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Variation in the suitability of Chinese sturgeon spawning habitat after construction of dams on the Yangtze River

Jiao, Wenjing, Zhang, Peng, Chang, Jianbo, Tao, Jiangping, Liao, Xiaolin, Zhu, Bin
Journal of applied ichthyology 2019 v.35 no.3 pp. 637-643
Acipenser sinensis, anadromous fish, breeding, dams (hydrology), estuaries, habitats, hydrology, spawning, surveys, Yangtze River
The Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) is an anadromous fish inhabiting the Yangtze River. Migration of Chinese sturgeon from the estuary to upper Yangtze River was blocked by Gezhou Dam, completed in 1981, and a new, much smaller, spawning ground was established below the dam. However, Three Gorges Dam began operating in 2003, altering hydrological conditions in the new spawning grounds and the impact on Chinese sturgeon reproduction was severe. The annual survey of Chinese sturgeon shows that both spawning scale and breeding population decreased during this period. To illustrate the impact of Three Gorges Dam on the spawning grounds and reproduction of Chinese sturgeon, the habitat suitability of spawning grounds on spawning day was simulated using River2D. Results show that the area of suitable spawning grounds positively correlates with the scale of reproduction and both have decreased sharply since 2003.