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Effects of River Hydrological Status on Gonadal Development of Breeding Population of Chinese Sturgeon in the Yangtze River: Inferred from a on-Site Observation

Author(s): Hui Zhang; Qiwei Wei; Hao Du

Linked Author(s): Hui Zhang

Keywords: Cipenser sinensis; Natural reproduction; Sand concentration; Water temperature; Three Gorges Project

Abstract: The Chinese sturgeon Acipenser sinensis, is a large and highly endangered anadromous fish species only conducting natural reproductive activities in the Yangtze River. In the Yangtze River, the hydrological status tends to have large influence on many aspects of the freshwater life history of the fish, but how it can affect the gonad status of the fish’s breeding population is still unknown, which handicaps the implementation of pertinent protective measures to the fish. During 2003−2008, the gonad al development status of 113 specimens below Gezhouba Project (GP) was determined by ultrasonography and abdominal puncture methods, and the phase and quality of the gonad was assessed based on abundant related biological characteristics. The corresponding hydrological survey data during November 1, 2002 and October 31, 2008, including daily water level, sand concentration and water temperature, were acquired from the Yichang Hydrological Monitoring Station. A Pearson correlation method was tentatively used to explore the possible relationship between hydrological elements and gonad developing status of the fish. It suggested that lower water temperature and higher sand concentration could promote the gonadal development of adults which are with the gonads at stage IV. Moreover, higher water level probably could result in more fishes with the gonads at stage III reaching into the immediate area below GP. As the large alternation of hydrological regime due to the operation of the Three Gorges Project (TGP), it is highly recommended to do further studies on co-scheduling of the TGP and GP, so as to create suitable environmental conditions for the gonadal development of the fish’s adults.

DOI:

Year: 2013

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