Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 304-312.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015268

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Estimating population abundance and utilization of Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic fish species in the upper Yangtze River

Fei Xiong1, *(), Hongyan Liu1, Xinbin Duan2, *(), Shaoping Liu2, Daqing Chen2   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056
    2 Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Wuhan 430223
  • Received:2015-10-09 Accepted:2015-12-11 Online:2016-04-05
  • Xiong Fei,Duan Xinbin;

Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic species in the upper Yangtze River, has been threatened by overfishing and dam construction. To understand its population dynamics after the Three Gorges Reservoir was built and before the Xiangjiaba and Xiluodu reservoirs were built, we employed body length-frequency data to estimate growth and mortality parameters, population abundance and utilization of the fish based on surveys in the Jiangjin and Yibin sections of the upper Yangtze River conducted from 2007-2009. Fish ranged from 52 to 250 mm in length and 2.7 to 307.2 g in weight, with an average length of 150.8 ± 40.7 mm and an average weight of 72.3 ± 49.7 g. The average size of the fish in the Jiangjin section of the Yangtze River (168.6 ± 29.5 mm) was significantly larger than that in Yibin section (125.6 ± 41.2 mm). The length-weight relationship of R. ventralis was well-fit with a power function, W = 6.06 × 10-6 L3.20 (R2 = 0.98, P < 0.01, n = 436). Asymptotic length (L) and growth constant (k) were estimated using length frequency data as 338 mm and 0.24/yr, respectively. Average natural mortality was comprehensively estimated as 0.43 using three empirical formulas proposed by Pauly, Gunderson & Dygert, and Jensen, respectively. The total mortalities were estimated using a length-converted catch curve analysis as 2.26 in the Jiangjin section and 2.09 in the Yibin section of the Yangtze River. The observed exploitation rates were 0.81 in the Jiangjin section and 0.79 in the Yibin section, which were higher than the maximum exploitation rates of 0.57 in the Jiangjin section and 0.62 in the Yibin section that were estimated using Beverton & Holt Y′/R analysis. Population abundance of R. ventralis in the Jiangjin section was estimated by length-structured virtual population analysis as 68,247 in 2007, 67,432 in 2008, and 176,266 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 103,982; while abundance in the Yibin section was estimated as 22,953 in 2007, 46,340 in 2008, and 34,021 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 34,438, indicating the population abundance was higher in the Jiangjin section than the Yibin section. We conclude that overfishing is occurring in these stocks of R. ventralis and recommend a longer period of monitoring in order to understand population dynamics of R. ventralis. We further suggest that management authorities establish a longer closed period for fishing and undertake habitat restoration to protect the endemic fish species.

Key words: population parameters, growth, mortality, population abundance, stock assessment, Rhinogobio ventralis

Fig. 1

Location of sampling stations in the upper Yangtze River"

Fig. 2

Length structure of Rhinogobio ventralis in the Jiangjin (a) and Yibin (b) sections"

Fig. 3

Length-weight relationship of Rhinogobio ventralis in the upper Yangtze River"

Table 1

Mortalities and exploitation rates of Rhinogobio ventralis in the Jiangjin and Yibin sections from 2007-2009"

年份 Year Z M F E
2007 3.01 0.43 2.58 0.86
2008 1.90 0.43 1.47 0.77
2009 2.53 0.43 2.10 0.83
总体 Total 2.26 0.43 1.83 0.81
2007 2.41 0.43 1.98 0.82
2008 1.81 0.43 1.38 0.76
2009 1.61 0.43 1.18 0.73
总体 Total 2.09 0.43 1.66 0.79

Fig. 4

Relative yield per recruit (Y′/R) and biomass per recruit (B′/R) curves of Rhinogobio ventralis in the Jiangjin (a) and Yibin (b) sections"

Fig. 5

Length-structured virtual population analyses for Rhinogobio ventralis in the Jiangjin (a) and Yibin (b) sections from 2007-2009"

Table 2

Estimate results of population abundance and biomass of Rhinogobio ventralis based on terminal fishing mortalities (Ft) determined by different exploitation rates (Et)"

江段 Sections 年份 Year 数量 Individuals (尾) 生物量 Biomass (t)
迭代法 Iteration method Et = 0.5 Et = 0.8 迭代法 Iteration method Et = 0.5 Et = 0.8
2007 68,247 67,447 63,097 14.17 13.70 11.13
2008 67,432 66,719 64,478 15.55 15.04 13.46
2009 176,266 174,952 171,938 29.36 28.62 26.92
2007 22,953 24,881 22,613 2.58 3.46 2.44
2008 46,340 44,744 40,832 5.15 4.62 3.37
2009 34,021 37,503 32,412 6.37 8.37 5.44

Table 3

Comparison of estimated population parameters of Rhinogobio ventralis "

Length (mm)
k(/yr) b 样本数
乌江 Wujiang (1981-1983) 81-260 - - 2.96 112 年龄-体长法 Age-length Zhou & He, 1992
江津 Jiangjin (1989) 100-280 269 0.48 3.03 443 年龄-体长法 Age-length Duan et al, 1991
长江上游 Upper Yangtze River (2005-2007) 75-236 299 0.24 3.21 546 年龄-体长法 Age-length 辛建峰, 2010
合江 Hejiang (1998-2001) 81-240 316 0.30 3.15 445 年龄-体长法 Age-length 张松, 2003
木洞 Mudong (1998-1999) - 305 0.31 3.07 570 年龄-体长法 Age-length Deng & He, 2005
丽江 Lijiang (2008) 101-263 279 0.33 3.01 161 年龄-体长法 Age-length Bao et al, 2009
江津和宜宾 Jiangjin and Yibin (2007-2009) 52-250 338 0.24 3.20 436 ELEFANⅠ This study
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