Cite this paper:
SONG Yingfei, ZHANG Longjun, LUO Xianxiang. Spatiotemporal distribution of fish eggs and larvae in the Huanghe (Yellow) River estuary, China in 2005-2016[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2019, 37(5): 1625-1637

Spatiotemporal distribution of fish eggs and larvae in the Huanghe (Yellow) River estuary, China in 2005-2016

SONG Yingfei, ZHANG Longjun, LUO Xianxiang
Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
Decreasing fish resources in estuaries is a subject of anthropogenic activities. Studies of the spatiotemporal distribution of fish eggs and larvae can help identify the status and processes underlying recruitment in a fishery. As the fifth largest river estuary in the world, the Huanghe (Yellow) River estuary (HRE) is a typical estuary that has been seriously affected by human activities. Annual surveys on ichthyoplankton and environmental factors were conducted in the months of May of 2005 and 2009-2016 in the HRE to investigate the spatiotemporal distribution of fish eggs and larvae and the associated influencing factors. A total of 23 and 20 species of eggs and larvae, respectively, were collected. The dominant orders were Perciformes (51.2%) and Clupeiformes (25.6%). The average number of fish species eggs and larvae were 6.0 and 4.1 in average abundance of 0.91 and 0.13 ind./m3, respectively. The dominant species were mainly low-commercial-value small-sized fishes, such as Clupanodon punctatus, Harengula zunasi, and Acanthogobius, whereas certain traditional commercial fishes, such as Trichiurus lepturus, and Clupea pallasii, were not seen. Analysis of the fish egg and larval community revealed four temporal assemblages and two spatial assemblages. Salinity was the main factor on the spatial distribution of ichthyoplankton communities, the species number and Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H') of the fish egg and larval community near the river mouth with lower salinity were significantly lower than the community far away from the river mouth with higher salinity. In addition, increases of water temperature promoted the number and abundance of fish species eggs, and the areas of abundant prey tended to have a more diversified and abundant of ichthyoplankton species. In overall, overfishing, dam construction, and other human activities were the main drivers that led to the substantial decline in fishery resources in the HRE.
Key words:    Huanghe (Yellow) River estuary|fish egg and larva|environmental factors|fishery resources|human activity   
Received: 2018-10-09   Revised: 2018-11-14
PDF (626 KB) Free
Print this page
Add to favorites
Email this article to others
Articles by SONG Yingfei
Articles by ZHANG Longjun
Articles by LUO Xianxiang
Arula T, Raid T, Simm M, Ojaveer H. 2016. Temperaturedriven changes in early life-history stages influence the Gulf of Riga spring spawning herring (Clupea harengus m.) recruitment abundance. Hydrobiologia, 767(1):125-135,
Baptista J, Martinho F, Nyitrai D, Pardal M A, Dolbeth M. 2015. Long-term functional changes in an estuarine fish assemblage. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 97(1-2):125-134,
Bascompte J, Melián C J, Sala E, Paine R T. 2005. Interaction strength combinations and the overfishing of a marine food web. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(15):5 443-5 447,
Boeuf G, Payan P. 2001. How should salinity influence fish growth? Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C:Toxicology & Pharmacology, 130(4):411-423,
Catchpole T, Van Keeken O, Gray T, Piet G. 2008. The discard problem-a comparative analysis of two fisheries:the English Nephrops fishery and the Dutch beam trawl fishery. Ocean & Coastal Management, 51(11):772-778,
Chen D G, Shen W Q, Liu Q, Jiao Y, Zeng X Q, Ren Y P. 2000.The geographical characteristics and fish species diversity in the Laizhou Bay and Yellow River estuary. Journal of Fishery Sciences of China, 7(3):46-52,
Clarke K R, Warwick R M. 2001. Change in Marine Communities:An Approach to Statistical Analysis and Interpretation. 2nd edn. PRIMER-E, Plymouth.
Costa M J, Cabral H N, Drake P, Economou A N, Fernandez-Delgado C, Gordo L, Marchand J, Thiel R. 2007.Recruitment and Production of Commercial Species in Estuaries. In:Elliott M, Hemingway K eds. Fishes in Estuaries. John Wiley & Sons, Washington. p.54-123,
Cushing D H. 1990. Plankton production and year-class strength in fish populations:an update of the match/mismatch hypothesis. Advances in Marine Biology, 26:249-293,
Daskalov G M, Grishin A N, Rodionov S, Mihneva V. 2007.Trophic cascades triggered by overfishing reveal possible mechanisms of ecosystem regime shifts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(25):10 518-10 523,
Elliott M, Whitfield A K, Potter I C, Blaber S J M, Cyrus D P, Nordlie F G, Harrison T D. 2007. The guild approach to categorizing estuarine fish assemblages:a global review.Fish and Fisheries, 8(3):241-268,
Emery S M. 2007. Limiting similarity between invaders and dominant species in herbaceous plant communities?Journal of Ecology, 95(5):1 027-1 035,
Fan H, Huang H J. 2008. Response of coastal marine ecoenvironment to river fluxes into the sea:a case study of the Huanghe (Yellow) River mouth and adjacent waters.Marine Environmental Research, 65(5):378-387,
Gao L, Cheng F, Song Y Q, Jiang W, Feng G P, Luo Y M, Xie S G. 2018. Patterns of larval fish assemblages along the direction of freshwater input within the southern branch of the Yangtze Estuary, China:implications for conservation. Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 33(1):97-114,
Gillson J, Scandol J, Suthers I. 2009. Estuarine gillnet fishery catch rates decline during drought in eastern Australia.Fisheries Research, 99(1):26-37,
Gordoa A, Carreras G. 2014. Determination of temporal spawning patterns and hatching time in response to temperature of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Western Mediterranean. PLoS One, 9(3):e90691,
Han R, Chen Q W, Wang L, Tang X W. 2016. Preliminary investigation on the changes in trophic structure and energy flow in the Yangtze estuary and adjacent coastal ecosystem due to the three gorges reservoir. Ecological Informatics, 36:152-161,
Imsland A K D, Danielsen M, Jonassen T M, Hangstad T A, Falk-Petersen I B. 2019. Effect of incubation temperature on eggs and larvae of lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus).Aquaculture, 498:217-222,
Islam M S, Hibino M, Tanaka M. 2006. Distribution and diets of larval and juvenile fishes:influence of salinity gradient and turbidity maximum in a temperate estuary in upper Ariake Bay, Japan. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 68(1-2):62-74,
Jiang M, Shen X Q, Li L, Quan W M. 2013. Annual variability of ichthyoplankton in the Yangtze River estuary of china from august 2002 to 2009. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 42(1):59-69,
Jin X S, Shan X J, Li X S, Wang J, Cui Y, Zuo T. 2013. Longterm changes in the fishery ecosystem structure of Laizhou Bay, China. Science China Earth Sciences, 56(3):366-374.
Jin X S. 2004. Long-term changes in fish community structure in the Bohai Sea, China. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 59(1):163-171,
Kaiser M J, Spencer B E. 1996. The effects of beam-trawl disturbance on infaunal communities in different habitats.Journal of Animal Ecology, 65(3):348-358,
Liu S M, Li L W, Zhang G L, Liu Z, Yu Z G, Ren J L. 2012.Impacts of human activities on nutrient transports in the Huanghe (Yellow River) estuary. Journal of Hydrology, 430-431:103-110,
Machado I, Calliari D, Denicola A, Rodríguez-Graña L. 2017.Coupling suitable prey field to in situ fish larval condition and abundance in a subtropical estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 187:31-42,
Morris C. 2015. Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO 5, 2nd edition. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 32(4):289-290,
Oeberst R, Klenz B, Gröhsler T, Dickey-Collas M, Nash R D M, Zimmermann C. 2009. When is year-class strength determined in western Baltic herring? ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66(8):1 667-1 672,
Poizat G, Rosecchi E, Chauvelon P, Contournet P, Crivelli A J. 2004. Long-term fish and macro-crustacean community variation in a Mediterranean lagoon. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 59(4):615-624,
Polet H, Depestele J, Stouten H, Vanderperren E. 2006.Moving from beam trawls towards multi-rig ottertrawls-and further. In:Conference on Energy Efficiency in Fisheries. Conference Center Albert Borschette, Brussels.p.32-34.
Régnier T, Gibb F M, Wright P J. 2018. Temperature effects on egg development and larval condition in the lesser sandeel, Ammodytes marinus. Journal of Sea Research, 134:34-41.
Saito Y, Wei H L, Zhou Y Q, Nishimura A, Sato Y, Yokota S. 2000. Delta progradation and Chenier formation in the Huanghe (Yellow River) delta, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 18(4):489-497,
Santarelli S, Lesuis S L, Wang X D, Wagner K V, Hartmann J, Labermaier C, Scharf S H, Müller M B, Holsboer F, Schmidt M V. 2014. Evidence supporting the match/mismatch hypothesis of psychiatric disorders. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(6):907-918,
Santos R V S, Ramos S, Bonecker A C T. 2017a. Environmental control on larval stages of fish subject to specific salinity range in tropical estuaries. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 13:42-53,
Santos R V S, Ramos S, Bonecker A C T. 2017b. Can we assess the ecological status of estuaries based on larval fish assemblages? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124(1):367-375,
Selleslagh J, Amara R. 2008. Environmental factors structuring fish composition and assemblages in a small macrotidal estuary (eastern English Channel). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 79(3):507-517,
Shan X J, Jin X S, Yuan W. 2010. Fish assemblage structure in the hypoxic zone in the Changjiang (Yangtze River)estuary and its adjacent waters. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 28(3):459-469,
Shan X J, Sun P F, Jin X S, Li X S, Dai F Q. 2013. Long-term changes in fish assemblage structure in the Yellow River estuary ecosystem, China. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 5(1):65-78,
Shannon C E, Weaver W. 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, USA. p.14.
Sloterdijk H, Brehmer P, Sadio O, Müller H, Döring J, Ekau W. 2017. Composition and structure of the larval fish community related to environmental parameters in a tropical estuary impacted by climate change. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 197:10-26,
Strydom N A. 2003. Occurrence of larval and early juvenile fishes in the surf zone adjacent to two intermittently open estuaries, South Africa. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 66(4):349-359,
Wang A Y, Wan R J, Jin X S. 2010. Decadal variations of ichthyoplankton biodiversity in spring in Laizhou Bay of the Bohai Sea. Progress in Fishery Science, 31(1):19-24, (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wang H J, Wu X, Bi N S, Li S, Yuan P, Wang A M, Syvitski J P M, Saito Y, Yang Z S, Liu S M, Nittrouer J. 2017. Impacts of the dam-orientated water-sediment regulation scheme on the lower reaches and delta of the Yellow River (Huanghe):a review. Global and Planetary Change, 157:93-113,
Wang H J, Yang Z S, Saito Y, Liu J P, Sun X X, Wang Y. 2007.Stepwise decreases of the Huanghe (Yellow River)sediment load (1950-2005):impacts of climate change and human activities. Global and Planetary Change, 57(3-4):331-354,
Wang H J, Yang Z S, Saito Y, Liu J P, Sun X X. 2006.Interannual and seasonal variation of the Huanghe(Yellow River) water discharge over the past 50 years:connections to impacts from ENSO events and dams.Global and Planetary Change, 50(3-4):212-225,
Wang Y C, Liu Z, Gao H W, Ju L, Guo X Y. 2011. Response of salinity distribution around the yellow river mouth to abrupt changes in river discharge. Continental Shelf Research, 31(6):685-694,
Wolda H. 1981. Similarity indices, sample size and diversity.Oecologia, 50(3):296-302,
Wu X, Bi N S, Xu J P, Nittrouer J A, Yang Z S, Saito Y, Wang H J. 2017. Stepwise morphological evolution of the active Yellow River (Huanghe) delta lobe (1976-2013):dominant roles of riverine discharge and sediment grain size. Geomorphology, 292:115-127,
Xu J Y, Xu Z L, Gao Q. 2016. Distribution of dominant zooplankton species along a latitudinal gradient in China Sea during spring. Journal of Ocean University of China, 15(3):502-508,
Yang J M, Wang C X. 1993. Primary fish survey in the Huanghe River estuary. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 11(4):368-374,
Zhai L, Xu B D, Ji Y P, Ren Y P. 2015. Spatial pattern of fish assemblage and the relationship with environmental factors in Yellow River Estuary and its adjacent waters in summer. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 26(9):2 852-2 858. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Zhang Q, Zhang Z J, Shi P J, Singh V P, Gu X H. 2018.Evaluation of ecological instream flow considering hydrological alterations in the Yellow River basin, China.Global and Planetary Change, 160:61-74,