Aquaculture in Hainan, China

The interdisciplinary Sino-German project ECOLOC aims at understanding the natural and anthropogenic factors controlling the physicochemical and biogeochemical environment of coastal ecosystems of the Chinese island of Hainan and the response of these coastal habitats and their organisms (benthos, seagrasses) to the input of land-derived anthropogenic substances along the coast.

A major goal of ECOLOC is to provide comprehensive knowledge required for a sustainable management of Hainan's coastal resources, based on the combination of previous results from the predecessor project LANCET (Land-Sea Interactions in Coastal Ecosystems of Tropical China) and new results. An expansion of tourism in the coastal zone of Hainan is a priority of the government, and aquaculture as well as fishery production play an important role as further income sources of local communities. Therefore, the maintenance of coastal resources and ecosystem services is mandatory and important for Hainan's future economic development.

Major research questions to be addressed are:

  1. What are the major inputs resulting from human activities, what is the share of aquaculture (nutrients, organic matter, organic contaminants, pathogens, trace metals) and what are their pathways in the environment?
  2. How does eutrophication affect water quality in terms of dissolved oxygen concentration and pH as well as the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O)?
  3. How do coastal organisms (benthos, seagrasses) respond to the increasing input of anthropogenic substances and associated impacts on water quality?
  4. As mangroves are lost to aquaculture: do seagrass beds serve as a nutrient, pathogens and organic matter buffer for coral reefs?
  5. What is the role of upwelling for circulation and nutrient input into the coastal zone of Hainan, does it promote productivity and other biological activities?
  6. How can management measures be tailored towards a sustainable use?

To the external ECOLOC project page...

Project Partners (Germany)


International Project Partners

ZMT – Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research Bremen: PD Dr. Tim Jennerjahn (Koordinator), Dr. Lucia Herbeck, Dr. Inga Nordhaus, Dr. Tim Rixen

IUP – Institute for Environmental Physics, University of Bremen: Dr. Thorsten Warneke

IOW – Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research, Warnemünde: PD Dr. Matthias Labrenz, Dr. Günter Jost

Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal RWTH Aachen: Dr. Larissa Dsikowitzky, Prof. Jan Schwarzbauer

IO-UHH – Institute of Oceanography, University of  Hamburg: PD Dr. Thomas Pohlmann


HAOFS – Hainan Academy of Ocean and Fishery Science, Haikou: Dr. Daoru Wang (Coordinator)

SIO – Second Institute of Oceanography, Hangzhou: Prof. Dongfeng Xu, Prof. Jianfang Chen

TIO – Third Institute of Oceanography, Xiamen: Dr. Zhuhua Luo

Hainan University, Haikou: Prof. Xiaoping Diao, Prof. Aimin Wang, Prof. Yan Wang, Prof. Fei Yang, Prof. Hongwei Zhao, Prof. Hailong Zhou