Effects of Nutrients Concentration on Phytoplankton Abundance in The Halmahera-Molucca Sea

Hanny Meirinawati, Nurul Fitriya


The availability of nutrients in the ocean is essential for the growth and accumulation of phytoplankton biomass. The input nutrients can then changes its ratio which may affect the species composition of phytoplankton communities and higher trophic level biotas. The effects of nutrients on phytoplankton abundance are very important to be studied due to its role as limiting factors for phytoplankton growth. Besides that, these two variables are most important factors in measuring aquatic productivity. This study aims to analyzed composition and abundance of phytoplankton and its relationship with dissolved inorganic nutrients in the Halmahera-Molucca Sea. This research was conducted in November 2015 covering 8 sampling station within the Halmahera-Molucca Sea. Water quality parameters, such as pH was measured using potentiometic method, dissolved oxygen (DO was measured using titrimetric method), and nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, phosphate and silicate, were measured using the colorimetric method. The water samples were taken using Rosette sampler and then filtered using hand net plankton with size 20 μm to obtain the phytoplankton. Plankton composition and abundance were then determined by microscopic analysis. The result showed that ammonium positively correlated with phytoplankton abundance (r=0.9133 at p<0.01). The correlation between nutrients and phytoplankton show that each genus has a preference for different nutrients. The presence of ammonium significantly increase the phytoplankton abundance from genus Chaetoceros, Nitzchia, Climacodium, Ceratium, Eucampia, Lauderia, Protoperidinium, and Rhizosolenia. On the other hand, phosphates increase the phytoplankton abundance from genus Coscinodiscus although not significantly. Besides, silicates increase the phytoplankton abundance from genus Thalassiothrix, Bacteriastrum, Skletonema, and Hemiaulus while nitrates increase the phytoplankton abundance from genus Alexandrium


Nutrients, phytoplankton, abundance, Halmahera


Abdalla, R. R., Zaghloul, F. A. and Hussein, N. R. 1995. A statistical modelling of phytoplankton eutrophication in the Eastern Harbour, Alexandria, Egypt. Bulletin of the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Egypt) 21(1): 125-146.

Berge, T., N. Daugbjerg, B.B. Andersen, and P.J. Hansen. 2010. Effect of lowered pH on marine phytoplankton growth rates. Marine Ecology Progress Series 416: 79-91.

Chen, C.Y., and E.G. Durbin. 1994. Effects of pH on the growth and carbon uptake of marine phytoplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series 109: 83-94.

Chen, C.T.A. 2007. Nutrient cycling in the oceans; in: “Oceanography,” ed. by J.C.J. Nihoul and C.T.A. Chen, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, ISBN: 978-1-905839-62-9 e-Book,Vol. 1, 331-343.

Davidson, K., R.J. Gowen, P.J. Harrison, L.E. Fleming, P. Hoagland, and G. Moschonas. 2014. Anthropogenic nutrients and harmful algae in coastal waters. Journal of Environmental Management 146: 206–216.

Davidson, K., R.J. Gowen, P. Tett, E. Bresnan, P.J. Harrison, A. McKinney, S. Milligan, D.K. Mills, J. Silke, and A.M. Crooks. 2012. Harmful algal blooms: how strong is the evidence that nutrient ratios and forms influence their occurrence? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science115: 399–413.

Davis, CC. 1955. The marine and freshwater plankton. Michigan State University Press. USA. 426 pp.

El Gammal, M.A.M., M. Nageeb, and S. Al-Sabeb. 2017. Phytoplankton abundance in relation to the quality of the coastal water – Arabian Gulf, Saudi Arabia. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research 43:275–282.

Fauchot, J., M. Levasseur, S. Roy, R. Gagnon and M. Weise. 2005. Environmental Factors Controlling Alexandrium tamarense (Dinophyceae) growth rate during a red tide event in the St. Lawrence estuary (Canada). Phycological Society of America 41: 263-272.

Gilpin, L.C., K. Davidson, and E. Roberts. 2004.The influence of changes in nitrogen: silicon ratios on diatom growth dynamics. Journal of Sea Research 51: 21– 35.

Hori, Y., K. Miyahara, S., Nagai, K. Tsujino, M. Nakajima, K. Yamamoto, Y. Yoshida, N. Araki, and Y. Sakai. 1998. Relationships between the dominant phytoplankton and DIN:DIP ratios in Osaka Bay and Harima-Nada. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 64 (2): 243-248.

Howarth, R.W., and R. Marino. 2006. Nitrogen as the limiting nutrient for eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems: evolving views over three decades. Limnology and Oceanography 51: 364–376.

Hu, H., J. Zhang, and W. Chen. 2011. Competition of bloom-forming marine phytoplankton at low nutrient concentrations. Journal of Environmental Science 23(40): 656-663.

Jézéquel, V.M., M. Hildebrand, and M.A. Brzezinski. 2000. Review Silicon Metabolism In Diatoms: Implications For Growth. Journal of Phycology 36: 821–840.

Karthikeyan,P., P. Sampathkumar, K. Manimaran, and L. Rameshkumar. 2013. Growth and nutrient removal properties of the diatoms, Chaetoceros curvisetus and C. simplex under different nitrogen sources. Applied Water Science 3:49–55.

Koike, I., H. Ogawa, T. Nagata, R. Fukuda, and H. Fukuda. 2001. Silicate to Nitrate Ratio of the Upper Sub-Arctic Pacific and the Bering Sea Basin in Summer: Its Implication for Phytoplankton Dynamics. Journal of Oceanography 57: 253 – 260.

Libes, S. 2009. Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry.Second Edition. Academic Press, 925pp.

Li, Y., A.M. Waite, G. Gal, and M.R. Hipsey. 2012. Do phytoplankton nutrient ratios reflect patterns of water column nutrient ratios? A numerical stoichiometric analysis of Lake Kinneret. Procedia Environmental Sciences 13:1630 – 1640.

Marino, R., F. Chan, R.W. Howarth, M. Pace, and G.E. Likens. 2002. Ecological and biochemical interactions constrain planktonic nitrogen fixation in estuaries. Ecosystems 5: 719-725.

Millero, F.J. 2006. Chemical oceanography. Third edition. Taylor and Francis Group. CRC Press. New York.530p.

Nishikawa, T., K. Tarutani, and T. Yamamoto 2009. Nitrate and phosphate uptake kinetics of the harmful diatom Eucampia zodiacus Ehrenberg, a causative organism in the bleaching of aquacultured Porphyra thalli. Harmful Algae 8 (3): 513-517.

Omura, T., M. Iwataki, V. M. Borja, H. Takayama, and Y. Fukuyo. 2012. Marine Phytoplankton of the Western Pacific. Kouseisha Kouseikaku Co., Ltd. Japan. 160 pp.

Patey, M. D., M. J. A. Rijkenberg, P. J. Statham, M. C. Stinchcombe, E. P. Achterberg, and M. Mowlem. 2008. Determination of Nitrate and Phosphate in Sea Water at Nano Molar Concentration. Trends in Analytical Chemistry 27 (2): 169-182.

Praseno, D. P. dan Sugestiningsih. 2000. Retaid di Perairan Indonesia. P3O-LIPI.Jakarta. Hal: 2-34.

Pusat Penelitian Oseanografi. 2005. Laporan Akhir Ekspedisi Halmahera 2005 Prospek Pengembangan Sumberdaya Laut di Kawasan Barat Pulau Halmahera dan Pulau Morotai. Pemerintah Provinsi Maluku Utara Bekerjasama dengan Pusat Penelitian Oseanografi - Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia, Jakarta.

Riley, J. P., and R. Chester. 1971. Introduction to marine chemistry. Academic Press, London and New York.

Sediadi, A. 2004. Efek Upwelling Terhadap Kelimpahan dan Distribusi Fitoplankton di Perairan Laut Banda dan Sekitarnya. Makara Sains 8 (2): 43-51.

Strickland, J.D.H. and T. R. Parsons, 1972. A Practical Handbook of Seawater Analysis, Bulletin 167 (Second edition). Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Ottawa. 310 pp.

Struyf, E., A. Smis, S. Van Damme, P. Meire, and D.J. Conley. 2009. The global biogeochemical silicon cycle. Silicon 1 207–213.

Tan, K.S. and J. Ransangan. 2017. Effects of nutrients and zooplankton on the phytoplankton community structure in Marudu Bay. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 194: 16-29.

Tangke, U., J.C. Karuwal, M. Zainuddin, dan A. Mallawa. 2015. Sebaran Suhu Permukaan Laut dan Klorofil-A Pengaruhnya Terhadap Hasil Tangkapan Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus Albacares) Di Perairan Laut Halmahera. Jurnal IPTEKS PSP 2 (3): 248-260.

Taylor, F.J.R.. 1994. Reference Manual Taxonomic Identification of Phytoplankton with Reference to HAB Organisms. ASEAN-Canada Cooperative Programme on Marine Science Workshop on the Taxonomy of Phytoplankton and Harmful Algal Bloom-Organisms Hosted by LIPI, Jakarta. 568 p.

The University of British Columbia. 2018. The Phytoplankton Encyclopaedia Project. https://www.eoas.ubc.ca/research/phytoplankton/index.html. Diakses tanggal 15 Februari 2018.

Thoha, H dan A. Rachman. 2013. Kelimpahan dan Distribusi Spasial Komunitas Plankton di Perairan Kepulauan Banggai. Jurnal Ilmu dan Teknologi Kelautan Tropis 5 (1): 145-161.

Tomascik, T., A.J. Mah, A. Nontji, and M.K. Moosa. 1997. The Ecology of the Indonesian Seas. Part Two. The Ecology of Indonesia Series Vol VIII. Periplus Editions. Singapore. 1388p.

Turner, R.E. 2002. Element ratios and aquatic food webs. Estuaries 25: 694-703.

Wang, Z., Y. Qi, J. Chen, N. Xu, and Y. Yang. 2006. Phytoplankton abundance, community structure and nutrients in cultural areas of Daya Bay, South China Sea. Journal of Marine Systems 62: 85-94.

Wickstead, J.H. 1965. An Introduction to Study of Tropical Plankton. Hutchinson Tropical Monographs. London. 160 p.

Xin, L., H. Hong-ying, G. Ke, S. Ying-xue. 2010. Effects of different nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations on the growth, nutrient uptake, and lipid accumulation of a freshwater micro alga Scenedesmus sp. Bioresource Technology 101:5494–5500.

Yamaji, I.E. 1976. Illustration of the Marine Plankton of Japan. Hoikusha, Osaka, Japan. 618 pp.

Zang, C., S. Huang, M. Wu, S. Du, M. Scholz, F. Gao, C. Lin, Y. Guo, and Y. Dong. 2011. Comparison of Relationships Between pH, Dissolved Oxygen and Chlorophyll a for Aquaculture and Non-aquaculture Waters. Water Air Soil Pollut 219:157–174.

Zhu, W., L. Wan, and L.F. Zhao. 2010. Effect of nutrient level on phytoplankton community structure in different water bodies. Journal of Environmental Science 22: 32–39.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Powered by OJS | Design by ThemeOJS