Particulate carbohydrates and uronic acids in the northern East China Sea

Chin Chang Hung, Gwo Ching Gong, Kuo Ping Chiang, Hung Yu Chen, Kevin M. Yeager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Carbohydrate species, such as uronic acids, play an important role in oceanic carbon cycling, coagulation and adsorption processes. Concentrations of particulate carbohydrates (PCHO) and uronic acids (PURA) were measured in the northern East China Sea (ECS) during June and November, 2006. In June, maximum concentrations of PCHO and PURA were observed in the surface layer of coastal waters. Their concentrations rapidly decreased with depth, suggesting that they are both bio-reactive. Moreover, phytoplankton abundance and bacterial biomass seem to be associated with observed PCHO and PURA concentrations in the ECS during June, suggesting that production of carbohydrate species in the ECS is regulated by phytoplankton assemblages, bacterial assimilation or degradation. In November, however, PCHO and PURA concentrations were homogenous within the water column due to strong vertical mixing. No strong correlations were observed between carbohydrate species (PCHO and PURA) and phytoplankton or bacterial biomass, suggesting that production of these compounds in November might be caused by the physiological difference between nutrient limited and non-nutrient limited phytoplankton. Furthermore, strong negative correlations between nutrients and PCHO species suggest that nutrient levels may be one of the driving forces behind the production of these compounds in the ECS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 10 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to W. R. Yang, C. J. Tseng, M. Y. Lin, S. L. Li and the crew of the R/V Ocean Research I and II for their assistance in sample collection. We also appreciate comments on the manuscript provided by Peter Santschi. This research was funded by NSC (NSC95-2611-M-019-020, NSC95-2611-M-019-021-MY3, NSC96-2611-M-019-011, NSC97-2745-M-019-001 and NSC98-2628-M-019-011) and the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Bioscience at National Taiwan Ocean University.


  • carbohydrates
  • carbon cycle
  • nutrients
  • particulate organic carbon
  • phytoplankton
  • uronic acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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