Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem South China Sea
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 36. From southern Taiwan to Singapore, eastern Sumatra and western Borneo. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 23° N 2° N - 107° E 119° E
Location Map South_China_Sea.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 3164769 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 27.0 °C Map133.gif
100 Meters Depth 22.0 °C Map134.gif
Description The South China Sea is bounded to the north by the 25th parallel, linking Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, to the east by the Taiwanese coast, the 121 degree line between Taiwan and Luzon, by straight lines from Luzon to Mindoro and from Mindoro to Palawan, and by a line linking Palawan to northwestern Borneo. (Shindo, 1973) The southern limit is defined by a line crossing the Bangka and Karimata straits between Sumatra and Borneo at 3 degrees S, while the western limit is the line crossing the Malacca Strait at 103 degrees E, slightly west of Singapore. (Pauly and Christensen, 1993). The western portion of the South China Sea includes several large subsystems, including the Gulf of Thailand and the Gulf of Tonkin, which are open to the LME. The LME is bounded by narrow straits and sills and has negligible biological exchanges with other marine ecosystems. The surface salinity is relatively low due to large riverine inflow and limited water exchange with open oceans. (Wyrtki, 1961). The South China Sea covers 3.5 x 106 km2 and contains various biological subsystems, including mangrove, coral reefs, soft-bottom communities, and open seas. The 50 m depth largely follows the coast, with the widest shelves along the eastern side. Much of the LME is below 200 m. Small coralline areas are found south of Cambodia, between Borneo and Sumatra, and in a large area off Palawan in the deep (>200 m) water. (Pauly and Christensen, 1993) (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
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8836 1058 31075
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