrimp larvae (2.4±5.8 ind./m3), crab larvae (1.9±5.0 ind./m3), fish egg (0.88±1.10 ind./m3), and fish larvae (0.16±0.32 ind./m3) showed significant low values (only the half of the total average). Accordingly, we strongly suggest that the warm water effluents discharging from a power plant should maintain the pH above 7.8 in the coastal waters to reduce the negative impact on the marine zooplankton biodiversity and abundance.

Key words: pH, plankton, Yunlin coast, ocean acidification, flue gas desulphurization (FGD)

Fig. 1

Map of sampling sites in the remote industrial island of Taiwan Strait. The sampling sections marked with -10 and -20 mean the sampling station at water depth of 10 m and 20 m, respectively."

Fig. 2

The monitoring data of abundance/density of plankton between 1993 and 2010 in the Taisi County, Yunlin, southwestern Taiwan. (a) Zooplankton; (b) Phytoplankton; (c) Shrimp larvae; (d) Crab larvae; (e) Fish eggs; (f) Fish larvae. The hollow triangles show the mean of total station, whereas the solid triangles are the mean abundance/density with pH<7.8, the vertical lines indicate the standard deviation, and the horizontal dotted lines are the overall total mean."

Fig. 3

Comparison with the seasonal and whole-year monitoring data between 1993 and 2010 in the Taisi County, Yunlin, Southwestern Taiwan. (a) Abundance of zooplankton; (b) Density of phytoplankton; (c) Abundance of shrimp larvae; (d) Abundance of crab larvae; (e) Abundance of fish eggs; (f) Abundance of fish larvae. “Before” (n = 7) means the data collected before the operation of the power plant between 1993 and 1999. “After” (n = 12) means the data were collected after the operation of the power plant. * P <0.05; ** P <0.01; ***P<0.001."

Fig. 4

Comparison with the monitoring data of the pH>7.8 (blank bar) and pH<7.8 (shaded bar) from the third quarter 2001 to second quarter 2010 in the Taisi County, Yunlin, Southwestern Taiwan. (a) Abundance of zooplankton; (b) Density of phytoplankton; (c) Abundance of shrimp larvae; (d) Abundance of crab larvae; (e) Abundance of fish eggs; (f) Abundance of fish larvae. * P <0.05; ** P <0.01; *** P<0.001."

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