Biodiv Sci ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (6): 710-715.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.06132

Special Issue: 中国的海洋生物多样性

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Species diversity and distribution of scleractinian coral at Xisha Islands, China

Hui Huang1,2*, Feng You1,2, Jiansheng Lian1,2, Jianhui Yang1,2, Xiubao Li1,2, Zhijun Dong3, Chenglong Zhang1,2, Tao Yuan1,2   

  1. 1 Tropical Marine Biological Research Station in Hainan, Sanya, Hainan 572000

    2 Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510301

    3 Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS, Yantai, Shandong 264003
  • Received:2011-08-02 Revised:2011-10-27 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-12-19
  • Contact: Hui Huang

Abstract: Coral surveys at Xisha Islands in the South China Sea in 2006 recorded 188 species and subspecies in 45 genera and 13 families. Combined with literature records, a total of 204 species of scleratinian. corals in 50 genera and 13 families are known from the Xisha Islands, a list which includes almost all known species in China as well as 62 new record species. The scleratinian fauna was dominated by branching species which are generally rapidly growing corals. Various diversity indices revealed that the reefs at Huaguang, Treasure Island and Yongxing Island exhibited the highest species diversity. With increasing attention paid to coral reef conservation, it is desirable to establish key protected areas based on the characteristics of scleractinian species diversity and distribution.