Journal of Marine Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 11-21.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1001-909X.2021.04.002

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A review of the carbon cycle in river-estuary-coastal ocean continuum


  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China; 

    2.Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China; 

    3.Institute of Marine Science and Technology, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China; 

    4.Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266101, China
  • Online:2021-12-15 Published:2022-01-25

Abstract: The river-estuary-coastal ocean continuum (referred to as the continuum hereinafter) is a transition zone connecting lands and oceans. The carbon budgets in the continuum are dynamic and uncertain components in global carbon budgets. This complex landocean interactive ecosystem can absorb atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis and dissolution of CO2. Also, the carbon fixed by photosynthesis or chemical weathering in land and watershed can be transported horizontally to the shelf waters and open oceans. In this paper, the progress of carbon cycles in the continuum is reviewed by taking the famous Chesapeake Bay and Changjiang Estuary-East China Sea continuum as typical examples. It is concluded that systematic observation characterized with land-sea coordination, sea-space integration, point-line combination, should be combined with physicalecological numerical simulation to reveal the multiple time-space scale processes. The strategy is generally operable, and the historical retrospective of results is also achievable. Thus, it can be used to clarify the evolution of carbon exchange along the river-estuary-coastal ocean continuum and their influences on carbon budgets under the combined pressures of climate change and anthropogenic activities.

Key words: continuum, air-sea CO2 flux, marine carbon sink, estuarine biogeochemical cycles

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