Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (3): 23303.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023303

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community structure and ecological health evaluation of macrobenthos in the restoration area of the Yellow River Delta wetland

Yanmei Ni1, Li Chen2, Zhiyuan Dong2, Debin Sun2, Baoquan Li2,3, Xumin Wang1, Linlin Chen2,3*   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Yantai University, Yantai, Shandong 264003

    2 Key Laboratory of Coastal Biology and Bioresource Utilization, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shandong 264003
    3 Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Environmental Process and Ecological Restoration, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Yantai Coastal Zone Research Institute), Yantai, Shandong 264003

  • Received:2023-08-29 Revised:2024-01-04 Online:2024-03-20 Published:2024-02-27
  • Contact: Linlin Chen


Aims: The internationally important wetland biodiversity conservation project of the Yellow River Delta started in 2019. This study used macrobenthos community characteristics and their relationship with environmental factors to understand the health status of this ecosystem and assess the succession stage and repair effect after three years of restoration.

Method: This study investigated the macrobenthos and environmental factors in the restoration area in May, August and October in 2022, respectively. The community structure, biodiversity, and their relationships with major environmental factors were analyzed by classical taxonomy, biodiversity index, cluster analysis, MDS analysis, and Spearman correlation analysis.

Results: A total of 16 macrobenthic species belonging to 5 phyla, 6 classes and 15 families were collected in spring, summer and autumn. Insecta species were found dominant in species composition. The number of macrobenthic species in the Yellow River Delta wetland restoration area showed an increasing trend during the survey period, with chironomid larvae, elliptical radish snails, and pointed mouth round flat snails becoming the dominant species in the area, as well as key characteristic and differential species in the community structure. The species density was significantly correlated with indicators such as specific conductance, salinity, total carbon, ammonium nitrogen, and nitrite nitrogen (P < 0.01). The rapid biological comprehensive evaluation index evaluated the restoration area as the “sub-health” state.

Conclusion: The restoration area is developing towards a healthier and more orderly direction but is currently in a “sub healthy” state, indicating a need for continued restoration work. Ecological succession is a slow process which requires long-term ecological monitoring in our research area, including an analysis of the reconstruction process of the disturbed macrobenthic community structure in the Yellow River Delta ecological restoration area, and an exploration of the regular changes in ecological succession.

Key words: Key words: the Yellow River Delta, ecological restoration, macrobenthos, rapid biological evaluation, community structure