In the inner part of Ariake Bay, Japan, hypoxia frequently occurs in summer at the organically enriched bottom with salinity stratification caused by flooding after the rainy season. Sediment organic enrichment can work as a stressor for macrobenthos. To investigate the effects of both hypoxia and sediment organic enrichment on macrobenthos, samples were collected at 20 stations by grab sampling in May and August, representing the situation before and after hypoxia, respectively. Although sediment grain size did not change, sediment TOC increased significantly in August. Multivariate analyses showed that the community structure changed significantly in August. The variation in the community structure among stations also increased, which indicated disturbance by stressors during the study period. Similarly, the species richness and total abundance of macrobenthos decreased significantly after hypoxia even after the TOC effect was removed. In addition, the amount of TOC change and the abundance of the main species did not correlate in any case. These results suggest that the community changes during the study period are not caused by stress from the increased sediment TOC but are mainly from the subsequent hypoxic stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science