IHB Lies Foundation for Hydrobiology in China

Over the past 90 years, IHB has laid the foundation for hydrobiology in China. Since the 1930s, especially since IHB established the Taihu Laboratory of Freshwater Biology besides Lake Wuli - a shallow hypereutrophic bay of Lake Taihu, in 1951, IHB researchers have been conducting comprehensive investigations of the freshwater biological resources, which helped find out the biodiversity pattern of freshwater organisms in China for that period of time.

The Museum of Hydrobiological Sciences, established by the institute, houses a collection of 400,000 specimens ranging from algae, aquatic invertebrates, and aquatic mammals, with a large contribution from freshwater fish specimen.

More than 10 monographs, compiled by IHB researchers, were published. These include The Crprinoid Fishes of ChinaVol I, II, Rotifera Sinicarum Aquae Dulcis, Monographia Oedogoniales Sinicae, Aquatic Invertebrates of the Tibetan Plateau, Fauna Sinica Invertebrata Vol. 45 Ciliophora Oligohymenophorea Peritrichida.

In 2019, IHB led the establishment of the National Aquatic Biological Resource Center which is composed of six subsidiary platforms, including China Zebrafish Resource Center, National Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, Yangtze River Fish Germplasm Resource Center, China Culture Collection of Aquatic Plants, Featured Aquatic Biological Resource Center, and Yangtze Rare Aquatic Animal Resource Center. The center is among the 30 national biological resource and experimental material centers, and the largest aquatic biological resource center in the world. In the same year, IHB set up the Hydrobiological Data Analysis Center which aims to support the sample collection, species identification, data storage, data archiving and large-scale data analysis and management in aquatic resources investigation.    

Based on its investigation of aquatic resources, IHB developed the theories and techniques of lake resources investigation. The book “Basic Guideline for Conducting Lake Survey”, published in 1956, is the first book on lake survey in China. Even now, it is still very helpful in guiding aquatic ecosystem protection and water resource environmental protection in China.