A two-year study was conducted in the vicinity of a harbour in sub-tropical Hong Kong, to examine the progress of recovery of macrobenthic community, based on analyses of both life-history traits and trophic guilds of polychaetes, upon cessation of organic pollution caused by sewage discharge. Seventy seven out of 83 species collected were classified under four ecological groups based on the life-history traits and sensitivity to organic gradients. The mean ATZI marine biotic index (AMBI) derived from these ecological groups showed spatial difference among the five sampling locations. In particular, the presence of different percentages of polychaete species from Groups III (unbalanced community) and IV (polluted community) suggested the presence of pollution stress in certain degree at all sampling locations. However, no significant temporal changes were noted over the study period. From all polychaete species identified, they were classified into 13 feeding guilds. The mean diversity of these feeding guilds at most of the sampling locations was significantly higher than that at one of the inside-harbour locations. The composition of feeding guilds was also significantly different spatially. At one of the inside-harbour locations, the dominant feeding guilds were motile/discretely motile surface deposit feeders with tentaculates or unarmed pharynx, and motile omnivores with jawed pharynx in the first year of study, but were replaced by motile, jawed carnivores in the second year of study. The increased proportion of carnivores over the study period can be seen as a sign of recovery in the community structure since abundance of predators is commonly higher in habitats with better environmental quality. The implications of using life-history traits and feeding guild analyses for benthic community are discussed. Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationCheung, S. G., Lam, N. W. Y., Wu, R. S. S., & Shin, P. K. S. (2008). Spatio-temporal changes of marine macrobenthic community in sub-tropical waters upon recovery from eutrophication. II. Life-history traits and feeding guilds of polychaete community. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 56(2), 297-307. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.10.019
- Polychaete community
- Life-history traits
- Feeding guilds