Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 21431.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021431

Special Issue: 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全 昆虫多样性与生态功能

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Species diversity and driving factors of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River

Zhengfei Li1, Xiaoming Jiang2, Jun Wang3, Xingliang Meng1, Junqian Zhang1, Zhicai Xie1,*()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072
    2. School of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048
    3. College of Fisheries, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070
  • Received:2021-10-29 Accepted:2022-01-08 Online:2022-06-20 Published:2022-01-09
  • Contact: Zhicai Xie


Aims: The Yarlung Zangbo River basin supports rich and unique biological resources, which makes it a global biodiversity hotspot. However, surveys on benthic macroinvertebrates in this river basin are far from sufficient. To fill this gap, this study focused on the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, where macroinvertebrates were sampled from the main stream and tributaries in autumn (October 2015) and spring (March 2016).
Methods: One-way ANOVA was used to examine the differences of abundance, biomass and ecological indices between the main stream and tributaries. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) was adopted to test if community structures varied among different site groups. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was Applied to identify the key environmental factors that significantly influence the community structure of macroinvertebrates during each season.
Results: A total of 270 species were identified, belonging to 5 phyla 8 classes 20 orders and 92 families. The community included 246 aquatic insects, 14 oligochaetes, 4 mollusks and 6 others. The average density was 939.1 ind./m2, and the average biomass was 5.44 g/m2. 184 and 214 macroinvertebrate species were collected in spring and autumn, respectively. The dominant species were aquatic insects that preferred clean and cold water, including Baetis sp., Baetiella sp., Simulium sp., Micropsetra sp. and Brachycentrus sp. The community structure, density and diversity indices exhibited significant temporal and spatial variation, and the diversity in tributaries was significantly higher than that of the main stream. CCA analysis indicated that environmental factors including altitude, velocity, river width and substrate types were key factors structuring the benthic community in the Yarlung Zangbo River.
Conclusion: The variation in community structure and diversity pattern were mainly derived from the variable climate types and geological barriers in the Grand Canyon area. This study can provide important basis and reference for macroinvertebrate diversity assessments and environmental monitoring in the Yarlung Zangbo River basin.

Key words: Yarlung Zangbo River, benthic macroinvertebrates, species composition, species diversity, canonical correspondence analysis