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Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology ›› 2023, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (8): 2205-2214.doi: 10.13287/j.1001-9332.202308.028

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Silicon composition and stoichiometric ratios with other nutrients in the lower Minjiang River, Southeast China

LIU Jiani1,2,3, ZHAI Shuijing1,2,3*, QIU Siting3, YU Xinhui1,2,3, WANG Sai3   

  1. 1Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350117, China;
    2Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory for Subtropical Resources and Environment, Fuzhou 350117, China;
    3School of Geographical Sciences/School of Carbon Neutrality Future Techno-logy, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350117, China
  • Received:2023-03-27 Accepted:2023-06-01 Online:2023-08-15 Published:2024-02-15

Abstract: Over the past decades, rivers have delivered imbalanced nutrient loads to coastal marine ecosystems due to human activities, which leads to serious regional or global eutrophication problems. The Minjiang River is heavily influenced by human activities. To understand the changing characteristics of nutrient transport ratios in the Minjiang River waters, we measured the seasonal variations of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon nutrients in the lower surface waters of the Minjiang River between July 2019 and July 2020. The results showed that the annual average contents of dissolved silicon (DSi), lithogenic silicon (LSi) and biogenic silicon (BSi) in the surface waters of the lower Minjiang River were 5.30, 4.58 and 2.37 mg·L-1, respectively. There were large seasonal differences among these parameters, with higher content of DSi than LSi and BSi in summer, higher content of DSi than BSi and LSi in autumn and higher content of LSi than DSi and BSi in winter. The proportions of DSi in total silicon tended to decrease gradually from land to sea, while the proportion of BSi was on the contrary. In term of stoichiometric ratios, the Minjiang River mostly presented carbon or phosphorus limitation and was unlimited by silicon or nitrogen. About 1.03×1010 mol DSi and 0.46 ×1010 mol BSi were delivered via the Minjiang River to the ocean yearly, showing a decreasing trend year by year. Based on the data in recent years, the nutrient loads of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus transported by Minjiang River showed an increasing trend. The imbalanced nutrient loads may lead to changes in the structure and function of the river, estuary, and offshore ecosystems. The study of nutrient stoichiometric ratios can provide a theoretical basis for solving the problems in structural balance of nutrients and eutrophication in Minjiang River estuary and adjacent marine waters.

Key words: silicon component, stoichiometric ratio, flux, lower reaches of the Minjiang River.