Biodiv Sci ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (5): 618-623.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14102

Special Issue: 海洋生物多样性

• Marine Biodiversity Special Feature • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The species diversity and trophic structure of reef fishes in the waters of the Xisha Archipelago

Yongli Gao1, Hui Huang1,2,*(), Jiansheng Lian1, Jianhui Yang1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301
    2 Tropical Marine Biological Research Station in Hainan, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya, Hainan 572000
  • Received:2014-05-27 Accepted:2014-09-15 Online:2014-09-20 Published:2014-10-09
  • Contact: Huang Hui


The aims of our study were to (1) uncover new reef fish species records using the underwater visual census method; and (2) analyze the fish community structure according to trophic groups and its response to water quality changes. The fishes on six reefs (Yongxing Island, Dongdao Island, Lingyang Atoll, Jinyin Island, Huaguang Atoll, and Zhongjian Island) along the Xisha Archipelago were investigated in May-June, 2006 using underwater visual censuses. The fishes we recorded belong to 29 families, 71 genera and 119 species. The number of newly recorded species was 50. The number of fish species increased to 717 in the Xisha area since the 1950’s. The species number and Shannon-Wiener diversity were both highest on the western reef of Yongxing Island. Most fish species were distributed narrowly in small areas. The dominant assemblages were the planktivores and bottom invertebrate feeders. The rare assemblages were the herbivores, the omnivores, and the top predator, the piscivores. The structure of trophic groups indicated that most coral reef systems were relatively healthy. The percentage of total abundance (and biomass) comprised by omnivores was largest on the western reef of Yongxing Island compared to other reefs, suggesting that the fish community structure had responded to water eutrophication around Yongxing Island.

Key words: Xisha, reef fish, diversity, trophic level, eutrophication