Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 289–298 | Cite as

Navigation disturbance and its impact on fish assemblage in the East Tiaoxi River, China

  • Yuichi KanoEmail author
  • Tatsuro Sato
  • Liangliang Huang
  • Chris Wood
  • Kazuhiro Bessho
  • Tomotaka Matsumoto
  • Yukihiro Shimatani
  • Jun Nakajima


We provide the first evidence for navigation impact on resident river fish in China. The survey was conducted in the East Tiaoxi River that discharges into Lake Taihu near Shanghai, on which cargo ship traffic has dramatically increased in the recent economic development period. Water turbidity, ship traffic and other environmental factors were evaluated at 29 sites on the river. In a multiple regression model with the stepwise method, turbidity was significantly correlated with ship traffic (R 2 = 0.53). Another survey was conducted at 46 sites in the same area of the river, in which environmental factors were evaluated and fish individuals were electrofished. A generalised linear model with the stepwise method was applied to predict ecological indicators of the fish assemblage (species richness, individual density and Shannon’s diversity index) based on environmental factors. The results showed that the indicators were negatively correlated with turbidity and presence of artificial shore embankment structures. Another analysis further showed that the negative effect of turbid water was especially considerable for fish of smaller size. In conclusion, cargo ship traffic has a negative impact on fish assemblage, especially on smaller individuals, in the East Tiaoxi River. A higher profile for conservation actions and consideration of environmental impacts of such traffic should be given increasing focus for this and other similar East Asian water courses.


Cargo ship traffic Embankment Lake Taihu Navigation bottleneck hypothesis (NBH) Turbidity Water pollution 



We are deeply grateful to I. Djamaluddin, J. Li, W. Tanaka, H. Toyama, K. Watanabe and T. Yahara for great assistance. This work was supported by Global COE Program (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; center of excellence for Asian conservation ecology as a basis of human–nature mutualism), Research Institute for East Asia Environment (Kyushu University) and the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S9) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. We also gratefully appreciate the financial support of Mitsubishi Corporation.


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuichi Kano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tatsuro Sato
    • 1
  • Liangliang Huang
    • 2
  • Chris Wood
    • 3
    • 4
  • Kazuhiro Bessho
    • 5
  • Tomotaka Matsumoto
    • 5
  • Yukihiro Shimatani
    • 1
  • Jun Nakajima
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of Systems Life Sciences, Graduate School of Systems Life SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  6. 6.Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental SciencesDazaifuJapan

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