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LIAO Yibo, SHOULu, TANG Yanbin, ZENG Jiangning, GAO Aigen, CHEN Quanzhen, YAN Xiaojun. Macrobenthic assemblages of the Changjiang River estuary (Yangtze River, China) and adjacent continental shelf relative to mild summer hypoxia[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2017, 35(3): 481-488

Macrobenthic assemblages of the Changjiang River estuary (Yangtze River, China) and adjacent continental shelf relative to mild summer hypoxia

LIAO Yibo1,2, SHOULu1, TANG Yanbin1, ZENG Jiangning1, GAO Aigen1, CHEN Quanzhen1, YAN Xiaojun2
1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou 310012, China 2Key Laboratory of Applied Marine Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, Marine College of Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
To assess the effects of hypoxia, macrobenthic communities along an estuarine gradient of the Changjiang estuary and adjacent continental shelf were analyzed. This revealed spatial variations in the communities and relationships with environmental variables during periods of reduced dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in summer. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences in macrobenthic community composition among the three zones: estuarine zone (EZ), mildly hypoxic zone (MHZ) in the continental shelf, and normoxic zone (NZ) in the continental shelf (Global R=0.206, P=0.002). Pairwise tests showed that the macrobenthic community composition of the EZ was significantly different from the MHZ (pairwise test R=0.305, P=0.001) and the NZ (pairwise test R=0.259, P=0.001). There was no significant difference in macrobenthic communities between the MHZ and the NZ (pairwise test R=0.062, P=0.114). The taxa included small and typically opportunistic polychaetes, which made the greatest contribution to the dissimilarity between the zones. The effects of mild hypoxia on the macrobenthic communities are a result not only of reduced DO concentration but also of differences in environmental variables such as temperature, salinity, and nutrient concentrations caused by stratification.
Key words:    hypoxia|macrobenthos|benthic community|Changjiang estuary|low dissolved oxygen   
Received: 2015-10-21   Revised: 2015-12-25
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