Titlyanov E. A., Titlyanova T. V., Li X., Belous O. S., Huang H. Benthic algae communities of coral reefs in the Sanya Bay (Hainan Island, China) in sites heavily polluted with nutrients and their changes after the pollution source elimination. Marine Biological Journal, 2022, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 88-102. URL: https://marine-biology.ru/mbj/article/view/354



It was previously found that extremely high concentrations of nutrients in seawater in the polluted area of a fish farm on the Luhuitou Peninsula (the Sanya Bay) cause a significant reduction in species diversity and abundance of low-productive annual and perennial red and brown algae, as well as an increase in number and biomass of highly productive green algae. In 2017–2019, for the first time, we studied changes in the number and structure of benthic algal communities over a range of tidal zones in the Sanya Bay after the pollution source elimination – the fish farm liquidation. It was shown that a decrease in the concentration of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) (from ≈ 20 to 2.5 μM) and orthophosphates (from 5.0 to 0.2 μM) in seawater significantly altered diversity, species composition, and structure of benthic algal communities. One and half years after the pollution source elimination, the main indicators of the flora became, on average, close to those of the moderately polluted areas of the Sanya Bay.


E. A. Titlyanov

chief researcher, D. Sc.



T. V. Titlyanova




X. Li


O. S. Belous

researcher, PhD



H. Huang

professor, PhD


AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway / M. D. Guiry, G. M. Guiry (Eds) : [site], 2021. URL: http://www.algaebase.org [accessed: 20.06.2021].

Bell P. R. F. Eutrophication and coral reefs–Some examples in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Water Research, 1992, vol. 26, iss. 5, pp. 553–568. https://doi.org/10.1016/0043-1354(92)90228-V

Charpy L., Charpy-Roubaud C., Buat P. Excess primary production, calcification and nutrient fluxes of a patch reef (Tikehau atoll, French Polynesia). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 1998, vol. 173, pp. 139–147. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps173139

Charpy-Roubaud C. J., Charpy L. Nutrients, particulate organic matter, and planktonic and benthic production of the Tikehau Atoll (Tuamotu Archipelago French Polynesia). Atoll Research Bulletin, 1994, no. 415, pt. 2, pp. 1–30.

Done T. J. Phase shifts in coral reef communities and their ecological significance. Hydrobiologia, 1929, vol. 247, pp. 121–132. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00008211

Fong P., Paul V. J. Coral reef algae. In: Coral Reefs: An Ecosystem in Transition / Z. Dubinsky, N. Stambler (Eds). Dordrecht ; Heidelberg ; London ; New York : Springer, 2011, pp. 241–272. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0114-4_17

Furnas M., Mitchell A., Skuza M. Shelf-scale nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the central Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, Panama, 24–29 June, 1996. Balboa, Panama : Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 1997, vol. 1, pp. 809–814.

Hughes T. P. Catastrophes, phase shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science, 1994, vol. 265, pp. 1547–1551. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.265.5178.1547

Lapointe B. E., Barile P. J., Littler M. M., Littler D. S., Bedford B. J., Gasque C. Macroalgal blooms on southeast Florida coral reefs: I. Nutrient stoichiometry of the invasive green alga Codium isthmocladum in the wider Caribbean indicates nutrient enrichment. Harmful Algae, 2005a, vol. 4, iss. 6, pp. 1092–1105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2005.06.004

Lapointe B. E., Barile P. J., Littler M. M., Littler D. S. Macroalgal blooms on southeast Florida coral reefs: II. Cross-shelf discrimination of nitrogen sources indicates widespread assimilation of sewage nitrogen. Harmful Algae, 2005b, vol. 4, iss. 6, pp. 1106–1122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2005.06.002

Lapointe B. E., Littler M. M., Littler D. S. Macroalgal overgrowth of fringing coral reefs at Discovery Bay, Jamaica: Bottom-up versus top-down control. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, Panama, 24–29 June, 1996. Balboa, Panama : Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 1997, vol. 1, pp. 927–932.

Lapointe B. E. Nutrient thresholds for bottom-up control of macroalgal blooms on coral reefs in Jamaica and southeast Florida. Limnology and Oceanography, 1997, vol. 42, iss. 5, pt. 2, pp. 1119–1131. https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.1997.42.5_part_2.1119

Li X., Ren Y., Titlyanov E. A., Titlyanova T. V., Belous O. S., Guo M., Huang H. Benthic flora of coral reefs in heavily nutrient-polluted areas of Sanya Bay (Hainan Island, China) and its changes recorded after removing the source of pollution. Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2021, vol. 47, iss. 2, pp. 105–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/S1063074021020073

Li X. B. Identification of Major Factors Influencing the Composition, Spatial and Temporal Variation of Scleractinian Coral Community in Sanya, China. PhD thesis. Beijing, China : Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2011, 107 p. (in Chinese).

Li X. B., Titlyanov E. A., Zhang J., Titlyanova T. V., Zhang G., Hui H. Macroalgal assemblage changes on coral reefs along a natural gradient from fish farms in southern Hainan Island. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, 2016, vol. 19, iss. 1, pp. 74–82. https://doi.org/10.1080/14634988.2016.1140952

Littler M. M., Littler D. S., Brooks B. L. Harmful algae on tropical coral reefs: Bottom-up eutrophication and top-down herbivory. Harmful Algae, 2006, vol. 5, iss. 5, pp. 565–585. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2005.11.003

McManus J. W., Polsenberg J. F. Coral–algal phase shifts on coral reefs: Ecological and environmental aspects. Progress in Oceanography, 2004, vol. 60, iss. 3–4, pp. 263–279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2004.02.014

Morand P., Briand X. Excessive growth of macroalgae: A symptom of environmental disturbance. Botanica Marina, 1996, vol. 39, pp. 491–516. https://doi.org/10.1515/botm.1996.39.1-6.491

Morand P., Merceron M. Coastal eutrophication and excessive growth of macroalgae. In: Recent Research Developments in Environmental Biology / S. G. Pandalai (Ed.). Trivandrum, India : Research Signpost, 2004, vol. 1, pt. 2, pp. 395–449.

Perestenko L. P. Vodorosli zaliva Petra Velikogo. Leningrad : Nauka, 1980, 232 p. (in Russ.). http://www.algae.ru/273

Raffaelli D. G., Raven J. A., Poole L. A. Ecological impact of green macroalgal blooms. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 1998, vol. 6, pp. 97–125.

Rosenberg R. Eutrophication–The future marine coastal nuisance. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 1985, vol. 16, iss. 6, pp. 227–231. https://doi.org/10.1016/0025-326X(85)90505-3

Saunders G. W., Hommersand M. H. Assessing red algal supraordinal diversity and taxonomy in the context of contemporary systematic data. American Journal of Botany, 2004, vol. 91, iss. 10, pp. 1494–1507. https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.91.10.1494

Smith S. V., Kimmerer W. J., Laws E. A., Brock R. E., Walsh T. W. Kaneohe Bay sewage diversion experiment: Perspectives on ecosystem responses to nutritional perturbation. Pacific Science, 1981, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 279–397.

Titlyanov E. A., Kiyashko S. I., Titlyanova T. V., Yakovleva I. M., Li X. B., Huang H. Nitrogen sources to macroalgal growth in Sanya Bay (Hainan Island, China). Current Development in Oceanography, 2011, vol. 2, pp. 65–84.

Titlyanov E. A., Titlyanova T. V., Li X. B., Huang H. An inventory of marine benthic macroalgae of Hainan Island, China. Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2018, vol. 44, pp. 175–184. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1063074018030112

Titlyanov E. A., Titlyanova T. V., Scriptsova A. V., Ren Y., Li X., Hui H. Interannual and seasonal changes in the benthic algae flora of coral reef in Xiaodong Hai (Hainan Island, China). Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 2019, vol. 7, art. no. 243 (12 p.) https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7080243

Titlyanova T. V., Titlyanov E. A., Kalita T. L. Marine algal flora of Hainan Island: A comprehensive synthesis. Coastal Ecosystems, 2014, vol. 1, pp. 28–53.

Tsuda R. T. Checklist and Bibliography of the Marine Benthic Algae From the Mariana Islands (Guam and CNMI). Mangilao, Guam : University of Guam Marine Laboratory, 2003, 21 p. (Technical Report ; no. 105). https://www.uog.edu/_resources/files/ml/technical_reports/105Tsuda_2002_UOGMLTechReport105.pdf

Tsuda R. T. Checklist and Bibliography of the Marine Benthic Algae Within Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae States, Federated States of Micronesia. Honolulu, Hawaii : Bishop Museum Press, 2006, 43 p. (Bishop Museum Technical Report ; no. 34). http://pbs.bishopmuseum.org/pdf/tr34.pdf



Download data is not yet available.