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Volume 8, issue 2
Biogeosciences, 8, 289–300, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 8, 289–300, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Feb 2011

Research article | 09 Feb 2011

Influence of seasonal monsoons on net community production and CO2 in subtropical Hong Kong coastal waters

X.-C. Yuan1,2, K. Yin3,4, W.-J. Cai5, A. Y. Ho2, J. Xu2, and P. J. Harrison2 X.-C. Yuan et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Environmental Dynamics, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • 2Division of Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 3School of Marine Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
  • 4Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
  • 5Department of Marine Sciences, the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

Abstract. Data from seven cruises in three different environments including the Pearl River estuary, sewage discharge outfall, and eastern coastal/shelf waters were used to examine the seasonal variations in net community production (NCP) and the biologically active gases O2 and CO2. In the winter dry season, when monsoon-induced downwelling was dominant, NCP was negative (−84 ± 50 mmol C m−2 d−1) in all three regions. The negative NCP corresponded to O2 influxes of 100 ± 50 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 and CO2 effluxes of 24 ± 10 mmol C m−2 d−1. In the summer wet season, when upwelling brought the deep oceanic waters to the coast due to the southwest monsoonal winds, there was a 2 to 15-fold increase in integrated primary production (IPP) compared to winter. The increase in IPP was likely due to the favorable conditions such as stratification and the nutrient inputs from upwelled waters and the Pearl River estuary. NCP in the mixed layer reached up to 110 ± 48 mmol C m−2 d−1 in the wet season. However, accompanying the high positive NCP, we observed an O2 influx of 100 ± 60 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 and CO2 efflux of 21 ± 15 mmol C m−2 d−1. The contradictory observation of positive NCP and CO2 release and O2 uptake in the mixed layer could be explained by the influence of the southwest monsoon-induced upwelling along with the influence of the Pearl River, as the upwelling brought cold, low dissolved oxygen (DO, 160 ± 30 μM) and high dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, 1960 ± 100 μatm) water to the surface in the wet season. Hence, the subtropical Hong Kong coastal waters are generally a CO2 source due to the monsoonal influence during both the dry-heterotrophic and wet-autotrophic seasons.

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