A change in phytoplankton community index with water quality improvement in Tolo Harbour, Hong Kong

Lei Yue, Callum Whyte, Keith Davidson, Paul Tett, Kedong Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Water quality in Tolo Harbour and Channel (Tolo) has been improved since 1998 after the diversion of sewage effluent. However, it remains poorly understood how nutrient loading reduction has impacted the phytoplankton community. To evaluate this, we applied a Phytoplankton Community Index PI(mp) to the 23-year data (1991-2013) at inner (TM4) and outer (TM8) sites in Tolo, with the former being more eutrophic than the latter. The results show that 1) the phytoplankton community changed with time after sewage diversion; 2) “diatoms and dinoflagellates” were better indicators of nutrient impact than “autotrophic/mixotrophic and heterotrophic dinoflagellates”; 3) the rate of recovery differed between the two stations, but both reached a similar state at a similar time; 4) seasonality of the phytoplankton community showed greater disturbance in spring than in other seasons. Our findings indicate that the nutrient reduction in the Tolo resulted in a positive change in the phytoplankton community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018



  • Nutrients
  • Tolo Harbour and Channel
  • Phytoplankton community change
  • Phytoplankton community index

Cite this