Shiah, Fuh-Kwo夏復國

Research Fellow and Deputy Director

Research Interests

My research lies in the fields of limnology and oceanography. I am interested in studying (1) the growth controlling mechanisms of planktons (heterotrophic bacterioplankton, phytoplankton, protozoan and viruses) and their eco-linkages in freshwater (the Fei-Tsuei reservoir) and marine (the East China Sea, South China Sea and the NW Pacific) ecosystems; (2) the planktonic and ecosystem responses (ratio of primary production to community respiration) to external physical and chemical (inorganic nutrients, organic substrate) forcing induced by episodic events such as typhoons, internal waves… etc., and (3) the operation and management of decadal time-series biogeochemical observatory studies including the SEATS project in the South China Sea and the T-WEBS project in Fei-Tsuei reservoir in northern Taiwan.

Representative Publications

  • Chen TY, JH Tai, CY Ko, CC Chen, CH Hsieh, NZ Jiao, HB Liu and FK Shiah*. 2016. Nutrient pulses driven by internal solitary waves enhance heterotrophic bacteria growth in the South China Sea. Environmental Microbiology. 08:40PM EST | DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13273.
  • Ko CY, CC Lai, HH Hsu, FK Shiah*. 2017. Decadal phytoplankton dynamics in response to episodic climatic disturbances in a subtropical deep freshwater ecosystem. Water Research 109: 102-113.
  • Okuda N, Y Sakai, K Fukumori, SM Yang, CH Hsieh, FK Shiah*. 2017. Food-web properties of the recently constructed, deep subtropical Fei-Tsui Reservoir. Hydrobiologia 802 (1): 199–210.
  • Chow MF, CC Lai, HY Kuo, CH Lin, TY Chen, FK Shiah*. 2017. Long-term trends and dynamics of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a subtropical reservoir basin. Water. 9, 545; doi:10.3390/ w9070545.
  • Miki T, M Itoh, H Kojima, PC Ho, CW Chang, TY Chen, SY Hsiao, Y Kobayashi, M Fujibayashi, SJ Kao, CH Hsieh, M Fukui, N Okuda and FK Shiah*. 2017. Integrating isotopic, microbial and modeling approaches to better understand methane dynamics at a frequently disturbed deep reservoir in Taiwan. Ecological Research DOI 10.1007/s11284-017-1502-z.
  • Lai CC., CY Ko, E Austria and FK Shiah*. 2021a. Extreme weather events enhance DOC consumption in a subtropical freshwater ecosystem: a multiple-typhoon analysis. Microorganisms. 9(6): 1199
  • Lai CC, CR Wu, CY Chuang, JH Tai, KY Lee, HY Kuo, and FK Shiah*. 2021b. Phytoplankton and bacteria responses to monsoon-driven water masses mixing in the Kuroshio off the East coast of Taiwan. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.707807.
  • Hou LT, BS Wang, CC Lai, TY Chen, YY Shih, FK Shiah* and CY Ko*. 2021. Effects of the mixed layer depth on phytoplankton biomass in a tropical marginal ocean: a multiple timescale analysis. Earth's Future (accept after revision).
  • Chen TY, CC Lai, JH Tai, CY Ko, and FK Shiah*. 2021. Diel to seasonal variation of picoplankton in the tropical South China Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science. (accept after revision).


  1. Extreme Weather Events Enhance DOC Consumption in a Subtropical Freshwater Ecosystem: Empirical evidence suggests that the frequency/intensity of extreme weather events might increase in a warming climate. It remains unclear how these events quantitatively impact dissolved organic carbon (DOC), a pool approximately equal to CO2 in the atmosphere. This study conducted a weekly-to-biweekly sampling in a deep subtropical reservoir in the typhoon-prevailing season (June to September) from 2004 to 2009, at which 33 typhoons with distinctive precipitation had passed the study site. Our analyses indicated that the phosphate (DIP) varied positively with the intensity of the accumulated rainfall 2-weeks prior; bacteria growth rate behaved as a positive function of DIP, and DOC concentrations (54~119 µMC) changed negatively with bacterial production (1.2~26.1 mgC m−3 d−1). These implied that the elevated DIP-loading in the hyperpycnal flow induced by typhoons could fuel bacteria growth and cause a significant decline of DOC concentrations. As the typhoon’s intensity increases, many mineral-limited lentic freshwater ecosystems might become more like a CO2 source injecting more CO2 back to the atmosphere, creating a positive feedback loop that might generate severer extreme weather events. Reference: Lai et al 2021a.
  2. Biogeochemical responses to monsoon-driven water masses mixing in the Kuroshio off the East coast of Taiwan: Biogeochemical responses to mixing were examined in two cruise surveys along a transect across the Kuroshio Current (KC) in May and July, 2020. Two stations located at the South China Sea (SCS)-KC mixing and KC waters were chosen for the diel study. In the euphotic zone (~100 m depth), the averaged values of nitrate), chlorophyll-a, and primary production (PP) of the mixing water stations (MWS) of the two cruises of mixing water station (MWS) were several folds higher than those of the KC station (KCS) respectively. In the July cruise, the maximal bacterial production (BP) at the MWS (3.31 mgC m-3 d-1) was 82% higher in comparison with that of the KCS (1.82 mgC m-3 d-1); and that the readings of Chl-a showed no trend with BP in the oligotrophic KCS, but a positive relationship was found among these measurements at the mesotrophic MWS. This implies that the system’s trophic status might affect phytoplankton-bacteria interactions. The backward-trajectory analyses conducted by an observation-validated 3-D model identified that the prevailing southwest monsoon drove a northeastward “intrusion” of the South China Sea (SCS) waters in July, 2020, and resulted in mixing between SCS and Kuroshio (KC) waters off the east coast of southern Taiwan. This study for the first time demonstrates that the high biological biomass and activities that occur in the Kuroshio Current can be induced by the northward intrusion of the SCS waters.  Reference: Lai et al 2021b.
  • Ph.D.
    Marine, Estuary and Environ. Science Program
    U of Maryland, College Park, USA (1993)
  • M.S.
    Institute of Marine Biology
    National Sun-Yat-Sen U, Taiwan (1986)
  • B.S.
    Depart. of Biology
    National Taiwan Normal U, Taiwan (1989)
  • (02) 2783-9910 ext 271

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