Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): 23427.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023427

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Progress of monitoring and research of China Inland Water Fish Biodiversity Observation Network

Gao Xin1,5(), Zhao Yahui2(), Tian Fei3(), Wang Xiaoai4(), Li Mingzheng1,5(), Lin Pengcheng1,5(), Chang Tao1,5, Yu Dan1,5(), Liu Huanzhang1,5,*()()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072
    2 Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    3 Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008
    4 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201
    5 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2023-11-08 Accepted:2023-12-27 Online:2023-12-20 Published:2024-01-05
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Background & Aims: There are 1,591 fish species in China’s inland waters, which accounts for 10% of the inland water fish species in the world. However, the development of the fish diversity monitoring in China’s inland water has still lagged and the long-term continuous and comprehensive monitoring networks and platforms has been scared. The China inland water fish biodiversity observation network (CIWF-BON) is the first nationwide network built for monitoring fish diversity of the inland waters in China. The purpose of this paper is to give a thorough overview of the achievement and to highlight the operations and duties of CIWF-BON.

Progress: The network has established the first national database of the inland water fish biodiversity and collects and preserves more than ten thousand fish specimens and the fish diversity data from important river basins, including the data sets of fish species diversity, early resources, genetic diversity, and biology of important fish species, and so on. The network also has established technical specifications for monitoring fish diversity in inland waters in China based on the synthesis of the conventional and novel monitoring methods to promote the standardization of collecting fish diversity data and enhance the possibility of analyzing large-scale data. The Chishui River Rare and Endemic Fish Conservation and Aquatic Biodiversity Observation and Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been built to further monitor the fish diversity of the Chishui River and undertake the research on the protection and restoration of fish resources in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River basin.

Findings: Based on the long-term monitoring data, the network has systematically researched the distribution pattern, change, and the impact factors of the fish communities in the important rivers, the characteristics of reproductive biology and reproductive impact mechanisms of the endangered fish Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), the environmental conditions of the four major Chinese carps reproduction in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, as well as the biological characteristics of the endemic fish. The results show that the human activities, such as overfishing, dams, and invasive species, have caused significant changes in fish community structure of the important river basins. Large water conservancy and hydropower projects in the mainstream of the Yangtze River have caused the sharp decline in the population of Chinese sturgeon and seriously influence the breeding activities, making the wild population critically endangered. After the impoundment of the Three Gorges Reservoir, the eggs and larval of the four major Chinese carps (FMCC) are significantly decreased from 1997 to 2012 in the middle Yangtze River. The first spawning dates of FMCC in the Yichang reach delayed by about 21 days and the number of the eggs is changed with first decreasing and then increasing. The results lay the data foundation and provide the scientific evidence for the important national missions and policies, such as assessing the ecological impact of the Three Gorges Project, the ten-year fishing closure on the Yangtze River, the ecological and environmental protection of the Chishui River, and the conservation of the Chinese sturgeon, and so on.

Suggestions: To advancing the construction of the national observation network, we suggest to increase investment and establish observation stations, to promote data sharing and regional cooperation, and to conduct research and application of novel technologies and methods.

Key words: fish diversity, rare fish, endemic fish, community, reproduction, conservation, monitoring