Learning from differences: Abiotic determinism of benthic communities in Northern Taiwan


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Wanchien Victoria Hsiao, Yuting Vicky Lin, Huei-Ting Lin, Vianney Denis*

Prof. Vianney Denis and master student Wanchien Victoria Hsiao from the Institute of Oceanography, NTU, together with Ph.D. candidate Yuting Vicky lin and Prof. Huei-Ting lin published a scientific paper in Marine Environmental Research in August, 2021 about the benthic communities in Northern Taiwan determined by their corresponding abiotic factors in a local scale.


Marine benthic communities vary along large-scale environmental gradients and provide relevant insights to interpret large-scale biogeographic patterns. However, the influence of environmental drivers in shaping communities locally has been largely overlooked. This is likely because of the difficulties to accumulate the suitable amount of accurate in situ data necessary to explore this determinism. The initial configuration of the benthic community is important to understand the trajectory it will follow under climate change. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to characterize the differences among benthic communities and to explore their environmental determinism.


In our study, benthic communities were scrutinized for their environmental determinism in Northern Taiwan. The wave motion, the substrate, the nitrate, the sedimentation and temperature all influenced the configuration of benthic communities. It highlights on the importance of considering abiotic parameters when predicting the trajectories of those communities under climate changes. Our results further suggest the strong potential for predicting environmental conditions by simply the examination of the community in place, providing useful information for assessing dynamics and the conservation of marine benthic communities in the future.

Figure 1. Benthic community at Shenao 15m that is strongly influenced by the wave motion.


Hsiao, W. V., Lin, Y. V., Lin, H. T., & Denis, V. (2021). Learning from differences: Abiotic determinism of benthic communities in Northern Taiwan. Marine Environmental Research, 170, 105361.