Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (2): 200-210.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019012

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of seasonal hypoxia on macrobenthic communities in the Muping Marine Ranch, Yantai, China

Yang Lufei1,2,Chen Linlin2,Li Xiaojing2,Zhou Zhengquan2,Liu Bo1,2,Song Bo1,2,Li Bingjun1,*(),Li Baoquan2,*()   

  1. 1 School of Ocean, Yantai University, Yantai, Shandong 264003
    2 Key Laboratory of Coastal Biology and Bioresource Utilization, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shandong 264003
  • Received:2019-01-16 Accepted:2019-02-26 Online:2019-02-20 Published:2019-04-16
  • Contact: Li Bingjun,Li Baoquan

Abstract:

Hypoxia is a common phenomenon in the world’s oceans, especially in the shallow waters of coastal zones. Rates of hypoxia are increasing due to global climatic changes and anthropogenic activities. Hypoxia can cause mass mortality of marine animals and can have severe negative impacts on marine ecosystems. To better understand the effects of hypoxia on macrobenthic communities, a survey was carried out in the Muping Marine Ranch (Yantai) during June, August and September of 2016. Results showed that seasonal hypoxia led to changes in benthic community structure, especially in terms of species composition and dominant species. The dominant species were Polychaeta Lumbrinereis latreilli, Sternaspis scutata and Mollusca Endopleura lubrica in summer. The opportunistic species Lumbrinereis latreilli increased, whereas, sensitive species such as Leptomya minuta, Glycera chirori, Upogebia major, Pontocrates altamarimus, Eriopisella sechellensis decreased during the hypoxic period of August. Hypoxia also reduced biodiversity indices. The effect of hypoxia on abundance and biomass were not significant, mainly because of the increase in the opportunistic Lumbrinereis latreilli, which counteracted the decline in abundance and biomass of other species. Individual physiological tolerance to hypoxia was different among species. Lumbrinereis latreilli showed higher tolerance to hypoxia in dissolved oxygen (DO) = 1.0 mg/L compared to other species. Some sensitive species, such as Leptomya minuta, Upogebia major, Pontocrates altamarimus and Eriopisella sechellensis showed lower tolerance when DO < 2.5 mg/L. When DO increased to 2.5 mg/L, the macrobenthic community start to recover gradually. The recovery extent and time needed were closely related to the degree of seasonal hypoxia.

Key words: hypoxia, community structure, community recovery, sensitive species, opportunistic species