Hypoxia, Salinity Stress and Food Availability as Selective Force Structuring Benthic Scavenging Community in Hong Kong Waters

Project: Research

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The most representative members of the generalists of the seabed in Hong Kong waters are gastropod species from the family Nassariidae, with seven species being recorded from local subtidal waters. The distribution and abundance of these scavengers have exhibited regional differences. Although such a distributional pattern is well-established, the mechanisms involved in structuring the scavenging community are virtually unknown. It is hypothesized that such distributional differences among the scavenging species result from the interplay of three environmental stresses, namely hypoxia, low salinity and trawling disturbance with differential responses among the nassariid species to these stresses. The hypothesis is tested by comparing the tolerance and physiological responses of four nassariid species with contrasting distributional patterns to hypoxia, salinity stress and variable food availability. The results may provide insight into how the scavenging community in local waters is structured by natural stresses and human disturbance, along with clues towards understanding similar communities in subtropical regions.


Project number9041168
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/0725/02/11