Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 519–533 | Cite as

Distribution pattern, threats and conservation of fish biodiversity in the East Tiaoxi, China

  • Jianhua Li
  • Liangliang Huang
  • Tatsuro Sato
  • Limin Zou
  • Ke Jiang
  • Tetsukazu Yahara
  • Yuichi Kano


East Tiaoxi River is one of the largest inflowing rivers into Taihu Lake, and the fish fauna in the river is poorly understood. In the present study, an extensive survey of fish was conducted in October and November 2009, May and September 2010 and May 2011 covering a total of 55 sites along the whole river. A total of 84 freshwater fish species belonging to 8 orders, 18 families and 52 genera have been recorded. Among these are 35 species endemic to China, and 3 newly recorded exotic species. The fish composition varies greatly from headwaters to downstream. Based on cluster analysis with presence-absence data, the East Tiaoxi River is divided into four regions, specifically, the upper reach, middle-up reach, middle reach and lower reach. It is observed that species richness and the proportion of omnivorous species increased from upstream to downstream while the proportion of invertivorous species decreased consequently. Habitat alteration, overfishing, pollution and inland navigation adversely affect the fish diversity and ecosystem functioning in the East Tiaoxi River. To protect fish diversity more effectively in the area, the conservation of fish biodiversity in the North Tiaoxi River and Middle Tiaoxi River should be considered as a priority. Meanwhile, shallow zones or backwater areas should be created in the middle-lower reaches. Furthermore, river restoration, in terms of habitat creation, should be considered to protect the structure and diversity of fish communities, halt the progressive deterioration of freshwater ecosystems and sustain a valuable ecological resource for humans.


Biodiversity Conservation East Tiaoxi River Freshwater fish Threat 



This work was supported by Independent Research of Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of Education (YRWEY 1004), National High Technology Research and Development Program in China (2009AA06A417-01), Shanghai Postdoctoral Science Foundation (10R21415600) and Global COE Program (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) and Research Institute for East Asia Environment (Kyushu University). We are deeply grateful to QH Huang, R Ma, XW Chen, ZQ Jing, JL Sun, Y Ding, F Wang, J Nakajima, S Hirota, and HN Toyama for great field assistance. And we would also like to thank Ahmed A. Abdelhafez in our lab and G Grant (a member in the Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management in the UK) for improving the English text and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and insightful comments on our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianhua Li
    • 1
  • Liangliang Huang
    • 1
  • Tatsuro Sato
    • 2
  • Limin Zou
    • 3
  • Ke Jiang
    • 1
  • Tetsukazu Yahara
    • 4
  • Yuichi Kano
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Water supply and drainage management station of Shanghai Qingpu water authorityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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