Zoological Studies

Vol. 37 No. 4, 1998

Taxonomic Composition and Grazing Impact of Calanoid Copepods in Coastal Waters near Nuclear Power Plants in Northern Taiwan

Chong-Kim Wong1, Jiang-Shiou Hwang2,* and Qing-Chao Chen3

1Department of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
2Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 202
3South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Academia Sinica, Guangzhou, China

Chong-Kim Wong, Jiang-Shiou Hwang and Qing-Chao Chen (1998) This study was carried out in August 1996 to study the taxonomic composition and grazing impact of calanoid copepods in coastal waters at 8 sampling stations outside Nuclear Power Plants 1 and 2 on the northern tip of Taiwan. Thermal pollution was observed at station 3 outside Nuclear Power Plant 2 where surface water temperature reached 30.0 cC. At each sampling station, the abundance and species composition of calanoid copepods were analyzed; the gut fluorescence method was used to estimate in situ ingestion rates and clearance rates. Thirty-seven species of calanoid cope pods were identified. The abundance and species composition of calanoid copepods varied among sampling stations. Acrocalanus gracilis, comprising 30%-90% of the numerical abundance, strongly dominated the calanoid copepod community in the area during the study period. Variability of ingestion rates and clearance rates for a single species was high among the sampling stations. Despite its relatively small size and low clearance rate, A. gracilis was the most important grazer because of its numerical abundance. Grazing impact, estimated as the fraction of chlorophyll removed from 1 rn" of water by the calanoid copepod assemblage ranged from 0.05% to 11%, suggesting that the grazing pressure of calanoid copepods on phytoplankton in the near shore waters outside Nuclear Power Plants 1 and 2 was minor. There was no evidence to suggest that the slightly elevated surface water temperature had affected the community structure or grazing impact of calanoid copepods at station 3.

Key words: Calanoid copepods, Taxonomic composition, Grazing impact.

*Correspondence: -