A trophic model of fringing coral reefs in Nanwan Bay, southern Taiwan suggests overfishing

Pi Jen Liu, Kwang Tsao Shao, Rong Quen Jan, Tung Yung Fan, Saou Lien Wong, Jiang Shiou Hwang, Jen Ping Chen, Chung Chi Chen, Hsing Juh Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Several coral reefs of Nanwan Bay, Taiwan have recently undergone shifts to macroalgal or sea anemone dominance. Thus, a mass-balance trophic model was constructed to analyze the structure and functioning of the food web. The fringing reef model was comprised of 18 compartments, with the highest trophic level of 3.45 for piscivorous fish. Comparative analyses with other reef models demonstrated that Nanwan Bay was similar to reefs with high fishery catches. While coral biomass was not lower, fish biomass was lower than those of reefs with high catches. Consequently, the sums of consumption and respiratory flows and total system throughput were also decreased. The Nanwan Bay model potentially suggests an overfished status in which the mean trophic level of the catch, matter cycling, and trophic transfer efficiency are extremely reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept


  • Ecopath
  • Food web
  • Macroalgae
  • Network analysis
  • Phase shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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