Fish-based index of biotic integrity (F-IBI) is widely used to assess river ecosystems. With survey data from the Yellow River fishery resources in the 1980s and 2008, fish composition and abundance, vertical distribution, trophic structure, reproductive guilds and tolerance in the river’s upstream, midstream, downstream, and estuary were examined, and F-IBI systems were established for each reach to assess river ecosystem health. Results showed that compared to the 1980s, the number of fish species in 2008 sharply declined in the midstream and downstream reaches, percentage of benthic fish species decreased in upstream and estuary, the number and percentage of omnivorous species decreased in all reaches, and percentage of tolerant fish species increased 15 times in upstream but decreased in midstream and downstream. The F-IBI scores in the four reaches in the 1980s were all higher than those in 2008 and decreased from upstream to estuary; the healthy conditions indicated by F-IBI scores in the 1980s were “good,” “fair,” “poor,” and “fair” from upstream to estuary and “degraded” to “poor” in all the reaches in 2008. This indicated that the river ecosystem has degraded from the 1980s to 2008. This was also shown by variations in water chemistry.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China with Grant No. 50979003. Support from the Collaborative Innovation Center for Regional Environmental Quality is also acknowledged. We sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions substantially improved the quality of the paper.
Guest editors: Helmut Habersack & Roswitha Samek / Multifunctionality of large rivers
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Li, T., Huang, X., Jiang, X. et al. Assessment of ecosystem health of the Yellow River with fish index of biotic integrity. Hydrobiologia 814, 31–43 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-015-2541-5
- Biotic integrity
- The Yellow River