Long-term Environmental Changes: Interpretations from a Marine Benthic Ecologist's Perspective (II) -Eutrophication and Substratum Properties

  • Yoo Jae-Won (Department of Oceanography, Inha University) ;
  • Hong Jae-Sang (Department of Oceanography, Inha University) ;
  • Lee Jae June (Department of Statistics, Inha University)
  • Published : 1999.12.01


Chemical oxygen demand (COD), phytoplankton cell number and chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a), sediment mean grain size and ignition loss were studied to determine their temporal trends in the study area. Historical data of COD, cell number and Chl-a were gathered from the late 1960s or early 1980s to 1997, and trends in temporal domain were obtained from a simple regression. Sediments for grain size and ignition loss (as organic contents in sediments) were sampled from the Chokchon macrotidal flat bimonthly from September 1990 to November 1996, and were analyzed using the decomposition method of time series analysis. In general, the first three data showed increasing trends based on regression analysis. The trends of sediment grain size fluctuated in a neutral pathway while those of ignition loss yielded no increasing pattern. In contrast with the suggestions from Ahn and Choi (1998) who reported a coarsening variation in sediment grain size to be a cause of the directional and remarkable changes of macrofaunal communities in this area, we could not find such a corresponding variation pattern from our samples. In diagnosing eutrophication, a paradoxical phenomenon was encountered between the trends in water column (COD, cell number and Chl-a) and sediment (ignition loss) data. In this paper, we inferred the possible processes that produce the discrepancy. Some explanations and biological responses to eutrophication were predicted and discussed.