Advanced
Long-term changes in fish community and the impact of exotic fish, between the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands
Long-term changes in fish community and the impact of exotic fish, between the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands
Journal of Ecology and Environment. 2011. Mar, 34(1): 59-68
Copyright ©2011, The Ecological Society of Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the CreativeCommons Attribution Non-Commercial License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)which permits unrestricted non-commercialuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided theoriginal work is properly cited.
  • Received : December 16, 2010
  • Accepted : January 09, 2011
  • Published : March 01, 2011
Download
PDF
e-PUB
PubReader
PPT
Export by style
Article
Author
Metrics
Cited by
TagCloud
About the Authors
Hyunbin Jo
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
Min-Ho Jang
Department of Biology Education, Kongju National University, Gongju 314-701, Korea
Kwang-Seuk Jeong
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
Yuno Do
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
Gea-Jae Joo
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
Ju-Duk Yoon
Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
zmszmsqkek@pusan.ac.kr

Abstract
To evaluate fish community changes and the impact of exotic fish between the Nakdong River (lotic) and Upo Wetlands(lentic) using long-term ecological monitoring results, we conducted seasonal surveys of the fish community from 2005 to 2010. A fixed shore net (mesh 15 × 15 mm), cast net (7 × 7 mm), and scoop-net (5 × 5 mm) were used to collect fish specimens. Changes in the fish community were not significantly different in the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands,respectively (R s > 0.322, N = 44, P < 0.05). Changes in the fish community between the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands were identified as significant according to the results of cluster analysis. The relative abundance of exotic species increased steadily during the study period, and reached 34.2% and 89.7% in the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands, respectively,in 2010. The bluegill ( Lepomis macrochirus ) was used to evaluate the level of health according to prevalence around all study sites. The length-weight relationship for bluegill in the Upo Wetlands was shown to have the highest values, via the formula (W = aL b ), with an average of 3.26 for the ‘b’ variable. According to the results of this study, lentic and lotic systems differed significantly; exotic species had an impact on both the lentic and lotic systems, but the impact of exotic species in lentic systems was greater than in the lotic systems. Additionally, the exotic species tested herein(bluegill) adapted well in the lentic system.
Keywords
INTRODUCTION
Recently, an increasing amount of research based on long-term ecological research (LTER) has been conducted.LTER is an important survey method which can detect temporal changes in ecosystem structure and function,using accumulated long-term data, regardless of ecosystem type (Turner et al. 2003). Biological long-term research has become common practice for rivers and wetlands. Accumulated data can be employed to predict changes in ecosystems resulting from global warming.LTER can also provide us with important information regarding the long-term effects of exotic species on ecosystems. The freshwater ecosystem is more vulnerable to exotic species than other ecosystems (Sala et al. 2000).Therefore, LTER-based evaluations of exotic species in freshwater ecosystems are both important and necessary.
The effect of exotic species on freshwater ecosystems varies, but we focused specifically on changes in the food-web structure caused by the presence of exotic fish.Exotic fish can cause the collapse and homogenization of the food-web or its structure (Power et al. 1996). Additionally,exotic fish introduced into a new habitat are frequently more competitive than native species (Pascual et al. 2002). With competitive exclusion, competition between species is not a limiting factor, and the increasing population of exotic fish causes a reduction in the numbers of endemic species (Angermeier 1982). The majority of introduced fish species are top predators in the food chain (Jang et al. 2006). Therefore, when introduced, these species can affect the structure of the existing fish community. Introduced or exotic species are defined as successfully reproducing organisms transported by humans into regions where they did not previously exist; this introduction of exotic species has occurred in many areas of the world, for many centuries (Baker and Stebbins 1965). The establishment of exotic species and the loss of native species ameliorates regional differences among fauna and flora, a process referred to as biotic homogenization (McKinney and Lockwood 1999); however, there are highs and lows in this effect, which depend on the environment.
The Freshwater system is divided into lotic systems and lentic systems based on environmental differences; the fish community composition in each system can differ considerably. The lotic system, because of its characteristics flow, is a dynamic environment in which fish community changes are affected by both spatial and seasonal differences (Agostinho and Zalewski 1995). Comparatively, fish adapted to a eutrophic environment dominate lentic systems. Fish communities in lentic systems appear to be generally more temporally stable than those in lotic systems (Merona 1987) because of their high habitat diversity and more stable environment. We are empirically aware of the differences in aquatic biota and of the impact of exotic species between lotic and lentic systems. However, only a relatively few studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of exotic fish between lotic and lentic systems. Even though a large number of studies have been conducted on either native or exotic species, no long-term studies have been performed specifically addressing the effects of exotic fish between the two systems.
In this study, we evaluated the change in the annual lotic and lentic fish communities in the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands. We also compared the impact of exotic species in the lotic and lentic systems based on the fish community. Finally, we estimated the length-weight relationship of bluegill ( Lepomis macrochirus ) in the Upo Wetlands to determine how well exotic species adapt in lentic systems.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
- Sampling sites
The Korean Peninsula is located in far-eastern Asia, and the Nakdong River lies within the southeastern region of Korea (35-37°N, 127-129°E). The length of the river is approximately 520 km, making it the second largest river system in South Korea. Four multi-purpose dams and one estuarine barrage regulate the water flow of this river, resulting in the eutrophication observed in the Nakdong River (Ha et al. 1998). The riparian zone evidences low vegetative diversity. The river bed is composed primarily of sands. The Upo Wetlands are connected to the main channel of the Nakdong River and have been designated as a Ramsar site since 1998. In the Upo Wetlands, the riparian zone evidences high vegetative diversity ( Fig. 1 ) (Kim et al. 2004). We conducted seasonal surveys of the fish community between 2005 and 2010. The river kilometer from estruary barrage (RK) value is calculated below.
St. 1: 35°52'53.32"N, 128°23'18.00"E (RK 190) - Nakdong River main channel
Lager Image
Map of study sites.
St. 2: 35°31'45.42"N, 128°21'42.04"E (RK 120) - Nakdong River main
St. 3: 35°19'52.83"N, 128°57'29.58"E (RK 19) - Nakdong River main channel
St. 4: 35°31'45.99"N, 128°23'13.64"E (added 2.5 Km from St. 2) - Upo Wetlands (It is stream connected between Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands)
St. 5: 35°33'45.74"N, 128°24'15.62"E (added 7.5 Km from St. 2) - Upo Wetlands (Mokpo Wetland)
- Fish collection
A fixed shore net (mesh 15 × 15 mm), cast net (7 × 7 mm), and scoop-net (5 × 5 mm) were used to collect fish specimens. The fixed shore nets were set for 24 h, and the cast nets were cast 20 times per site. Approximately 100 m of river length was sampled at each site. In the Nakdong River, the cast and scoop-nets were used to collect fish specimens. In the Upo Wetlands, the fixed shore, cast, and scoop-nets were used to collect fish specimens. The collected specimens were identified and released at the study site. In cases in which exact identification was not possible, we preserved specimens in 10% formalin solution until counting, after which they were stored in 5% formalin solution. All specimens were identified according to the methods of Choi et al. (1990), Kim and Park (2002), and the classification system of Nelson (1994).
- Analysis
To evaluate the fish community at the study sites, the species diversity (Simpson 1949), dominance (Shannon and Weaver 1949), richness (Pielou 1966), and evenness (Margalef 1958) were calculated from the density data for various species. The Bray-Curtis dissimilarity (Bray and Curtis 1957) was used for cluster analysis. To compare the annual occurrence of fish species, we used Spearman’s correlation. The Length-weight relationship of the bluegill was calculated according to the following formula:
W = aL b
W = total weight (g), L = total length (mm), a = a constant parameter and b = an exponent parameter usually lying between 2.5 and 4.0 (Hile 1936, Martin 1949). For an ideal fish species that maintains the same shape, b = 3; however this has only occasionally been observed (Allen 1935). Generally, if parameter b is greater than 3, the fish is considered to be adapted well to its environment. The condition factor K is used to evaluate the health of fish and the fish community. The condition factor K for Bluegill was calculated using the following formula:
K = W/L 3 × 10 5
RESULTS
- Fish fauna in Nakdong River
Thirty five species of fish from 11 families were collected from the Nakdong River (site1, 2, and 3) from 2005 to 2010. Cyprinidae (relative abundance [RA] 60.1%, 21 species) was the dominant family. Centrarchidae (RA 23.0%, 2 species) was the sub-dominant family ( Table 1 ). Opsariichthys uncirostris amurensis (RA 20.6%), Hemibarbus labeo (RA 8.9%), Pseudogobio esocinus (RA 7.6%) and Squalidus chankaensis tsuchigae (RA 5.4%), which favor a lotic system, were dominant in the Nakdong River ( Fig. 2 ). Microphysogobio jeoni , which is especially adapted to lentic systems, was not collected during the research period, but was collected in 2010. The dominant and sub-dominant species changed from 2005 to 2010. The dominant and sub-dominant species changed from 2005 to 2010. The dominant species were O. u. amurensis (2006, RA 27.0%; 2007, 26.0%; 2009, 29.1%), S. c. tsuchigae (2005, RA 23.3%) and Micropterus salmoides (2008, RA 18.8%; 2010, RA 33.5%). The sub-dominant species differed each year. Dominance decreased from 0.17 (2005) to 0.10 (2008) and then increased from 0.16 (2009) to 0.17 (2010). The
Lager Image
Comparison between Upo Wetlands and Nakdong River. Normal initials are Upo Wetland species and bold lettering initials are Nakdong River species (dotted line Upo Wetlands; solid line Nakdong River). A Lepomis macrochirus; B Micropterus salmoides; C Carassius auratus; D Opsariichthys uncirostris amurensis; E Pseudorasbora parva; F Hemibarbus labeo; G Acanthorhodeus macropterus; H Squalidus chankaensis tsuchigae; I Zacco platypus; J Pseudogobio esocinus; K Tridentiger brevispinis.
List of fish fauna collected during the surveyAg., aggregate.*Exotic species.†Korean endemic species.‡Introduced species.
Lager Image
List of fish fauna collected during the survey Ag., aggregate. *Exotic species. Korean endemic species. Introduced species.
Changes of dominance species sub-dominance species dominance diversity evenness and richness between Upo Wetlands and Nakdong RiverRA, relative abundance
Lager Image
Changes of dominance species sub-dominance species dominance diversity evenness and richness between Upo Wetlands and Nakdong River RA, relative abundance
diversity index was between 1.90 and 2.19 without any marked tendencies towards increase. Evenness and richness evidenced no marked tendencies ( Table 2 ).
- Fish fauna in Upo Wetlands
In Upo Wetlands (sites 4 and 5) 25 species of fish from 8 families were collected from 2005 to 2010. Centrarchidae (RA 75.8%, 2 species) was the dominant family. Cyprinidae (RA 21.9%, 16 species) was the sub-dominant family ( Table 1 ). L. macrochirus (RA 66.3%), M. salmoides (RA 9.5%), Cyprinus auratus (RA 8.7%) and Pseudorasbora parva (RA 1.5%), which favor lentic systems, were dominant in the Upo Wetlands ( Fig. 2 ). The dominant species was L. macrochirus from 2005 to 2010. The RA (L. macrochirus ) exceeded 70% except for 2005 (41.1%) and 2006 (36.0%). The sub-dominant species was M. salmoides , except in 2005 ( C. auratus , RA 38.6%). Dominance decreased from 0.44 (2005) to 0.21 (2006) and remained steady between 0.56 and 0.62 (2007-2010). Diversity and evenness were also stable, except in 2006. Richness decreased from 2.4 (2005) to 1.81 (2007) and then increased steadily to 2.89 (2010) ( Table 2 ).
- Fish assemblage differences between lentic and lotic system
To evaluate annual changes in fish species, we used Spearman’s correlation with the relative abundance of occurrence of fish species between the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands. Annual changes in the fish species of the Nakdong River evidenced a positive correlation
Lager Image
Changes of relative abundance during research periods
Lager Image
Cluster analysis of fish collected from the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands (2005-2010)
between study years from 2005 to 2010 (R s > 0.322, N = 44, P < 0.05). In the Upo Wetlands, we also observed the same results (R s > 0.604, N = 44, P < 0.05). Fig. 3 shows the results of the cluster analysis of the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands. The lentic and lotic sites clustered out independently of one another. The next cut level split the lentic and lotic sites up according to year, with the years being clustered according to environmental responses. For the Nakdong River, 2005 and 2010 both separate out individually, with 2006-2009 being clustered together. By way of contrast, in the cluster analysis for the Upo Wetlands, the years 2005 and 2006 clustered out independently and 2007-2009 were clustered together ( Fig. 3 ).
- Effect of exotic fish
The exotic species assessed herein included Carassius cuvieri , L. macrochirus and M. salmoides . C. cuvieri were collected only in the Upo Wetlands and the RA value was 1.6%. Comparatively, M. salmoides evidenced a steady increase, with the RA in 2010 more than double that of the previous year. L. macrochirus (RA 45.1%) was the dominant species in all study sites. Especially in the Upo Wetlands, the total RA was 66.3% and the annual mean RA was over 70% except in 2005 and 2006 when C. auratus was dominant. We classified the fish species into endemic, native, introduced, and exotic species. The endemic species decreased and exotic species increased in the Nakdong River. In the Upo Wetlands, native species decreased and the exotic species evidenced a steady increase ( Fig. 4 ).
As a result of the length-weight relationship for L. macrochirus collected from 2007 to 2010, this species had the highest RA for exotic species. Length and weight ranged from 36 to 235 mm and from 0.5 to 292.5 g, respectively. The annual changes of parameter ‘b’ in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 were 3.260, 3.144, 3.530, and 3.099, respectively.
Lager Image
Length-weight relationship for L. macrochirus
Every year’s parameter b exceeded 3 ( Fig. 5 ). According to the length of L. macrochirus , the condition factors ranged from 0.57 to 5.91. The average for the condition factor was 1.96, whereas the average of the gradient was positive at 0.0067. The annual value of condition factors decreased from 1.97 (2007) to 1.70 (2009) and then increased to 2.42 (2010). Annual gradients evidenced a steady increase from 0.0051 (2007) to 0.0093 (2010) ( Fig 6 ).
DISCUSSION
Cluster analysis results were used to classify and compare the fish communities in a lotic (Nakdong River) and a lentic (Upo Wetlands) environments, which are connected environments. Species richness was relatively high in the lentic system because of the addition of pool species and an increase in habitat diversity (Kuehne 1962). Annual changes in the fish community did not differ significantly between the river and wetlands. Fish communities in lentic systems appear more temporally stable relative to lotic systems (Merona 1987). However, the results of
Lager Image
Condition factor (K) for L. macrochirus.
this study showed that this stability was more vulnerable to the introduction of exotic fish. L. macrochirus and M. salmoides , which are exotic species, were higher in relative abundance in the Upo Wetlands than in the Nakdong River. In 2010, the combined relative abundance increased to 34.2% and to 89.7% (2010) in the Nakdong River and Upo Wetlands, respectively. Moreover, endemic and native species decreased rapidly and died out subsequent to the introduction of exotic fish.
M.salmoides was the sub-dominant species in the Nakdong River. In the Upo Wetlands, even though M. salmoides evidenced low relative abundance, it was a sub-dominant species. The young of M. salmoides primarily eat zooplankton, but adult M. salmoides is a typical piscivore and profoundly affects the surrounding fish community (Jang et al. 2006). These species preferred a lentic environment or low flooding river. M. salmoides is not only a serious problem in South Korea, but also in other countries. This shows the decreasing diversity of the fish community and an accelerating spread of exotic species in both the lentic and lotic systems.
L. macrochirus evidenced the highest relative abundance in the Upo Wetlands. This species, which has an extensive food niche, eats phyto-zooplankton, aquatic insects, molluscs, fish eggs, and fry. Therefore, it profoundly affects freshwater systems (Byeon et al. 1997). The length-weight relationship for L. macrochirus collected in the Upo Wetlands (a lentic system) from 2007 to 2010 was calculated. It showed that L. macrochirus was healthy in the Upo Wetlands. The total average of parameter b was 3.26. This value is higher than the 3.2 total average in the USA (FishBase 2010) and is less than 3.29, which is the average for Lake Biwa in Japan (Yamamoto et al. 2010). Generally, if parameter b is greater than 3, the fish is considered well adapted to its environment. The condition factor K, is used to evaluate the health of fish and the fish community. Generally, if condition factor K is high, the fish have abundant food sources (Le Cren 1951). The average of condition factor K was 1.96, and thus the Upo Wetlands provide an appropriate habitat for L. macrochirus . The Centrarchidae are adapted to eutrophicated freshwater and have substantially higher growth rates than Cyprinidae during their early life stages (Schlosser 1982).
According to the results of this study, the exotic species impact of both lentic and lotic systems but the impact of exotic species in lentic systems was greater than that of lotic systems. Unfortunately, our river channels are undergoing a general transformation from lotic to lentic systems. S. Korea is an industrialized nation with increasing economic growth and accelerating production. These changes are accompanied by the channelization of rivers, the construction of levees that play a role in the disconnection of wetlands from the rivers, and the reclamation of wetlands for land development purposes. As a consequence, the river and wetlands have been modified physically, chemically, and biologically (Joo et al. 1997), and this is an ongoing modification. One example of this is the current Four Rivers project, which involves the modification of rivers by altering their substrate, morphology, and composition via the construction of 9 large dikes in the Nakdong River channel.
Acknowledgements
This research was supported by the Korea National Long-Term Ecological Research Project (2006-2010) from the Ministry of Environment. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Maurice Lineman for his English editing of the paper and Mr. Jeong-Hui Kim for collecting fish during the research period.
References
Agostinho AA , Zalewski M 1995 The dependence of fish community structure and dynamics on floodplain and riparian ecotone zone in Parana river Brazil Hydrobiologia 303 141 - 148    DOI : 10.1007/BF00034051
Allen KR 1935 The flood and migration of the perch (Perca fluviatilis) in Windermere J Anim Ecol 4 264 - 273    DOI : 10.2307/1016
Angermeier PL 1982 Resource seasonality and fish diets in an Illinois stream Environ Biol Fish 7 251 - 264    DOI : 10.1007/BF00002500
Baker HG , Stebbins GL 1965 The Genetics of Colonizing Species Academic Press New York NY
Bray JR , Curtis JT 1957 An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin Ecol Monogr 27 325 - 349    DOI : 10.2307/1942268
Byeon HK , Song HB , Jeon SR , Son YM 1997 Feeding habit of bluegill Lepomis macrochirus introduced at lake Paldang. Korean J Limnol 30 75 - 84
Choi KC , Jeon SR , Kim IS , Son YM 1990 Colored Illustrations of the Freshwater Fish of Korea Hyangmoon Publishing Co Seoul
FishBase 2010 World wide web electronic publication http://www.fishbase.org
Ha K , Kim HW , Joo GJ 1998 The phytoplankton succession in the lower part of hypertrophic Nakdong River (Mulgum) South Korea Hydrobiologia 369/370 217 - 227    DOI : 10.1023/A:1017067809089
Hile R 1936 Age and growth of the cisco Leucichthys artedi (Le Sueur) in the lakes of the north-eastern highlands Wisconsin Bull U S Bur Fish 48 211 - 317
Jang MH , Joo GJ , Lucas MC 2006 Diet of introduced largemouth bass in Korean rivers and potential interactions with native fishes Ecol Freshw Fish 15 315 - 320    DOI : 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2006.00161.x
Joo GJ , Kim HW , Ha K , Kim JK 1997 Long-term trend of the eutrophication of the lower Nakdong River Korean J Limnol 30 (Suppl) 472 - 480
Kim GY , Lee CW , Joo GJ 2004 The evaluation of early growth pattern of Miscathus sacchariflorus after cutting and burning in the Woopo wetland Korean J Limnol KOI KISTI1.1003/JNL.JAKO200418317182871 37 255 - 262
Kim IS , Park JY 2002 Freshwater Fishes of Korea Kyo-Hak Publishing Co Seoul
Kuehne RA 1962 A classification of streams illustrated by fish distributions in an eastern Kentucky creek Ecology 43 608 - 614    DOI : 10.2307/1933450
Le Cren ED 1951 The length-weight relationship and seasonal cycle in gonad weight and condition in the perch (Perca fluviatilis) J Anim Ecol 20 201 - 219    DOI : 10.2307/1540
Margalef DR 1958 Information theory in ecology Gen Syst 3 36 - 71
Martin WR 1949 The mechanics of environmental control of body form in fishes Univ Toronto Stud Biol 58 1 - 91
McKinney ML , Lockwood JL 1999 Biotic homogenization: a few winners replacing many losers in the next mass extinction Trend Ecol Evol 14 450 - 453    DOI : 10.1016/S0169-5347(99)01679-1
Merona B 1987 Ecological aspects of the ichthyofauna of Rio Tocantins Acta Amazonica 16/17 109 - 124
Nelson JS 1994 Fishes of the World. 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons New York NY
Pascual M , Macchi P , Urbanski J , Marcos F , Rossi CR , Novara M , Dell’Arciprete P 2002 Evaluating potential effects of exotic freshwater fish from incomplete species presence-absence data Biol Invasions 4 101 - 113    DOI : 10.1023/A:1020513525528
Pielou EC 1966 Shannon’s formula as a measure of specific diversity: its use and misuse Am Nat 100 463 - 465    DOI : 10.1086/282439
Power ME , Tilman D , Estes JA , Menge BA , Bond WJ , Mills LS , Daily G , Castilla JC , Lubchenco J , Paine RT 1996 Challenges in the quest for keystones BioScience 46 609 - 620    DOI : 10.2307/1312990
Sala OE , Chapin FS 3rd , Armesto JJ , Berlow E , Bloomfield J , Dirzo R , Huber-Sanwald E , Huenneke LF , Jackson RB , Kinzig A , Leemans R , Lodge DM , Mooney HA , Oesterheld M , Poff NL , Sykes MT , Walker BH , Walker M , Wall DH 2000 Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100 Science 287 1770 - 1774    DOI : 10.1126/science.287.5459.1770
Schlosser IJ 1982 Fish community structure and function along two habitat gradients in a headwater stream Ecol Monogr 52 395 - 414    DOI : 10.2307/2937352
Shannon CE , Weaver W 1949 The Mathematical Theory of Communication University of Illinois Press Urbana
Simpson EH 1949 Measurement of diversit Nature 163 688 -    DOI : 10.1038/163688a0
Turner MG , Collins SL , Lugo AE , Magnuson JJ , Rupp TS , Swanson FJ 2003 Disturbance dynamics and ecological response: the contribution of long-term ecological research BioScience 53 46 - 56    DOI : 10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0046:DDAERT]2.0.CO;2
Yamamoto Y , Tsukada H , Nakai D 2010 Latitudinal gradient in the body weight of bluegill Lepomis macrochirus in Lake Biwa Japan Zool Stud 49 625 - 631