Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 35–44

Ain’t no mountain high enough: the impact of severe typhoon on montane stream fishes

  • Jeng-Ping Chen
  • Colin Kuo-Chang Wen
  • Pei-Jie Meng
  • Kah Leng Cherh
  • Kwang-Tsao Shao
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10641-014-0243-x

Cite this article as:
Chen, JP., Wen, C.KC., Meng, PJ. et al. Environ Biol Fish (2015) 98: 35. doi:10.1007/s10641-014-0243-x

Abstract

Typhoons are a regular occurrence in tropical Taiwan. Local flora and fauna should be adapted to typhoons, however more severe storms in the past decade most likely due to climate change have caused an apparent impact on local ecosystems and diversity. Heavy rainfall from typhoon events has been associated with declines in density and biodiversity of low altitude freshwater fish. Montane streams on the other hand are assumed to be more resilient to typhoons as these habitats receive less washed-off pollutant and is buffeted by established vegetation. However, as access to isolated montane streams, especially after a typhoon, is difficult, the effects of typhoons on these habitats are rarely studied. In this study, we overcame many obstacles to survey montane freshwater fishes in Beikeng Creek shortly after a typhoon event. We demonstrated extreme changes in physical characteristics, but little changes in chemical characteristics of the stream. We also documented the absence of the endemic Rhinogobius rubromaculatus (red spotted goby) and the crashed population of Onychostoma barbatulum, (Taiwan shovel-jaw carp) after typhoon. Although these two endemic species are expected to survive in other unaffected montane creeks and streams in the vicinity, the dramatic decline in montane fish population in Beikeng Creek suggests that conservation management may need to be reconsidered to prevent possible extinction under increasing human and natural perturbations.

Keywords

Taiwan freshwater fishes Climate change Cyclone impact Local extinction N-mixture model 

Supplementary material

10641_2014_243_MOESM1_ESM.doc (13.6 mb)
ESM 1(DOC 13936 kb)
10641_2014_243_MOESM2_ESM.doc (101 kb)
ESM 2(DOC 101 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeng-Ping Chen
    • 1
  • Colin Kuo-Chang Wen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pei-Jie Meng
    • 4
  • Kah Leng Cherh
    • 5
  • Kwang-Tsao Shao
    • 3
  1. 1.Taiwan Ocean Research InstituteKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and EcologySouth China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Biodiversity Research Center, Academia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.National Museum of Marine Biology and AquariumChechengTaiwan
  5. 5.School of Marine and Tropical BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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