Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (12): 1511-1522.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020164

• Special Feature: Biodiversity Conservation along the Yellow River • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Species composition and long-term variation of macrobenthos in intertidal zone and offshore areas of the Yellow River Delta

Baoquan Li1,2, Shaoyu Jiang1,3, Juanzhang Lü4, Linlin Chen1,2, Lang Yan1, Chunyun Liu1, Xiaojing Li1,2, Bo Song1, Xinzheng Li2,3,5,6,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Coastal Biology and Bioresource Utilization, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shandong 264003
    2. Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    4. Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve Management Committee, Dongying, Shandong 257091
    5. Department of Marine Organism Taxonomy & Phylogeny, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071
    6. Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao, Shandong 266071
  • Received:2020-09-24 Accepted:2021-01-13 Online:2020-12-20 Published:2021-01-27
  • Contact: Xinzheng Li

Abstract:

The Yellow River Delta wetlands play a major role in protecting the biodiversity and ecological function of the Bohai Sea. To understand the species diversity and spatial-temporal dynamics of macrobenthic community in this region, five surveys were carried out in intertidal zone and offshore areas in August and November 2016, May, August and November 2017, respectively. Results showed that 187 macrobenthic species were identified in surveyed areas, of which, 119 species were found in the intertidal zone and 99 in offshore areas. Obvious variation was found in the spatio-temporal distribution pattern of species composition. Compared to historical records, individuals of certain species presented a miniaturization trend in body size. The dominant species composition also has undergone an obvious change from large-sized crustacean and mollusc species toward small-sized polychaete, bivalve and crustacean species. Possible factors responsible for these changes are complex, including a decrease of water inflow and sediment transport by the Yellow River combined with human activities (overfishing and increasing exploitation) and other factors, e.g., salinity decrease and the invasion of Spartina alterniflora happened in the Yellow River Delta.

Key words: Yellow River Delta, biodiversity, wetlands, macrobenthic community, species composition