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Partnerships in the Sea

Hong Kong's Marine Symbioses

Brian Morton

Publication Year: 1988

Hong Kong's position on the southern coast of China provides her with a great diversity of animals living in association with each other in the surrounding seas.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

The putting together and writing of this book has been an act of selfish pleasure since the discovery and study in Hong Kong of a fascinating array of associations between many kinds of marine animals has been itself of consuming interest. Hong Kong has no rich heritage of marine biological research, few 19th century expeditions came to explore and few marine scientists of stature have worked here for prolonged periods. In 1928...

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pp. xi

The material this book has gathered together results from many happy years as a marine biologist in Hong Kong patrolling the magnificent array of shores it possesses and the sea life they are home to. In these field trips, I have often been accompanied by a troupe of undergraduate and postgraduate students who with their sharp eyes have helped me discover some of Hong Kong's most fascinating sea creatures. All that is needed to expose many of the associations in sand and mud is a good strong shovel, and a willingness to get mucky. The donning of a mask and snorkel will reveal just as much with regard to those associations of cleaner and clearer waters. To all these students, then, my thanks for many happy hours together. For deeper water animals, scuba is necessary and I would like to thank Dr. D.J.H. Phillips and Dr. B.W. Darvell and their colleagues from the YMCA and South China Diving Clubs respectively for bringing to my attention species I might never otherwise have seen. For assistance with the identification of many of the species herein...

List of Plates

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pp. xiii-xv

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Chapter 1 Introduction

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pp. 1-2

None of the dramatic and sweeping changes that influenced the biological world in the latter part of the 19th Century, was more profound than the writings of Charles Darwin. He gave biology a theory that lent understanding to the widely and popularly held view of the time, that life is an eternal struggle, red in fang and claw, with only the strongest,...

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Chapter 2 Language, Names and Definitions

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pp. 3-13

It is an essential human characteristic to define, understand and name all objects, even abstractions, that impinge upon us. Anything new requires much handling, inspection, and discussion until with consensus, a definition and finally a name is obtained. It then becomes a familiar part of our normal lives. In the same way, all life, in its many bizarre forms,...

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Chapter 3 Aegism: Associations for Protection

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pp. 15-31

This book commences its story of plant-animal and animal-animal relationships in the seas of Hong Kong with categories that do not fit neatly into the more easily interpreted categories of commensalism, mutualism and parasitism that are to follow. Indeed, many modern definitionists usually restrict themselves to the three categories above and what will be discussed are incorporated into one or other of them. But I believe...

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Chapter 4 Commensalism: Meal Sharing

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pp. 33-53

Commensalism is the term most glibly applied to animal associations and in many instances wrongly so. The term 'commensal' was first coined by van Beneden in 1876 and was used in the context of 'messmate'. The concept encompasses all those relationships based around a gastronomic hospitality, that...

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Chapter 5 Mutualism: Benefits for Both

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pp. 55-78

At the superficial level, the term mutualism, highly suggestive of reciprocal benefit, seems easy to understand and thus to define. But what is reciprocal benefit? When does the situation arise whereby one partner benefits slightly more than the other to swing the definition into aegism? In cases where...

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Chapter 6 Parasitism: One-sided Associations

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pp. 79-99

A category of plant and animal associations that has been most extensively studied is parasitism. This is because of the many species of parasites which affect man and his many activities and are thus of socio-economic and medical importance. The range of human parasites: viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoans, worms, mites and insects, gives an idea of the importance of parasitism in the life of but one species. For every human parasite there are probably just as many others dependent upon each other mammalian species. Considering the animal kingdom as a whole, therefore,...

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Chapter 7 Multiple Associations

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pp. 101-111

In the preceding pages, various chapters have illustrated facets of animal interrelationships in the coastal seas of Hong Kong. Aside from herbivory and predation, which are also kinds of relationships, more intimate associations fall into four major categories, aegism, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism. I have tried to illustrate these concepts by using local examples...

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Chapter 8 Epilogue

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pp. 113-114

The preceding chapters have taken us on a voyage from the simple to the complex and, with the example of corals and their mutualistic relationship with zooxanthellae, given an insight into the fantastic complexities of coral reefs and die associations they have engendered and continue to foster. A coral reef can be likened to a microcosm of the world, for within its skeletal framework has...

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A Taxonomic Guide

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pp. 115-119

The outline classification of the Animal Kingdom presented here is much simplified since certain groups of animals, for example the insects and many quadruped vertebrates, such as amphibians and mammals, are not well represented on the shore and in coastal waters. Classification is only with the higher taxonomic categories of Phylum, Class and sometimes Sub-class. The species reported upon in this book, are however, assigned to their taxonomic categories so that the reader can see at a glance which groups most readily form associations. Moreover, the species recorded are divided into host and symbiont to illustrate...


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pp. 121-124

E-ISBN-13: 9789882202405
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622092112

Page Count: 140
Publication Year: 1988