A Review of Potential Factors Promoting Fish Movement in Inter-basin Water Transfers, with Emergent Patterns from a Trait-based Risk Analysis for a Large-scale Project in China
Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Inter-basin water transfers create new pathways between previously disjunct systems and communities. If fish movement occurs, it can lead to invasion or altered regional connectivity patterns, which could induce biotic/genetic homogenisation or synchronisation. Understanding ecological factors promoting movement is critical for predicting potential impacts during project planning, to assess ongoing effects, and to develop mediation strategies. Potential characteristics influencing movement rates were reviewed, including intrinsic traits that increase passive entrainment or active dispersal rates, extrinsic traits of the connected environments and their interactions. In order to examine patterns among these potentially influencing characteristics, a trait-based screening method for movement and invasion risk was developed to analyse linked communities in a database from a large-scale inter-basin water diversion in China. Groups of fishes that scored high in the risk assessment were compared with worldwide examples of entrainment in inter-basin water transfer systems or smaller-scale diversions to examine emergent patterns of shared ecological characteristics. Specific traits that were most often shared in these groups, indicating a higher likelihood of movement in water diversions, include the following: a smaller body size, high adult or larval abundance, migratory behaviour, generalist and pelagic habitat preferences, and a high reproductive output. The synthesis of factors identified in this research can be used to guide future empirical studies to fill knowledge gaps regarding ecological impacts of inter-basin water transfers or other smaller-scale diversions on local communities and ecosystems.
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Recommended APA Citation.
Schmidt, B., Zhen, W., Ren, P., Guo, C., Qin, J., Cheng, F., & Xie, S. (2020). A review of potential factors promoting fish movement in inter-basin water transfers, with emergent patterns from a trait-based risk analysis for a large-scale project in China. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 29(4), 790-807. https://doi.org/10.1111/eff.12530