Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (1): 76-81.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08140

• Research Brief • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Fish species composition and diversity of Yangtze River estuarine wetlands

Heng Zhang1,4, Guoping Zhu2,3, Jianjian Lu4,*()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Fisheries Resources Remote Sensing and Information Technology Resources, East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Shanghai 200090
    2 Key Laboratory of Shanghai Education Commission for Oceanic Fisheries Resources Exploitation, College of Marine Sciences, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306
    3 Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries Resources (Shanghai Ocean University), Ministry of Education, Shanghai 201306
    4 State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062
  • Received:2008-06-17 Accepted:2008-10-17 Online:2009-01-20 Published:2009-01-20
  • Contact: Jianjian Lu


To explore the status and dynamics of fish species composition, we surveyed fish at 33 sampling stations using several net types in wetlands of the Yangtze River estuary between 2004 and 2007. A total of 123 fish species were collected, belonging to 46 families, 18 orders and 1 class. A historical dataset showed 208 fish species in 67 families, 22 orders and 2 classes. Elops saurus and Sardinella sindensis were two newly-recorded species in the area. The fish fauna was mainly comprised of Cypriniformes and Perciformes, and freshwater ecological guilds. Species composition varied among the southern branch, northern branch and the estuarine mouth. The dominant species in the southern branch belonged to Cypriniformes, while those in the northern branch and the estuarine mouth both belonged to Perciformes. Compared to the pre-1990 survey, we found that diversity of fish species in the study area deceased to some extent, especially species in Cartilaginous or Tetraodontidae families. Some important commercial fishes, such as Tenualosa reevesii, Hemisalanx prognathus, and Takifugu obscurus, had become uncommon or rare species. Reasons for such decrease may lay on overfishing, water pollution and habitat loss, etc.

Key words: Yangtze River estuarine wetlands, species diversity, species composition, occurrence