Center for Freshwater Ecology

Research Group of Aquatic Ecosystems Health


PI: Prof. CHEN Yushun, PhD 

Group Members  

Yushun Chen, Longgen Guo, Wei Xin, Xiao Qu, Wenqi Gao, Piao Sheng, Zhongyang Li, Jiansong Qiu, Zhining Shi, Bo Yang, Wenxia Fan, Wenting Li, Haifeng Hu   


Office: 86-27-68780161   


Mailing address: 7 South Donghu Road, Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China    

About our group:   

Our group mainly focuses on large scale aquatic ecological studies, conducts long-term field sampling and investigation, field manipulative experiments, laboratory experiments and analyses, and computer and statistical modeling, to investigate effects of anthropogenic stressors and climate change on fish and other aquatic communities, water quality , habitat, and aquatic ecosystems health assessment and restorations in lakes, streams and rivers, and human modified aquatic ecosystems, and understand their disturbance mechanisms and ecological restoration strategies to meet clean water, biodiversity, healthy ecosystems, and sustainable human development.     

Recent research interests include:   

1. Watershed development and disturbance (e.g., water related engineering projects, urbanization, agriculture, fishing activities), climate change, and aquatic ecosystem responses, mechanisms, and ecological restorations;     

2. Aquatic ecosystem health monitoring, assessment, and restoration;   

3. Regional and large scale comparative ecology: for instance, anthropogenic disturbance, climate change, aquatic resources conservation, and habitat restorations between the Mississippi-Yangtze River Basins.    

Selected recent publications:   


Chen, Y., Chapman, D. C., Jackson, J. R., Chen, D., Li, Z., Kilgore, K. J., Phelps, Q., Eggleton, M. A. editors. 2016. Fisheries resources, environment, and conservation in the Mississippi and Yangtze (Changjiang) River basins. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 84, Bethesda, Maryland.   


Xiong,F., Infante, D.M.,Olden, J.D., Gao, W., Wang, L., Chen, Y. 2023. River–lake connectivity, wetland, and human stress factors shape fish diversity (alpha and beta) patterns in the middle and lower Yangtze River, China. Landscape Ecology, 

Wang, B., Chen, Y., Qu, X., Kraft, C. 2023. Effects of thiamine and its precursor HMP on growth of periphyton in a mountain stream of the Yangtze River Basin, China. Freshwater Biology, DOI: 10.1111/fwb.14056 

Qu, X., Olden, J.D., Xia, W., Liu, H., Xie, Z., Hughes, R.M., Chen, Y. 2023. Hydrology and water quality shape macroinvertebrate patterns and facilitate non-native species dispersals in an inter-basin water transfer system. Journal of Environmental Management, 329, 117111. 

Wang, R., Xia, W., Eggleton, M. A., Qu, X., Liu, H., Xin, W., Wu, X., Chen, Y. 2022. Spatial and temporal patterns of heavy metals and potential human impacts in Central Yangtze lakes, China. Science of the Total Environment 820, 153368. 

Xia, W., Zhu, B., Zhuang, S., Liu, H., Qu, X., Liu, Y., Rudstam, L.G., Anderson, J.T., Ni, L., Chen, Y.. 2022. Climate, hydrology, and human disturbance drive long-term (1988-2018) macrophyte patterns in water diversion lakes. Journal of Environmental Management 319, 115726. 

Xiong, F., Chen, Y., Zhang, S., Xu, Y., Lu, Y., Qu, X., Gao, W., Wu, X., Xin, W., Gang, D.D.,  Lin, L.-S. 2022. Land use, hydrology, and climate influence water quality of China’s largest river. Journal of Environmental Management 318, 115581. 

Yin, C., He, W., Guo, L., Gong, L., Yang, Y., Yang, J., Ni, L., Chen, Y., Jeppesen, E. 2022. Can top-down effects of planktivorous fish removal be used to mitigate cyanobacterial blooms in large subtropical highland lakes? Water Research 218, 118483. 

Xiong, F., Olden, J.D., Lu, Y., Liu, H., Qu, X., Xia, W., Guo, C., Wu, X., Infante, D.M., Wang, L., Chen, Y. 2021. Riparian land use and in-channel stressors drive fish community structure in the Yangtze River. Landscape Ecology 36: 3079-3095. 

Cooke, S.J., Twardek, W.M., Lynch, A.J., Cowx, I.G., Olden, J.D., Funge-Smith, S., Lorenzen, K., Arlinghaus, R., Chen, Y., Weyl, O.L.F., Nyboer, E.A., Pompeu, P.S., Carlson, S.M., Koehn, J.D., Pinder, A.C., Raghavan, R., Phang, S., Koning, A.A., Taylor, W.W., Bartley, D., Britton, J.R. 2021.  A global perspective on the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on freshwater fish biodiversity.  Biological Conservation 253:108932. 

Qu, X., Chen, Y., Liu, H., Xia, W., Lu, Y., Gang, D.-D., Lin, L.-S. 2020. A holistic assessment of water quality condition and spatiotemporal patterns in impounded lakes along the eastern route of China’s South-to-North water diversion project. Water Research 185: 116275.  

Zhang, H., Tang, W., Chen, Y., Yin, W. 2020. Disinfection threatens aquatic ecosystems. Science 368 (6487): 146-147. 

Chen, Y., Qu, X., Xiong, F., Lu, Y., Wang, L., Hughes, R.M. 2020. Challenges to saving China’s freshwater biodiversity: fishery exploitation and landscape pressures. Ambio 49: 926-938. 

Guo, C., Chen, Y., Gozlan, R.E., Liu, H., Lu, Y., Qu, X., Xia, W., Xiong, F., Xie, S., Wang, L. 2020. Patterns of fish communities and water quality in impounded lakes of China's south-to-north water diversion project. Science of the Total Environment 713: 136515.  

Guo, C., Chen, Y., Gozlan, R.E., Li, Z., Mehner, T., Lek, S., Paukert, C.P. 2019. Biogeographic freshwater fish pattern legacy revealed despite rapid socio-economic changes in China. Fish and Fisheries 20(5): 857-869. 

Chen, Y., Guo, C., Ye, S., Cheng, F., Zhang, H., Wang, L., Hughes, R.M. 2017. Construction: limit China’s sand mining. Nature 550: 457.