Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 1112-1121.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018321

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The structure of macrobenthic community in Pearl River Estuary

Zhou Xiping1,2,*(),Li Zhen1,Wu Peifang1,Wu Xi1,Chen Yixin1,Liu Kangge1,Liu Dongyan3,Wang Yujue4,Wang Yueqi4   

  1. 1 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen University, Zhangzhou, Fujian 363105
    2 Key Laboratory of Estuarine Ecological Security and Environmental Health, Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen University, Zhangzhou, Fujian 363105
    3 State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062
    4 Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shandong 264003
  • Received:2019-09-20 Accepted:2019-10-13 Online:2019-10-20 Published:2019-10-20
  • Contact: Zhou Xiping


The macrobenthic communities of estuaries are often indicative of important community traits, such as the environmental pollution a community may experience. To better understand the structure of Pearl River Estuary’s macrobenthic community, macrobenthic species were identified based on investigations carried out from November 2014 to August 2015, and biodiversity analyses were performed. More specifically, biodiversity index calculations, cluster analysis, and nMDS (non-metric MDS) analysis were performed used PRIMER 6.0 software. While 52 macrobenthic species were identified in the Pearl River estuary, the dominant species in this study area were Potamocorbula laevis, Glaucomya chinensis, Potamocorbula ustulata and Dendroneris pinnaticirrus. The annual mean density of macrobenthos in the Pearl River Estuary was 269.3 ind./m 2 and the annual mean biomass was 129.61 g/m 2. The mean values of richness index (D), evenness index (J') and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') of 12 samplings were 1.81 ± 1.38、0.50 ± 0.27 and 1.60 ± 1.13, respectively. The results showed a range of environmental quality from clean to severe pollution, in which only P01 section indicated clean environmental quality in autumn and winter. Cluster and nMDS results revealed that low community similarity were observed among P01 section and P02 together with P03 sections, potentially due to the geographical distribution factors. Additionally, the P02 section and P03 section gathered crosswise with higher community similarity. Our results suggested the combination of environmental factors with physical and chemical sediment factors were significantly correlated with the distribution characteristics of communities. Also to note, water salinity and pH can help explain the biodiversity distribution pattern of the microbenthic community in the Pearl River Estuary.

Key words: Pearl River Estuary, macrobenthos, community structure