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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 649:53-65 (2020)  -  DOI:

Exploring oxygen dynamics and depletion in an intensive bivalve production area in the coastal sea off Rushan Bay, China

Wentao Wu1,2,3, Jun Liu1,2, Alexander F. Bouwman3,4,5, Junjie Wang3,4, Xunqiang Yin1, Jiaye Zang1, Xiangbin Ran1,2,*

1First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, PR China
2Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266237, PR China
3Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, PR China
4Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
5PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Postbus 30314, 2500 GH The Hague, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Hypoxia is a mounting problem affecting the world’s coastal waters, with severe consequences for marine ecosystems. Coastal oxygen consumption has been increasing, mainly owing to the continued spread nutrient discharges. Using field observations, incubation experiments and numerical modeling, we studied the spatial and temporal variability of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the coastal area off Rushan Bay, China, a typical coastal area influenced by intensive mariculture oyster production. Results show that summer DO is increasingly declining in bottom waters below the thermocline. Oxygen input from the air-sea interface exchange, primary production and net water exchange accounted for 70, 26 and 4% of the DO supply, respectively. Oxygen consumption by organic matter decomposition in the water column and sediment contributed, respectively, 79 and 21% to the total DO removal. In regions such as the coastal area off Rushan Bay where the algal biomass filtered by bivalves is imported from elsewhere by sea currents, the carbon and nutrient release by mariculture may lead to local oxygen depletion, which increased from a negligible contribution in 1984 to up to 24% of the total DO consumption in the water column in the period of June-September 2014. This phenomenon of oxygen depletion is a concern for other coastal areas with intensive bivalve and other shellfish production.

KEY WORDS: Dissolved oxygen · Hypoxia · Sediment · Water column · Oxygen budget · Rushan Bay · Mariculture

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Cite this article as: Wu W, Liu J, Bouwman AF, Wang J, Yin X, Zang J, Ran X (2020) Exploring oxygen dynamics and depletion in an intensive bivalve production area in the coastal sea off Rushan Bay, China. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 649:53-65.

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