Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (4): 527-535.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014152

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Indicators and implementing methods of wetland biodiversity monitoring: taking Great Lakes coastal wetlands as an example

Yanping Wu, Wenjing Yang*()   

  1. Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022
  • Received:2015-04-29 Accepted:2015-05-15 Online:2015-07-20 Published:2015-08-03


Lake wetlands are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including numerous species that are highly dependent on habitat and a big portion of them are classified as protected by law. However, lake wetlands are among the most functionally degraded ecosystems. Almost 40% of Chinese lake wetlands are threatened by various factors, including land development, input of pollutants, and hydrologic alterations. A monitoring network is essential for tracking changes in wetland biodiversity. Many developed countries have established regional or even national scale wetland monitoring systems, whereas China is still in the early stages of development. In this paper, we introduce indicators and implementing methods for coastal wetland biodiversity monitoring in the Great Lakes. Five biological groups (i.e. plants, macroinvertebrates, fishes, amphibians and birds) and water were sampled annually from c. 1,500 monitoring sites. Indices of biotic integrity (IBIs) were developed based on biological community data to assess the current status of and temporal trends in wetland health conditions. This project provides the scientific basis for biodiversity conservation and wetland management policy, and represents a good example for formulating a wetland biodiversity monitoring scheme in China.

Key words: lake wetlands, biodiversity, monitoring scheme, indicators, monitoring sites, water quality, index of biotic integrity (IBI)