Population Dynamics of Benthic-Pelagic Organisms in Relation to Oceanographic Features in East Sea, Korea

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 February 2023) | Viewed by 17227

Special Issue Editors

Risk Assessment Research Center, KIOST (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea
Interests: algal bloom; red tide; dinoflagellate; bacterioplankton; polynucleobacter; bacteria; marginal sea; Japan; sea of Japan
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Geoje 53201, Republic of Korea
Interests: benthic-pelagic coupling; food web; stable isotope ecology; community structure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The East Sea (otherwise known as the Sea of Japan) is a marginal sea in the western North Pacific characterized by relatively small sized and semi-enclosed geographical features. The East Sea is regarded as a miniature version of the ocean showing very dynamic environmental conditions with respect to its physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. The oceanographic structures are largely associated with the Tsushima Warm Current and Liman Cold Current as well as East Sea Proper Water. The variations in water mass between the surface Tsushima warm water and the homogeneous cold deep water have influenced the dynamics of a marine ecosystem in the East Sea. Recently, the entire East Sea has warmed due to expansion of the Tsushima Warm Current in consequence of global climate change. The impact on and temporal responses of the biota to change, together with food web structures and benthic-pelagic processes, appear to be due to influences of climate, as well as the non-climate related past and continuing human impacts. In the absence of a baseline from which to compare past and future studies, however, it is impossible to predict effectively the impacts of anthropogeny and climate change on the biodiversity of the area. The purpose of this special issue is to publish the novel and high-quality research with respect to the below subjects as well as included other oceanographic and biological issues.

  1. Oceanographic features in East Sea
  2. Effect on the structure and function of pelagic food webs.
  3. Community structures of planktonic and benthic organisms
  4. Habitat and environment in Deep Sea Water of East Sea

Dr. Seung Ho Baek
Dr. Joo Myun Park
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • East Sea
  • oceanography
  • phytoplankton community
  • macrobenthic community structures
  • benthic-pelagic coupling
  • stable isotope analyses
  • food web
  • deep sea water
  • Dokdo

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1680 KiB  
Article
Species Diversity and Community Structure of Macrobenthos in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Republic of Korea
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11010092 - 03 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1500
Abstract
The Ulleung Basin of the East Sea is a biological hotspot, but studies on the macrobenthos therein are lacking. To evaluate the macrobenthos species diversity and community structure in the Ulleung Basin, we conducted a survey from 2017 to 2021. A total of [...] Read more.
The Ulleung Basin of the East Sea is a biological hotspot, but studies on the macrobenthos therein are lacking. To evaluate the macrobenthos species diversity and community structure in the Ulleung Basin, we conducted a survey from 2017 to 2021. A total of 262 species of macrobenthos was detected by the survey, and the average habitat density was 243 individuals/m2. The average biomass of macrobenthos was 43.7 g/m2, and the average Shannon and Wiener’s diversity index was 2.3 (0.69–3.61). The dominant species were the polychaetes Terebellides horikoshii, Chaetozone setosa, Scalibregma inflatum, and Aglaophamus sp. and the bivalvia Axinopsida subquadrata. The community structure of macrobenthos differed according to water depth, and a correlation analysis using environmental variables showed that the community was affected by water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. The macrobenthic fauna in the Ulleung Basin was greatly influenced by water depth, the sedimentary environment was different, and the dominant species were also different. In addition, there was little seasonal change compared to the East Sea coast. Our findings will facilitate further investigation of benthic ecosystems throughout the East Sea. Full article
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18 pages, 2450 KiB  
Article
A CHEMTAX Study Based on Picoeukaryotic Phytoplankton Pigments and Next-Generation Sequencing Data from the Ulleungdo–Dokdo Marine System of the East Sea (Japan Sea): Improvement of Long-Unresolved Underdetermined Bias
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(12), 1967; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10121967 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
The CHEMTAX program has been widely used to estimate community composition based on major pigment concentrations in seawater. However, because CHEMTAX is an underdetermined optimization algorithm, underdetermined bias has remained an unsolved problem since its development in 1996. The risk of producing biased [...] Read more.
The CHEMTAX program has been widely used to estimate community composition based on major pigment concentrations in seawater. However, because CHEMTAX is an underdetermined optimization algorithm, underdetermined bias has remained an unsolved problem since its development in 1996. The risk of producing biased results increases when analyzing the picophytoplankton community; therefore, this study tested a new method for avoiding biased CHEMTAX results using the picophytoplankton community around the East Sea (Japan Sea). This method involves building a linear model between pigment concentration data and community composition data based on DNA sequencing to predict the pigment range for each operational taxonomic unit, based on the 95% prediction interval. Finally, the range data are transformed into an initial ratio and ratio limits for CHEMTAX analysis. Three combinations of initial ratios and ratio limits were tested to determine whether the modeled initial ratio and ratio limit could prevent underdetermined bias in the CHEMTAX estimates; these combinations were the modeled initial ratio and ratio limit, the modeled initial ratio with a default ratio limit of 500 s, and an initial ratio from previous research with the default ratio limit. The final ratio and composition data for each combination were compared with Bayesian compositional estimator-based final ratio and composition data, which are robust against underdetermined bias. Only CHEMTAX analysis using the modeled initial ratio and ratio limit was unbiased; all other combinations showed significant signs of bias. Therefore, the findings in this study indicate that ratio limits and the initial ratio are equally important in the CHEMTAX analysis of biased datasets. Moreover, we obtained statistically supported initial ratios and ratio limits through linear modeling of pigment concentrations and 16s rDNA composition data. Full article
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15 pages, 4027 KiB  
Article
In-Situ Estimates of Net Ecosystem Metabolisms in the Rocky Habitats of Dokdo Islets in the East Sea of Korea
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070887 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1188
Abstract
We measured oxygen (O2) fluxes in two major shallow subtidal benthic habitats (kelp bed (KB) and bare rock (BR) covered with crustose coralline algae) of Dokdo islet in the East Sea by applying noninvasive in-situ aquatic eddy covariance (AEC). The AEC [...] Read more.
We measured oxygen (O2) fluxes in two major shallow subtidal benthic habitats (kelp bed (KB) and bare rock (BR) covered with crustose coralline algae) of Dokdo islet in the East Sea by applying noninvasive in-situ aquatic eddy covariance (AEC). The AEC device allows time series measurements (~24 h) of three-dimensional velocity (u, v, and w components) and high-resolution dissolved O2. This allows estimation of O2 exchange flux via benthic habitats. Local flow rates and irradiance levels were found to be major factors controlling O2 exchange flux in the rocky habitats. Gross primary production rates tended to be significantly higher in KB (163 mmol O2 m−2 d−1) than in BR (51 mmol O2 m−2 d−1). The net ecosystem metabolisms were assessed as opposite types, with 8 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 in KB (autotrophy) and –12 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 in BR (heterotrophy). Our results indicate that kelp beds are important for organic carbon cycling in rocky coastal waters and that AEC application to macroalgae habitats is a useful assessment approach. Full article
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16 pages, 7631 KiB  
Article
Summer Distributional Characteristics of Surface Phytoplankton Related with Multiple Environmental Variables in the Korean Coastal Waters
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(7), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070850 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Multiple environmental variables related to ocean currents, freshwater runoff, and upwelling in a coastal area have complex effects on the phytoplankton community. To assess the influence of environmental variables on the phytoplankton community structure during the summer of 2019, we investigated the various [...] Read more.
Multiple environmental variables related to ocean currents, freshwater runoff, and upwelling in a coastal area have complex effects on the phytoplankton community. To assess the influence of environmental variables on the phytoplankton community structure during the summer of 2019, we investigated the various abiotic and biotic factors in Korean coastal waters (KCWs), separated into five different zones. Summer environmental factors in KCWs were strongly influenced by Changjiang Diluted Water (CDW) in St. SO (Southern Offshore) 1 and 2, upwelling in St. SI (Southern Inshore) 2–4, and Nakdong River discharge in St. SI 12. In particular, low–salinity water masses (p < 0.05 for nearby locations) of CDW gradually expanded from the East China Sea to southwestern KCWs from June to July. In addition, there were high levels of nutrients following freshwater runoff from the Nakdong River in southeastern KCW, which led to the dominance of Cryptomonas spp. (81%), a freshwater and brackish water algae. On the other hand, upwelling areas in southwestern KCW were dominated by diatoms Skeletonema spp., and are characterized by high phosphate concentrations (p < 0.05) and low temperatures (p < 0.05) compared to nearby locations. Leptocylindrus danicus (20%) was dominant due to the effect of water temperature in the SE (Southeastern area) zone. Low nutrient concentrations were maintained in the East Sea (dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) = 0.39 ± 0.40 μM; dissolved inorganic phosphate (DIP) = 0.09 ± 0.03 μM) and the Yellow Sea (DIN = 0.40 ± 0.07 μM; DIP = 0.04 ± 0.02 μM), which were characterized by low levels of chlorophyll a and dominated by unidentified small flagellates (35, 40%). Therefore, our results indicated that hydro–oceanographic events such as upwelling and freshwater run–off, but not ocean currents, provide nutrients to the euphotic layers of the coastal environment and play important roles in determining the phytoplankton community structure during summer in the KCWs. Full article
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11 pages, 2059 KiB  
Article
Organic Carbon Oxidation in the Sediment of the Ulleung Basin in the East Sea
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10050694 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
We characterized the biogeochemical organic carbon (Corg) cycles in the surface sediment layer of the Ulleung Basin (UB) of the East Sea. The total oxygen uptake (TOU) rate and the diffusive oxygen uptake (DOU) rate of the sediment were measured using [...] Read more.
We characterized the biogeochemical organic carbon (Corg) cycles in the surface sediment layer of the Ulleung Basin (UB) of the East Sea. The total oxygen uptake (TOU) rate and the diffusive oxygen uptake (DOU) rate of the sediment were measured using an autonomous in situ benthic lander equipped with a benthic chamber (KIOST BelcII) and a microprofiler (KIOST BelpII). The TOU rate was in the range of 1.51 to 1.93 mmol O2 m−2 d−1, about double the DOU rate. The high TOU/DOU ratio implies that the benthic biological activity in the upper sediment layer is one of the important factors controlling benthic remineralization. The in situ oxygen exposure time was about 20 days, which is comparable to the values of other continental margin sediments. The sedimentary Corg oxidation rates ranged from 6.4 to 6.5 g C m−2 yr−1, which accounted for ~2% of the primary production in UB. The Corg burial fluxes ranged from 3.14 ± 0.12 to 3.48 ± 0.60 g C m−2 yr−1, corresponding to more than 30% of the deposited Corg buried into the inactive sediment deep layer. Full article
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20 pages, 35574 KiB  
Article
Relationship of Spatial Phytoplankton Variability during Spring with Eutrophic Inshore and Oligotrophic Offshore Waters in the East Sea, Including Dokdo, Korea
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(12), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9121455 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2340
Abstract
The area near the subpolar front of the East Sea has high primary productivity during the spring season. We conducted two surveys, one in early spring and another in late spring, to assess environmental factors that influence phytoplankton community structure during these times. [...] Read more.
The area near the subpolar front of the East Sea has high primary productivity during the spring season. We conducted two surveys, one in early spring and another in late spring, to assess environmental factors that influence phytoplankton community structure during these times. During early spring, vertical mixing supplied abundant nutrients to the surface. Due to the well-mixed water column, there were high nutrient levels, but total phytoplankton abundances and diversity were relatively low and were dominated by the diatom Chaetoceros spp. During late spring, the water column gradually stratified, with relatively high levels of nutrients in the surface layers near the coastal areas. Phytoplankton abundance and diversity at that time were higher, and there were diatoms (Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and Chaetoceros spp.), cryptophytes, and small flagellates. Pseudo-nitzschia spp. were especially abundant in re-sampled areas. The presence of a stratified and stable water mass and sufficient nitrate led to high phytoplankton growth, even in the open sea during late spring. These findings provide a better understanding of how phytoplankton population dynamics in the East Sea depend on water column stability during both early and late spring seasons. Full article
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17 pages, 7565 KiB  
Article
Oncholaimus tripapillatus sp. nov., a New Free-Living Marine Nematode of the Genus Oncholaimus Dujardin, 1845 (Nematoda: Enoplida: Oncholaimidae) from the Subtidal Sediment of Dokdo Island, East Sea, Korea, with a New Record of O. qingdaoensis Zhang & Platt, 1983
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(12), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9121334 - 27 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1683
Abstract
During a survey of the free-living marine nematodes of Korea, two species belonging to the genus Oncholaimus Dujardin, 1845 were discovered. A new species, Oncholaimus tripapillatus sp. nov. and a newly recorded species, Oncholaimus qingdaoensis Zhang & Platt, 1983, are reported. Oncholaimus tripapillatus [...] Read more.
During a survey of the free-living marine nematodes of Korea, two species belonging to the genus Oncholaimus Dujardin, 1845 were discovered. A new species, Oncholaimus tripapillatus sp. nov. and a newly recorded species, Oncholaimus qingdaoensis Zhang & Platt, 1983, are reported. Oncholaimus tripapillatus sp. nov. was collected from the washing of subtidal coarse sediments around Dokdo Island of the East Sea, Korea. Oncholaimus tripapillatus sp. nov. is characterized by a relatively long (4071–4435 µm in males and 4514–4661 µm in females) and slender body, a slightly constricted head region, relatively long cephalic setae (10–12 µm), males having a precloacal sexual protuberance bearing two small cone-shaped supplementary spines, five pairs of long cloacal setae (three pairs of precloacal and two pairs of postcloacal setae in subventral position), and three remarkable papillae near the end of the tail, with two pairs of subventral setae. The Korean specimens of Oncholaimus qingdaoensis Zhang & Platt, 1983 are almost identical to the Chinese specimens of the original description from the intertidal sand of Qingdao, China. However, the Korean specimens differ from the Chinese specimens in the longer body length in males (3379–3715 µm vs. 2380–2640 µm), the larger spicule length (47–52 µm vs. 34–36 µm), and the presence of ventral tail papillae situated around 14–16 µm from the tail tip. Detailed morphological features and illustrations of two Oncholaimus species from Korea were obtained by differential interference contrast microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A pictorial key to the species group with distinct tail papillae among the genus Oncholaimus is also provided. Full article
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16 pages, 1261 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Spatial and Temporal Distribution and Environmental Characteristics of Polychaete Assemblages in the Coastal Waters of Ulleungdo, East Sea of Korea
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(11), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9111310 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
The coastal area of Ulleungdo in the East Sea has experienced large climate and environmental changes. However, research on marine benthic animals in this area has been very limited. In the present study, we investigated the spatial and temporal distribution of benthic polychaetes [...] Read more.
The coastal area of Ulleungdo in the East Sea has experienced large climate and environmental changes. However, research on marine benthic animals in this area has been very limited. In the present study, we investigated the spatial and temporal distribution of benthic polychaetes to determine their seasonal adaptability to environmental changes in the coastal waters of Ulleungdo in 2019. In total, 116 species (34 families) of polychaetes were identified with an average of 25 species per site. The average density was 772.8 individuals m−2, with the highest density in August and the lowest in February. The dominant species were Pseudobranchiomma zebuensis (15.6%), Scolelepis sp. (8.6%), Haplosyllis spongiphila (7.3%), and Lumbrineris nipponica (6.3%). The main factors affecting polychaete community structure were water depth and sediment type (gravel, sand, silt, clay). Based on cluster analysis, the polychaetes tended to group mainly in winter and summer with P. zebuensis and Syllis sp. contributing to the grouping. The dominant species was the suspension feeder, which correlated highly with habitat sediment type and was substantially consistent with the coast of Dokdo. Some species overlapped in the East Sea coast, but the number and diversity of species were higher in Ulleungdo. Our study results confirm the ecological characteristics of benthic polychaetes of Ulleungdo and provide information for future monitoring of the environmental and biological changes in the East Sea. Full article
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17 pages, 6773 KiB  
Article
Recent Trends in Oceanic Conditions in the Western Part of East/Japan Sea: An Analysis of Climate Regime Shift That Occurred after the Late 1990s
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(11), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9111225 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
The western part of East/Japan Sea (WES) is an important area for understanding climate change processes and interactions between atmospheric and oceanic conditions. We analyzed the trends in recent oceanic conditions in the WES after the recent climate regime shift (CRS) that occurred [...] Read more.
The western part of East/Japan Sea (WES) is an important area for understanding climate change processes and interactions between atmospheric and oceanic conditions. We analyzed the trends in recent oceanic conditions in the WES after the recent climate regime shift (CRS) that occurred in the late 1990s in the North Pacific. We explored the most important climate factors that affect oceanic conditions and determined their responses to changes in climate change. In the CRS that occurred in the late 1980s, changes in oceanic conditions in the WES were influenced by intensity changes in climate factors, and, in the late 1990s, it was by spatial changes in climate factors. The latitudinal shift of the Aleutian low (AL) pressure influences recent changes in oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the WES. The intensity of the Kuroshio Current and the sea level pressure in the Kuroshio extension region associated with the latitudinal shift of the AL pressure affects the volume of transport of the warm and saline water mass that flows into the WES and its atmospheric conditions. In addition, the fluctuations in the oceanic conditions of the WES affect various regions and depth layers differently, and these variations are evident even within the WES. Full article
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14 pages, 2327 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing Dietary Changes of Walleye Pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, Inhabiting the East Sea off the Korean Coast
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(11), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9111154 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
This study examined the dietary patterns of walleye pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, off the middle eastern coast of Korea between January 2016 and December 2017 to determine the influences of various predictors on dietary changes. Based on stomach content analyses, walleye pollock was [...] Read more.
This study examined the dietary patterns of walleye pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, off the middle eastern coast of Korea between January 2016 and December 2017 to determine the influences of various predictors on dietary changes. Based on stomach content analyses, walleye pollock was found to be a demersal carnivore that mainly consumes carid shrimps, euphausiids, mysids, teleosts, and cephalopods. The main prey species identified in the diets of walleye pollock were Euphausia pacifica (euphausiids), Themisto japonicus (amphipods), Neomysis spp. (mysids), Neocrangon communis, Pandalus borealis (carid shrimps), Watasenia scintillans (cephalopods), and Bothrocara hollandi (teleosts), which are hyper-benthic and bentho-pelagic organisms. Dietary analyses based on the weight contributions of different prey taxa to the diets revealed significant variations in dietary composition in terms of fish size, water depth, and season, implying intraspecific dietary segregation. Euphausiids dominate the diets of smaller individuals (<30 cm TL), whereas the contributions of carid shrimps, teleosts, and cephalopods increase as body size increases. Similarly, the latter three prey items are dominant food resources in deeper habitats. The PERMANOVA results revealed that the size-related spatial and temporal changes in dietary composition are all significant for the species, as well as their two- or three-way interactions among those factors, except for the size-depth interaction. The coupling effect of size and depth is indicative of depth-dependent differences in fish sizes, with the tendency for larger individuals to be distributed in deeper habitats. In addition, seasonal and interannual variations in water column structures are also evident in the diets, which may, in part, account for the diet seasonality observed in the stomach content analysis. The dietary analyses of walleye pollock will improve our understandings to seek functional role of the species in benthic food webs, and to predict the effects of environmental and anthropogenic perturbations. Full article
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