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Long-term monitoring of the coral reef fish communities around a nuclear power plant
Jan, R.-Q.; Chen, J.-P.; Lin, C.-Y.; Shao, K.-T. (2001). Long-term monitoring of the coral reef fish communities around a nuclear power plant. Aquat. Ecol. 35(2): 233-255
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Jan, R.-Q.
  • Chen, J.-P.
  • Lin, C.-Y.
  • Shao, K.-T.

    Over the past 21 years (1979-1999) we have observed temporal changes in the fish communities on a coral reef around a nuclear power plant in southern Taiwan. Data used for analyses were collected bimonthly by scuba-diving ichthyologists at four sub-tidal stations (Stations A, B, D, E). The commercial operation of the nuclear power plant was launched in the summer of 1984. During the study period the number of fish species varies, with the coefficient of variation (CV) ranging from 19.0% (Station A) to 25.2% (Station D). Nevertheless, the sequential data on number of species follow a random trend in terms of runs up and down at all four stations. This characteristic persists both before and after the initiation of power plant operation. Dendrograms drawn using UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method using arithmetic averages) on the dissimilarity coefficients between yearly fish occurrences show that the years 1980-1984 are more closely grouped than any other years. This phenomenon prevails at all stations, indicating that wide-scale change occurred between 1984 and 1985. After the power plant began operation, changes in water temperature were minute at these sub-tidal stations. Impacts from other sources such as chlorine release and fish impingement seem remote. We believe temporal variations in the studied fish communities can be better explained as arising from natural fluctuations of environmental factors as well as physical disturbance caused by typhoons. The latter factor is also thought to account for the major faunal change between 1984 and 1985.

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