Urban coral communities and water quality parameters along the coasts of Guangdong Province, China

Yu Zhao, Yu Sheung Law, Xiaohui Zhai, Kai Zhou, Mingru Chen*, Jian Wen Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coral communities in China's Great Bay Area (GBA) have experienced severe degradation, but only limited information is available about their community structure. We surveyed 20 sites across three regions (Daya Bay, Dapeng Bay, Wanshan Islands) in GBA to provide an updated baseline of these urban coral communities. Live coral cover varied substantially, with the lowest values (<2 %) found inside the highly urbanized Daya Bay, and highest values (40–47 %) from offshore islands that are less affected by human activities. The two sites with the lowest live coral cover had a high percentage of dead coral. Five groups of coral communities could be identified, with most of them characterized by dominance of massive and encrusting coral species. Both coral cover and generic richness were negatively correlated with dissolved inorganic nitrogen in the water column, indicating that nutrient pollution could potentially constrain the development of these urban coral communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113821
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coral community
  • Coral distribution
  • Eutrophication
  • South China Sea
  • Subtropical reefs
  • Urban reefs

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