Abundance of drifting seaweeds in eastern East China Sea

Teruhisa Komatsu, Daisuke Matsunaga, Atsuko Mikami, Tatsuyuki Sagawa, Etienne Boisnier, Kenichi Tatsukawa, Masakazu Aoki, Tetsuro Ajisaka, Shinya Uwai, Katsuhiko Tanaka, Kenichi Ishida, Hideaki Tanoue, Takashige Sugimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Drifting seaweeds play important ecological roles in offshore waters. Recently, large amounts of drifting seaweed rafts were found in the eastern East China Sea between the continental shelf and the oceanic front of the Kuroshio Current. However, so far there have been no quantitative reports about this particular area. Two research cruises were organized to survey abundance and standing crop of drifting seaweeds in eastern East China Sea in May 2002 and March 2004, using visual census and net sampling of drifting seaweeds. Visual census data were composed of drifting seaweed raft diameter, perpendicular distance from the transect (navigation course of the research vessel) to the raft, and positions. Using these data, we calculated the "effective stripe width" using the DISTANCE software. Drifting seaweed abundance (composed exclusively of Sargassum horneri) in waters located between the continental shelf peripheral area and the Kuroshio oceanic front was estimated to be higher than in any other area within eastern East China Sea in March and May. Abundance means in May 2002 and March 2004 were 6.14 and 29.05 rafts km-2, respectively, while standing crop reached 126.81 and 20.35 kg km-2 (wet weight). Mean diameter and drifting seaweed rafts in May 2002 were significantly greater than in March 2004, reflecting seasonal growth of Sargassum horneri.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-809
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct


  • Abundance
  • Biomass
  • Drifting seaweed
  • East China Sea
  • Kuroshio
  • Sargassum horneri


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