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Ecology and Conservation

Research Report

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In order to understand the species composition and abundance, spatial and temporal distribution, and biodiversity of the near shore benthic ecosystem of the South Penghu Marine National Park (SPMNP), the objectives of this project were to: 1) annually monitor the environmental factors (e. g. temperature, salinity, pH, nutrients, substrates, and sedimentation) potentially influencing the dynamics of macro- algal and invertebrate assemblages; 2) investigate the annual variation of abundances of benthic macro- algae and invertebrates (poriferan, mollusk, annelids, arthropods, and echinoderm) in the major islands of the PMNP; 3) demonstrate the annual population dynamics of the predominated species of the macro- algae and invertebrates in the area of the PMNP; 4) analyze the interrelationship between benthic macro-algal and invertebrate assemblages and abiotic factors. Monthly survey on macro- algal and invertebrate assemblages was conducted in the 4 major islands and 2 minor islets in the SPMNP from May 2016 to April 2017. A permanent transect-line was established for subtidal zones at each of the 16 selected monitoring sites. The environmental parameters, including temperature, salinity, pH value, nutrient, and sedimentation were recorded and applied to the biotic data analyses. The results demonstrated:
1.A total of 44 species of subtidal macroalgae was recorded including cyanobacteria (4 %), Rhodophytes (61 %), Ochrophytes (5 %), and Chlorophytes (30%). The most dominate species was Hypnea panosa. Seasonaly fluctuation of the abundance was obvious in Dictyota bartayresiana, Dudresnaya japonica, and Plocamium telfairiae.
2.A total of 179 subtidal macro-invertebrate species was recorded belonging to 7 phyla, 12 classes, 40 orders, 77 families and 108 genera. DongYuPing North has the most number of species (70) and DongJiYu North has the least (37). In terms of number of individuals, SiJiYu was the highest (5061) due to the abundant Dendropoma maximum; however, the least (445) was found at DongYuPing West.
3.DongYuPing North has the highest biodiversity, both species richness and Shannon index.
4.Twenty-two species of poriferan, belonging to 10 orders, 17 families, and 20 genera, were documented.
5.In terms of number of species, the highest was Mollusk (45 %) followed by Echinodermata (32 %), Porifera (18 %), Arthropoda (1 %) and Annelida (1 %).
6.Similarity analysis based on the species composition and abundance illustrated sampling sites among the islands were slightly distinct due to the composition of substrates.

Key words: The South Penghu Marine National Park, Long-term Monitoring, Benthos, Macroalgae, Invertebrates, Biodiversity