Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 62 (No. 3), pp. 267-281, 2006
Ma'ruf Kasim1,2 and Hiroshi Mukai1*
1Akkeshi Marine Station, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido 088-1113, Japan
2Department of Fishery, Haluoleo University, Indonesia
(Received 21 April 2005; in revised form 29 December 2005; accepted 29 December 2005)
Abstract: The species composition and dynamics of phytoplankton in the water column and its contribution to clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, and oyster, Crassostrea gigas, production were studied in the Akkeshi-ko estuary, eastern part of Hokkaido, Japan. A total 128 taxa of diatoms were identified, with 103 and 102 species occurring on the surface sediments and in the water column, respectively. Amphora sp., Bacillaria paradoxa var paxilifer, Cocconeis scutellum, Navicula sp., Nitzschia sigma, Paralia sulcata, Rhoicosphenia curvata, Synedra ulna and Thalassiosira sp. were most common and dominant in all stations in both water column and surface sediment. Benthic diatoms were most dominant in both water column and surface sediment. The species composition of epiphytes was, in part, similar to diatom assemblage of the water column and also to that of the surface sediment. The benthic and pelagic ratio in the diatom assemblage of the water column was very high. Benthic diatoms were able to resuspend into water column by turbulence stimulated by wind. Chlorophyll a concentration in the water column increased as wind speed increased. Seventy and 67% of the gut contents oysters consisted of benthic diatoms in 2003 and 2004 and also 78 and 87% of clams in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The availability of benthic and epiphytic diatom assemblages contributes significantly to food resources for clam and oyster mariculture due to resuspension by disturbance in the Akkeshi-ko estuary.