The Sea Shore Ecology of Hong Kong
ISBN : 978-962-209-027-9
366 pages, 6.5″ x 9.5″
Hong Kong is strategically located between the temperate Japonic and the great tropical Indo-West-Pacific zoogeographic provinces. Influenced by the currents of the South China Sea and the huge outflow of fresh water from the Pearl River, Hong Kong’s marine flora and fauna are extremely diverse. Temperate species may appear, if only briefly, during the cooler winter months. Conversely, air and water temperatures remain high enough for a strong tropical component: Hong Kong is comparatively rich in mangrove stands and reef corals are well developed subtidally. There is a strong north-west to south-east salinity gradient further enhancing diversity. Geologically, the Hong Kong shore is a ‘drowned’ coastline, deeply incised and with former mountain peaks represented by numerous off-shore islands. This book reviews the factors creating and maintaining Hong Kong’s living shore, and describes the wide range of plants and animals found within the intertidal boundaries of the shore. A full range from exposure to shelter is to be found, from communities of the sheer rock faces, beaten by the storm waves of the South China Sea, to the denizens of mudflats in high shelter at the heads of harbours and inlets. For the first time the occupants of these various shores are illustrated and described, both as individual species and as components of a rich mosaic of life. The factors of pollution and development that are destroying the diversity of the rich complex of shores are described.