Multiproxy analyses were conducted using sediment cores in a low-polluted coastal site (Hiuchi-nada) in the Seto Inland Sea (SIS), Japan. Heavy metal and organic pollution peaked in the 1960s and the bottom environments have ameliorated since the 1980s due to several environmental regulations. First ecological shifts in meiobenthic ostracodes and diatoms occurred in the 1960s due to the initiation of eutrophication. Then, a second ecological shift occurred in the 1980s due to the amelioration of the water and the bottom quality. A compilation of similar analytical results in the coastal seas of the SIS reveals three types of ecological and environmental history since the 20th century. The environmental improvement since the 1980s affects the ecosystems, in particular, in a low-polluted bay. However, ecological compositions are different from those prior to the 1960s, suggesting that the ecosystem was not recovered but changed into the next stage in the SIS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science