Links between the flow of rivers and diversity of fish species

May 27, 2014
Fig. Ratio of potential species richness of native fish in the future (2036-2050, FSR.f) compared to the past (1971-1985, FSR.p) in each basin under a scenario of enhanced irrigation and climate change.

There is increasing concern about the global decline of biodiversity. In particular, changes in the flow of rivers due to climate change and increasing water consumption affect freshwater biodiversity including fish species richness (FSR).

However, due to limited ecological data and immaturity of flow indices, the link between the flow of rivers and FSR on a global scale is unclear.

Here, Chihiro Yoshimura and his colleagues in Department of Civil Engineering have developed empirical models to relate FSR to several flow indices and other parameters of rivers on a global scale.

Flow regime of rivers was assessed by ecologically important indices and then statistically linked to FSR data using a generalized linear , which enables scenario analysis for the future.

The results of the model have provided the first empirical indication that specific low and high characteristics of may be important in explaining variations in basin-scale FSR.

These findings may be useful in identifying high-risk basins in terms of the conservation of diversity. In ongoing work, other factors, for example dams and fish traits, are being incorporated into the FSR model.

Explore further: How does snow affect the amount of water in rivers?

More information: IWASAKI, Y., RYO, M., SUI, P. and YOSHIMURA, C. (2012), "Evaluating the relationship between basin-scale fish species richness and ecologically relevant flow characteristics in rivers worldwide." Freshwater Biology, 57: 2173–2180. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02861.x

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How does snow affect the amount of water in rivers?

May 18, 2014

New research has shown for the first time that the amount of water flowing through rivers in snow-affected regions depends significantly on how much of the precipitation falls as snowfall. This means in a ...

Climate change threatens freshwater fish

Jan 10, 2014

(Phys.org) —New research has revealed that Western Australia's drying climate will impact fish migrations, putting further pressure on a number of native freshwater fish species.

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

Sep 19, 2014

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Asian stars enlisted to fight African rhino poaching

Sep 19, 2014

Increasingly desperate South African conversationists are turning to a multi-national team of "rhino ambassadors" to try to end the scourge of poaching—and Vietnamese pop diva Hong Nhung has been recruited ...

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

Sep 18, 2014

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate ...

User comments : 0