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Copepod community structure over a marine outfall area in the north-eastern South China Sea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2008

Li-Chun Tseng
Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, ROC
Ram Kumar
Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, ROC
Hans-Uwe Dahms
Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, ROC
Chun-Te Chen
Department of Tourism and Leisure Management, Tung Fang Institute of Technology, Kaohsiang County, Taiwan, ROC
Sami Souissi
Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille-Lille 1, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences —UMR LOG 8187—Station Marine—28
Qing-Chao Chen
South China Sea Institute of Oceanography, Academia Sinica, Guangzhou, China
Jiang-Shiou Hwang*
Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan, ROC
Correspondence should be addressed to: Jiang-Shiou Hwang Institute of Marine BiologyNational Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung Taiwan, ROC email:


This study focuses on the dynamics of copepod abundances and species composition in the upper water column of a marine outfall area Tso-Ying (T-Y) in the boundary waters of the north-eastern South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait as an example. Zooplankton samples were collected in March, June and September 2002. Mean copepod abundance at all stations ranged from a minimum of 9.4 (individuals m−3) in March to a maximum of 1685 (individuals m−3) in June. A total of 66 copepod species belonging to 31 genera and 19 families were identified during three cruises. Copepod assemblages were dominated by Temora turbinata which occurred in >97% samples with a relative abundance of 75.46% combining all three sampling cruises. The ordination diagram derived from non-metric multidimensional scaling separated samples on the basis of season and revealed that different sampling stations clustered differently during each cruise. The second and third most dominant species were Acrocalanus gracilis and Acrocalanus gibber, representing 1.73% and 1.65% of the total copepod abundance respectively. The outfall area studied here correlates with lower copepod densities represented by a few species that show a higher relative abundance in comparison with non-affected areas. We provide here the first example where plankton assemblages indicate useful information about environmental changes in the course of sewage disposal at a stable outlet site.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2008

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