Yangtze River Benthopelagic Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Yangtze River system. Benthopelagic fish inhabit the water column niche immediately above the bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton.
The upper Yangtze basin consists chiefly of Paleozoic limestone and terrigenous sedimentary rock, with some granitic material. The most downstream element of the upper Yangtze basin is often termed the Sichuan Basin; here the Yangtze cuts through Triassic and Permian material before entering the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges area is a stretch of the Yangtze that runs approximately 660 kilometers, terminating at the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Prior to construction of the dam, the Three Gorges area was a site of exceptional natural beauty; after dam construction the gorge areas were filled with approximately 100 meters in depth of Yangtze water, and considerable amounts of the watershed were graded.
The lower Yangtze basin consists of anabranching river structures and Pleistocene coastal terraces. Prior to development of the Three Gorges Dam, the Yangtze Delta was replenished with a copious sediment load reaching the river mouth; however, the dam has now severely limited the natural flow and deposition of sediment to the delta region. Consequently, the integrity of the delta is been compromised, with scouring exceeding deposition, and the very stability of the delta is endangered.
Lower and middle basins of the Yangtze carry heavy pollutant loads. In the lower Yangtze basin nitrate levels are high, measuring at about 1000 tons per day at Datong; these levels accrue from high applications of chemical fertilizer applied and also considerable loadings of untreated sewage due to the large human population of the basin, with correspondingly little infrastructure for sewage treatment.
Heavy metal concentrations are also high in the lower Yangtze, with measurements of dissolved lead at 0.078 microgram/liter; cadmium (0.024 microgram/liter), chromium (0.57 microgram/liter), copper (1.9 microgram/liter), and nickel (0.50 microgram/liter). Levels of dissolved arsenic have been measured at 3.3 microgram/liter) and zinc at 1.5 microgram/liter), both notably higher by factors of 5.5 and 2.5 respectively than other typical large world rivers. In Yangtze River suspended sediment, arsenic comprises 31 microgram/gram, lead comprises 83 microgram/gram, and nickel comprises 52 micrograms/gram of sediment content
A number of other benthopelagic associates are found in the Yangtze, including: Anabarilius polylepis, Bangana rendahli, Pseudogyrinocheilus prochilus, Sinocyclocheilus grahami and Siniperca roulei. The demersal fish Silurus meridionalis also is found as a Yangtze River endemic species.
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Anabarilius alburnops (also known as silver minnow or silvery white fish, a direct translation of its Chinese name, 银白鱼) is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Alburnus. It is only known from Dian Lake and Songhuaba Reservoir, both in Kunming, Yunnan. It can reach sizes above 31 cm (12 in) SL.
The species was once common in Dian Lake, but has since 1950's dramatically declined; today, only few individuals are occasionally captured. Its decline is caused by introduced fish species, pollution, the loss of macrophytes (in part due to grass carp), over-fishing, and the loss of breeding sites. Along with many other fish species endemic to Dian Lake, it is a threatened species.
- Chen, X.-Y. & Du, L.-N. (2008). "Anabarilius alburnops". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Anabarilius alburnops" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
- Du, L. N.; Chen, X. Y.; Yang, J. X. (2008). "Threatened fishes of the world: Anabarilius alburnops (Regan, 1914), a member of the family Cyprinidae (Pisces: Teleostei)". Environmental Biology of Fishes 83 (4): 505. doi:10.1007/s10641-008-9373-3.
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