Increasing eutrophication in the coastal seas of China from 1970 to 2050

M. Strokal, H. Yang, Y. Zhang, C. Kroeze, L. Li, S. Luan, H. Wang, S. Yang

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143 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed the potential for eutrophication in major seas around China: the Bohai Gulf, Yellow Sea and South China Sea. We model the riverine inputs of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and silica (Si) to coastal seas from 1970 to 2050. Between 1970 and 2000 dissolved N and P inputs to the three seas increased by a factor of 2–5. In contrast, inputs of particulate N and P and dissolved Si, decreased due to damming of rivers. Between 2000 and 2050, the total N and P inputs increase further by 30–200%. Sewage is the dominant source of dissolved N and P in the Bohai Gulf, while agriculture is the primary source in the other seas. In the future, the ratios of Si to N and P decrease, which increases the risk of harmful algal blooms. Sewage treatment may reduce this risk in the Bohai Gulf, and agricultural management in the other seas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-140
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • pearl river
  • future-trends
  • nutrient export
  • yangtze estuary
  • algal blooms
  • food-chain
  • management
  • nitrogen
  • waters
  • phosphorus


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