High-resolution molecular abundance records for several marine biomarkers during the last glacial and Holocene have been generated for core MD05-2904 (19°27.32'N, 116°15.15'E, 2066 mwater depth) from the northern South China Sea. The UK' 37 SST record indicates a 4.4°C cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum for this site, consistent with previous reconstructions. The contents of C37 alkenones, dinosterol, brassicasterol, and C30 alkyl diols are used as productivity proxies for haptophytes, dinoflagellates, diatoms, and eustigmatophytes, respectively. These records reveal that both individual phytoplankton group and total productivity increased by several factors during the LGM compared with those for the Holocene, in response to increased nutrient supply. However, the community structure based on biomarker percentages remained relatively stable during the last glacial-Holocene transition, although there were short-term oscillations.