A recent comprehensive survey covering 125 sites in Hong Kong waters recorded 29 soft coral species in 14 genera, 38 species of gorgonians in 19 genera and six species of black corals in two genera. Environmental variabilities based on water quality data collected by Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department were analyzed using multivariate statistics to find variables that are significantly correlated with coral distribution patterns. Eleven water quality zones with similar environmental variabilities were recognized, which could further be classified into five groups, namely Inner Bay, Outer Bay, Eastern, Western and Southern waters. LINKTREE analysis provided an overall trend indicating the importance of salinity, sediment and nutrient loadings in affecting octocoral and black coral distribution from west to east of Hong Kong waters, and from inner to outer bays. Furthermore, water turbidity and wave exposure could also affect the coral distribution patterns from north, northeast to southern waters. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
CitationYeung, C. W., Cheang, C. C. Lee, M. W., Fung, H. L., Chow, W. K., & Ang, P. (2014). Environmental variabilities and the distribution of octocorals and black corals in Hong Kong. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 85(2), 774-782.
- Black coral
- Distribution pattern
- Pearl River discharge
- Zooxanthellate corals