Research Center for Environmental Changes


Research Center for Environmental Changes

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Wu W.,Xiamen University | Wu W.,National Taiwan University | Logares R.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Huang B.,Xiamen University | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2017

In this work, they compared patterns of abundant and rare picoeukaryotic sub-communities in the epipelagic waters (surface and 40–75 m depth subsurface layers) of the East and South China Seas across seasons via 454 pyrosequencing of the V4 region of 18S rDNA. They also examined the relative effects of environmental filtering, dispersal limitations and seasonality on community assembly. Their results indicated that (i) in the surface layer, abundant taxa are primarily influenced by dispersal limitations and rare taxa are primarily influenced by environmental filtering, whereas (ii) in the subsurface layer, both abundant and rare sub-communities are only weakly influenced by environmental filtering but are strongly influenced by dispersal limitations. Moreover, (iii) abundant taxa exhibit stronger temporal variability than rare taxa. They also found that abundant and rare sub-communities display similar spatial richness patterns that are negatively correlated with latitude and chlorophyll a and positively correlated with temperature. In summary, environmental filtering and dispersal limitations have different effects on abundant and rare picoeukaryotic sub-communities in different layers. Thus, depth appears as an essential variable that governs the structuring patterns of picoeukaryotic communities in the oceans and should be thoroughly considered to develop a more comprehensive understanding of oceanic microbial assemblages. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Decarlo T.M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Cohen A.L.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Wong G.T.F.,Earth and Atmospheric SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolk | Shiah F.-K.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2017

Coral reefs are built of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) produced biogenically by a diversity of calcifying plants, animals, and microbes. As the ocean warms and acidifies, there is mounting concern that declining calcification rates could shift coral reef CaCO3 budgets from net accretion to net dissolution. We quantified net ecosystem calcification (NEC) and production (NEP) on Dongsha Atoll, northern South China Sea, over a 2 week period that included a transient bleaching event. Peak daytime pH on the wide, shallow reef flat during the nonbleaching period was ∼8.5, significantly elevated above that of the surrounding open ocean (∼8.0-8.1) as a consequence of daytime NEP (up to 112 mmol C m-2 h-1). Diurnal-averaged NEC was 390±90 mmol CaCO3 m-2 d-1, higher than any other coral reef studied to date despite comparable calcifier cover (25%) and relatively high fleshy algal cover (19%). Coral bleaching linked to elevated temperatures significantly reduced daytime NEP by 29 mmol C m-2 h-1. pH on the reef flat declined by 0.2 units, causing a 40% reduction in NEC in the absence of pH changes in the surrounding open ocean. Our findings highlight the interactive relationship between carbonate chemistry of coral reef ecosystems and ecosystem production and calcification rates, which are in turn impacted by ocean warming. As open-ocean waters bathing coral reefs warm and acidify over the 21st century, the health and composition of reef benthic communities will play a major role in determining on-reef conditions that will in turn dictate the ecosystem response to climate change. © 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Janapati J.,National Central University | seela B.K.,National Central University | seela B.K.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Reddy M. V.,National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics | Year: 2017

Raindrop size distribution (RSD) characteristics in before landfall (BLF) and after landfall (ALF) of three tropical cyclones (JAL, THANE, and NILAM) induced precipitations are investigated by using a laser-based (PARticleSIze and VELocity - PARSIVEL) disdrometer at two different locations [Kadapa (14.47°N, 78.82°E) and Gadanki (13.5°N, 79.2°E)] in semi-arid region of southern India. In both BLF and ALF precipitations of these three cyclones, convective precipitations have higher mass weighted mean diameter (Dm) and lower normalized intercept parameter (log10Nw) values than stratiform precipitations. The radar reflectivity (Z) and rain rate (R) relations (Z=A*Rb) showed distinct variations in BLF and ALF precipitations of three cyclones. BLF precipitation of JAL cyclone has a higher Dm than ALF precipitation. Whereas, for THANE and NILAM cyclones ALF precipitations have higher Dm than BLF. The Dm values of three cyclones (both in BLF and ALF) are smaller than the Dm values of the other (Atlantic and Pacific) oceanic cyclones. Interaction of different regions (eyewall, inner rainbands, and outer rainbands) of cyclones with the environment and underlying surface led to RSD variations between BLF and ALF precipitations through different microphysical (collision-coalescence, breakup, evaporation, and riming) processes. The immediate significance of the present work is that (i) it contributes to our understanding of cyclone RSD in BLF and ALF precipitations, and (ii) it provides the useful information for quantitative estimation of rainfall from Doppler weather radar observations. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Liao W.-H.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Yang S.-C.,Research Center for Environmental Changes
Limnology and Oceanography | Year: 2017

The surface water of the Western Philippine Sea (WPS) receives a significant amount of anthropogenic aerosols from East Asia, serving as an ideal location to investigate the impact of anthropogenic aerosol deposition on trace metal composition and cycling in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean (NWPO). As part of the Taiwan GEOTRACES process study, we have collected size-fractionated plankton from surface water to investigate their metal composition in the open ocean. Elemental ratios in plankton, P- and Al-normalized, are used to evaluate the sources of trace metals and the relative contribution of different metal components in plankton assemblages. Most of the trace metal quotas in plankton are one to two orders of magnitude higher than their intracellular plankton quota, indicating that the majority of the metals are most likely to be extracellularly adsorbed or aggregated on plankton. The metal to Al ratios for most of the trace metals in plankton are also one to two orders of magnitude higher than their lithogenic composition, but are relatively close to metal composition in aerosols collected in situ. This supports the notion that particulate trace metals associated with plankton mainly originate from anthropogenic aerosols, not lithogenic particles. Compared to plankton metal quotas obtained in other oceanic regions, trace metal quotas observed in the WPS rank among the highest for Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu globally. Our study demonstrates that anthropogenic aerosol deposition has significantly elevated trace metal concentrations in the size-fractionated plankton in the surface water of the NWPO relative to the biological requirements. © 2017 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

Chen T.-Y.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Tai J.-H.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Ko C.-Y.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Hsieh C.-h.,Institute of Oceanography | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2016

This study demonstrated the potential effects of internal waves (IWs) on heterotrophic bacterial activities for the first time. Nine anchored studies were conducted from 2009-2012 in the South China Sea areas with different physical conditions, i.e. areas subjected to elevation IWs, to depression IWs, and to weak/no IWs. The latter two areas were treated as the Control sites. Field survey results indicated that within the euphotic zone, the minima of the depth-averaged bacterial production (IBP; ∼1.0 mgC m-3 d-1) and growth rate (IBμ; ∼0.1 d-1) at all sites were similar. Except for one case, the maxima of IBP (6-12 mgC m-3 d-1) and IBμ (0.55-1.13 d-1) of the elevation IWs areas were ∼fivefolds higher than those of the Control sites (IBP 1.7-2.1 mgC m-3 d-1; IBμ 0.13-0.24 d-1). Replicate surveys conducted at the north-western area of the Dongsha atoll during spring-to-neap (NW1 survey) and neap-to-spring (NW2 survey) tide periods showed a great contrast to each other. Low variation and averages of IBμ in NW1 survey were similar to those of the Control sites, while those in NW2 were similar to the other elevation IWs sites with larger variation and higher averages of IBμ. This finding suggests that bacterial activities may be a function of the lunar fortnightly (14-day) cycle. Enrichment experiments suggested more directly that the limiting inorganic nutrients introduced by the elevation waves (EIWs) may contribute a higher IBμ within the euphotic zone. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Qu T.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Hsin Y.-C.,Research Center for Environmental Changes
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

Analyses of outputs from an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model show that there are at least two groups of subthermocline eddies near the Philippine coast: one originates from the southeast, and the other from the east. The dominant period and principal depth of the former (latter) group of eddies are about 55 days (67 days) and 600 m (350 m), respectively. The propagation speed (∼0.12 m s-1) and diameter (∼3°) of the two groups of eddies are similar. We suggest that the westward propagating eddies are generated by interactions between meridional movement of the westward-flowing North Equatorial Current, the eastward-flowing North Equatorial Undercurrent, and their interactions with topography. Besides, the analysis indicates that, in comparison with the northwestward propagating subthermocline eddies, the westward propagating ones play a more important role in modulating the subsurface circulation near the Philippine coast. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Zhang Y.,Xiamen University | Xie X.,Xiamen University | Jiao N.,Xiamen University | Hsiao S.S.-Y.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | And 2 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2014

Coupled nitrification-denitrification plays a critical role in the removal of excess nitrogen, which is chiefly caused by humans, to mitigate estuary and coastal eutrophication. Despite its obvious importance, limited information about the relationships between nitrifying and denitrifying microbial communities in estuaries, and their controlling factors have been documented. We investigated the nitrifying and denitrifying microbial communities in the estuary of turbid subtropical Yangtze River (YRE), the largest river in Asia, by analyzing the ammonia monooxygenase gene amoA, including archaeal and bacterial amoA, and the dissimilatory nitrite reductase gene nirS using clone libraries and quantitative PCR (qPCR). The diversity indices and rarefaction analysis revealed a quite low diversity for both β2-proteobacterial and archaeal amoA genes, but qPCR data showed significantly higher amoA gene copy numbers for archaea than β2-proteobacteria. Compared with the amoA gene, a significantly higher level of diversity but lower gene copy numbers were found for the nirS gene. Nitrification and denitrification rates based on 15N incubation experiments supported gene abundance data as denitrification rates were below detection limit, suggesting lower denitrification than nitrification potential. In general, the abundances of the amoA and nirS genes were significantly higher in the bottom samples than the surface ones, and in the high-turbidity river mouth, were significantly higher in the particle-associated (> 3 μm) than the free-living (0.2 ~ 3 μm) communities. Notably, positive correlations between the amoA and nirS gene abundances suggested potential gene-based coupling between nitrification and denitrification, especially for the particle-associated assemblages. Statistical analysis of correlations between the community structure, gene abundances and environmental variables further revealed that dissolved oxygen and total suspended material might be the key factors controlling community spatial structure and regulating nitrification and denitrification potentials in the YRE ecosystem. © Author(s) 2014.

Hsin Y.-C.,Research Center for Environmental Changes
Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans | Year: 2015

Based on the analyses of 59 year (1950-2008) surface geostrophic velocities, the multidecadal changes of Kuroshio from the eastern Luzon to the southern Japan are investigated. Result shows that the upstream Kuroshio from the east of Luzon to southern East China Sea suffers much more obvious multidecadal changes. Except for the decade of 1980, the Kuroshio east of Luzon possesses a multidecadal tendency opposite to that east of Taiwan. Besides 1980s, the multidecadal change of Kuroshio bordering Taiwan is mainly governed by the eddy activity off the eastern Taiwan, while the wind stress curl plays a major role in the Kuroshio in the east of Luzon and in the Luzon Strait. The wind-stress-induced Ekman transport plays a secondary role in regulating the Kuroshio east of Luzon. In addition, the multidecadal fluctuation of Kuroshio east of Luzon also modulates the westward intrusion in the Luzon Strait. Instead, the Ekman transport dominated the whole upstream Kuroshio area from the eastern Luzon to the vicinity of Taiwan during the exceptional decade of 1980. Associated changes of water properties in the northern South China Sea and southern East China Sea are also ascribed to the multidecadal changes of surface Kuroshio in the upstream area. © 2015. American Geophysical Union.

Wong G.T.F.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Pan X.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Li K.-Y.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Shiah F.-K.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | And 2 more authors.
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2015

The hydrographic characteristics and the distributions of nitrate+nitrite, or (N+N), and soluble reactive phosphate, or SRP, in the Northern South China Sea Shelf-sea (NoSoCS) were determined in four transects across the shelf in the summer of 2010 and in two transects in the winter of 2011. The NoSoCS may be sub-divided into the inner shelf, the middle shelf and the outer shelf at water depths of <40 m, 40-90 m and 90-120 m, respectively. The water in the inner shelf is colder and its concentrations in the nutrients and chlorophyll-a (Chl_a) are higher in both seasons while the water in the outer shelf is warmer and its concentrations are lower. With depth, since the mixed layer depth in the NoSoCS in the winter (~70 m) and in the summer (~40 m) are both shallower than the shelf break depth (~120 m), the colder and relatively nutrient-rich upper thermocline-upper nutricline water in the open South China Sea (SCS) can freely extend into the NoSoCS to become its bottom water. This is a distinguishing characteristic of the NoSoCS as, unlike many of the more extensively studied temperate shelf-seas, vertical mixing within the NoSoCS, rather than shelf-edge processes such as upwelling, is the primary mechanism for bringing the nutrients from the sub-surface in the adjoining northern SCS to its mixed layer for supporting primary production. Four processes that may contribute to this vertical mixing in the NoSoCS include: shelf-wide winter surface cooling and convective mixing; the actions of internal waves which probably occur in both seasons along the entire outer shelf; wind and topographically induced coastal upwelling in the summer off Shantou at the northwestern corner of the NoSoCS; and winter formation of bottom water at the outer portion of the inner shelf and the inner portion of the middle shelf. The density of this bottom water formed in the winter of 2011 was equivalent to the density at ~120 m in the open SCS so that it could cascade across the shelf and contribute to not only vertical mixing but also in cross shelf mixing and the ventilation of the upper thermocline and nutricline of the open SCS. An enrichment in (N+N) over SRP, where (N+N)/SRP exceeded the Redfield ratio of 16 and [N+N]ex>0, was found when salinity dropped below about 33. In these fresher waters, which were found exclusively in the inner shelf during this study, SRP potentially could become the limiting nutrient. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Freychet N.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Hsu H.-H.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Chou C.,Research Center for Environmental Changes | Wu C.-H.,Research Center for Environmental Changes
Journal of Climate | Year: 2015

Change in extreme events in climate projections is a major concern. If the frequency of dry events is expected to increase in a warmer climate (thus, the overall number of wet days will decrease), heavy and extreme precipitation are also expected to increase because of a shift of the precipitation spectrum. However, the forecasts exhibit numerous uncertainties. This study focuses on the Asian region, separated into the following three subregions: the East Asian region, the Indian region, and western North Pacific region, where the summer monsoon can bring heavy rainfall. Particularly emphasized herein is the reliability of the projection, using data from a large ensemble of 30 models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. The scattering of the ensemble enables obtaining an optimal estimate of the uncertainties, and it is used to compute the correlation between projected changes of extreme events and circulation changes. The results show clear spatial and temporal variations in the confidence of changes, with results being more reliable during the wet season (i.e., the summer monsoon). The ensemble predicts changes in atmospheric circulation with favorable confidence, especially in the low-level moisture flux convergence (MFC). However, the correlation between this mean change and the modification of extreme events is nonsignificant. Also analyzed herein are the correlation and change of MFC exclusively during these events. The horizontal MFC exerts a nonnegligible influence on the change in the intensity of extremes. However, it is mostly the change in vertical circulation and moisture advection that is correlated with the change in frequency and intensity of extreme events. © 2015 American Meteorological Society.

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