Center for Freshwater Ecology

Research Group of Aquatic Ecosystems Health



PI: Prof. CHEN Yushun, PhD

Group Members  

CHEN Yushun, GUO Longgen, XIN Wei, XIA Wentong, QU Xiao, LIU Han, LU Yin, XIONG Fangyuan, GAO Wenqi, YANG Min, SHENG Piao, LIU Yinglong   


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 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:   

1. Watershed development and disturbance (e.g., water related engineering projects, urbanization, agriculture, fishing activities) 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, aquatic resources conservation, and habitat restorations in the Mississippi-Yangtze River Basins.   

Selected publications:   


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

Journal Articles: (2015 – 2020) 

1. Qu, X., Y. Chen*, H. Liu, W. Xia, Y. Lu, D.-D. Gang, L.-S. Lin. 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. 

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

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

4. Guo, C., Y. Chen*, R.E. Gozlan, H. Liu, Y. Lu, X. Qu, W. Xia, F. Xiong, S. Xie, L. Wang. 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. 

5. Guo, C., Y. Chen*, W. Xia, X. Qu, H. Yuan, S. Xie, L.-S. Lin. 2020. Eutrophication and heavy metal pollution patterns in the water suppling lakes of China’s south-to-north water diversion project. Science of the Total Environment 711: 134543.  

6. Xia, W., B. Zhu, X. Qu, H. Liu, Y. Liu, X. Chen, L.G. Rudstam, L. Ni, Y. Chen*. 2020. Effects of salinity on sprouting and growth of three submerged macrophytes. Ecohydrology 13(7) e2235.  

7. Liu, H., C. Guo, X. Qu, F. Xiong, C.P. Paukert, Y. Chen*, W. Su*. 2020. Fish diversity, endemism, threats, and conservation in the Jinsha River Basin (Upper Yangtze River), China. North American Journal of Fisheries Management  In Press, DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10441  

8. Shuai*, F., Q. Liu, Y. Liu, Z. Wu, S. Lek, Y. Chen*. 2020. Spatial distribution patterns of Japanese Eels Anguilla japonica in a large subtropical river (Pearl River), China. North American Journal of Fisheries Management In Press, DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10420  

9. Xia, W., R. Wang, B. Zhu, L.G. Rudstam, Y. Liu, Y. Xu*, W. Xin, Y. Chen*. 2020. Heavy metal gradients from rural to urban lakes in central China. Ecological Processes 9: 47  

10. Chen, Z., L. Cheng, Y. Chen*. 2020. Current status and future perspectives of reservoirs ecological operation. Yangtze River 51(1): 94-103. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

11. Lu, Y., Y. Chen*. 2020. A review of river habitat assessments and applications. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinia 44(3): 670-684. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

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

13. Guo, C., Y. Chen*, H. Liu, Y. Lu, X. Qu, H. Yuan, S. Lek, S. Xie. 2019. Modelling fish communities in relation to water quality in the impounded lakes of China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project. Ecological Modelling 397: 25-35. 

14. Huang, G., Y. Chen*, X. Wang*, R.M. Hughes, L. Xu. 2019. Using multiple indicators to assess spatial and temporal changes in ecological condition of a drinking water reservoir in central China. Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology 55: 9. 

15. Lennox*, R.J., C.P. Paukert, K. Aarestrup, M. Auger-Methe, L. Baumgartner, K. Birnie-Gauvin, K. Boe, K. Brink, J.W. Brownscombe, Y. Chen, and others. 2019. One hundred pressing questions on the future of global fish migration science, conservation, and policy. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7: 286. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00286. 

16. Xu, D., Y. Wang, D. Liu, D. Wu, C. Zou, Y. Chen, Y. Cai, X. Leng, S. An*. 2019. Spatial heterogeneity of food web structure in a large shallow eutrophic lake (Lake Taihu, China): implications for eutrophication process and management. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 34(1): 231-247. 

17. Chen*, Y. 2019. Restoring aquatic ecosystem health of Yangtze River Basin under multiple human disturbances. Yangtze River 50(2): 19-23. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

18. Tong, L., C. Guo, R. Wang, Z. Zeng, E. Zhang, Y. Chen*. 2019. Research status of water environment and fish resources under multiple human disturbances in the Gan-Jiang River Basin: a review. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Basin 28(12): 2879-2892. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

19. Guo, C., Y. Chen*, W. Li, S. Xie, S. Lek, Z. Li. 2018. Food web structure and ecosystem properties of the largest impounded lake along the eastern route of China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project. Ecological Informatics 43: 174-184. 

20. Wang, R., X. Qu, F. Xiong, C. Guo, W. Xin, Y. Chen*. 2018. Length-weight relationships of nine fish species from the upper reach of the Gan River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in China. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 34: 230-232. 

21.Wang, R., Y. Zhang, W. Xia, X. Qu, W. Xin, C. Guo, J. Bowker, Y. Chen*. 2018. Effects of aquaculture on lakes in the central Yangtze River Basin, China, I: water quality. North American Journal of Aquaculture 80: 322-333. 

22. Qu, X., W. Xia, R. Wang, Y. Zhang, Z. Xie, J. Trushenski, Y. Chen*. 2018. Effects of aquaculture on lakes in the central Yangtze River Basin, China, II: benthic macroinvertebrates. North American Journal of Aquaculture 80: 369-378. 

23. Xia, W., X. Qu, Y. Zhang, R. Wang, W. Xin, C. Guo, J. Bowker, Y. Chen*. 2018. Effects of aquaculture on lakes in the central Yangtze River Basin, China, III: heavy metals. North American Journal of Aquaculture 80: 436-446. 

24. Huang, G., X. Wang*, Y. Chen*, L. Xu, D. Xu. 2018. Seasonal succession of phytoplankton functional groups in a reservoir in central China. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 192(1): 1-14. 

25. Han, D., X. Shan, W. Zhang, Y. Chen, Q. Wang, Z. Li, G. Zhang, P. Xu, J. Li, S. Xie, K. Mai, Q. Tang*, S. S. De Silva. 2018. A revisit to fishmeal usage and associated consequences in Chinese aquaculture. Reviews in Aquaculture 10: 493-507. 

26. Chen*, Y. 2018. Anthropogenic disturbance, aquatic ecosystems health, and aquatic ecological conservation of the Yangtze River Basin in China. Ecology and Environmental Monitoring of Three Gorges 3(3): 66-73. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

27. Zhang, Y., R. Wang, X. Qu, W. Xia, W. Xin, C. Guo, Y. Chen*. 2018. Effects of aquaculture on phytoplankton communities of lakes in the middle reach of the Yangtze River Basin. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 42(6): 1135-1143. (In English with Chinese Abstract) 

28. Guo, C., W. Li, Y. Zhang, W. Xia, W. Xin, Y. Chen*, Z. Li. 2018. Mapping spatio-temporal trends in the abundance and distribution of macrophytes in Hongze Lake. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 42(6): 1153-1162. (In English with Chinese Abstract) 

29. Guo, C., R. Wang, X. Qu, W. Xin, Y. Chen*, Z. Li. 2018. Assessing fish assemblages in a shallow Yangtze River lake using multi-mesh gillnets and dense-mesh weirs. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 42(6): 1116-1123. (In English with Chinese Abstract) 

30. Li, D., J. Zhang, J. Pi, Z. Gao, T. Xiao, Y. Chen*. 2018. Population dynamics and secondary production of corbicula fluminea (Muller, 1774) in a typical aquacultural lake (Datong) of the central Yangtze River Basin, China. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 42(6): 1144-1152. (In English with Chinese Abstract) 

31. Zhang, Y., R. Wang, X. Qu, W. Xia, W. Xin, C. Guo, Y. Chen*. 2018. Effects of fish culture on phytoplankton communities and seasonal dynamics in lakes along the middle Yangtze River. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Basin 27(10): 2260-2269. (In Chinese with English Abstract) 

32. Ye, S., W. Zeng, Y. Chen, T. Zhang, J. Liu, Z. Li. 2018. Comparisons of selectivity by four fishing methods on fish community assessment in a shallow Yangtze lake, and implications for fishery management. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica 42(6): 1107-1115. (In English with Chinese Abstract) 

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

34. Chen*, Y., J. Cebrain, J. Lehrter, B. Christiaen, J. Stutes, J. Goff. 2017. Storms do not alter long-term watershed development influences on coastal water quality.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 122: 207-216. 

35. Shrestha, S., J. Farrelly, M. Eggleton*, Y. Chen*. 2017. Effects of conservation wetlands on stream habitat, water quality and fish communities in agricultural watersheds of the lower Mississippi River Basin. Ecological Engineering 107: 99-109. 

36. Chen*, Y., S. Zhang, D. Huang, B.-L. Li, J. Liu, W. Liu, J. Ma, F. Wang, Y. Wang, S. Wu, Y. Wu, J. Yan, C. Guo, W. Xin, H. Wang. 2017. The development of China’s Yangtze River Economic Belt: how to make it in a green way?  Science Bulletin 62: 648-651. 

37. Paukert, C.P.*, A. J. Lynch, T.D. Beard, Y. Chen*, S. J. Cooke, M.S. Cooperman, I.G. Cowx, L. Ibengwe, D.M. Infante, B.J.E. Myers, H.P. Nguyen, I.J. Winfield.  2017. Designing a global assessment of climate change on inland fishes and fisheries: knowns and needs. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 27: 393-409. 

38. Yang*, Z., Y. Chen*, R. Yu, L. Liu, C. Liu, R. M. Hughes and Y. Liu. 2017. Responsible recreational fisheries: a Chinese perspective. Fisheries 42(6): 303-307. 

39. Liu*, H., J. Yang, S. Li, X. Gao, Y. Chen, C. Zhang, K. Zhao, X. Li, W. Liu. 2016. Theory and methods on fish diversity monitoring with an introduction to the inland water fish diversity observation in China. Biodiversity Science 24(11): 1227-1233 (In Chinese with English abstract). 

40. Farrelly, J. C., Y. Chen* and C. Laskodi. 2016. Oxygenation zones in conventional and split earthen catfish ponds in eastern Arkansas. Aquacultural Engineering 75: 14-21. 

41. Guo*, C., Y. Chen*, S. Lek and Z. Li. 2016. Large scale patterns in the diversity of lake fish assemblages in China and the effect of environmental factors. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 188(2): 129-145. 

42. Chen*, Y., A. S. Todd, M. H. Murphy and G. Lomnicky. 2016. Anticipated water quality changes in response to climate change and potential consequences for inland fishes. Fisheries 41(7): 413-416. 

43. Winfield*, I. J.,  C. Baigún, P. A. Balykin, B. Becker, Y. Chen, A. F. Filipe, Y. V. Gerasimov, A. L. Godinho, R.M. Hughes, J. D. Koehn, D. N. Kutsyn, V. Mendoza-Portillo, T. Oberdorff, A. M. Orlov, A. P. Pedchenko, F. Pletterbauer, I. G. Prado, R. R?sch and S. J. Vatland. 2016. International perspectives on the effects of climate change on inland fisheries. Fisheries 41(7): 399-405. 

44. Guo, C., Lek, S., Ye, S., Li, W., Liu, J., Chen*, Y., Li, Z*. 2015. Predicting fish species richness and assemblages with climatic, geographic and morphometric factors: a broad-scale study in Chinese lakes. Limnologica, 54, 66-74. 

45. Grigas, D., Lehrter*, J., Cebrian, J., Chen*, Y., Ehmen, B., Woodrey, M. 2015. Effects of stormwater pipe size and rainfall on sediment and nutrients delivered to a coastal bayou. Water Environment Research, 87(9): 796-804. 

46. Chen*, Y., Herzog, K., Shrestha, S., Grigas, D., Farrelly, J., Laskodi, C., Skoog, M. 2015. Urban land use, water quality, and biological conditions in the Lower Mississippi River Basin bayous. Fisheries, 40 (7), 334-335. 

47. Lai, J., Zhao, L., Fan, Y., Qu, X., Liu, D., Guo, Z., Wang, Y., Liu*, Q., Chen*, Y. 2015. Using whole body elemental fingerprint analysis to distinguish different populations of Coilia nasus in a large river basin. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 60, 249-257. 

48. Farrelly, J. C., Chen*, Y., Shrestha, S. 2015. Occurrences of growth related target dissolved oxygen and ammonia in different catfish pond production systems in southeast Arkansas. Aquacultural Engineering, 64, 68-77. 

49. Xie, D., Zhou, H., Ji, H., Chen, Y., An, S. 2015. Effects of buoyancy and season on turion dispersal of submerged macrophyte Potamogeton crispus L. Clean Soil Air Water, 43(3), 324-329. 

50. Ren, L.-J., Wen, T., Pan, W., Chen, Y., Xu, L.-L., Yu, L.-J., Yu, C.-Y., Zhou, Y., An, S.-Q. 2015. Nitrogen removal by ecological purification and restoration engineering in a polluted river. Clean Soil Air Water, 43(12), 1565-1573. 

51. Ren, L.-J., Xu, L.-L., Zhang, Y.-Y., Pan, W., Yin, S.-L., Zhou, Y., Yu, L.-J. Chen*, Y., An*, S.-Q. 2015. Effects of connection mode and hydraulic retention time on wastewater pollutants removal in constructed wetland microcosms. Clean Soil Air Water, 43(12), 1574-1581. 

52. Wan, Y., Xu, L., Hu, J., Xu, C., Wan, A., An, S., Chen*, Y. 2015. The role of environmental and spatial processes in structuring stream macroinvertebrates communities in a large river basin. Clean Soil Air Water, 43(12), 1633-1639. 

53. Wan, Y., Hu, J., Xu, L., Xu, C., Wan, A., Chen*, Y. 2015. Scale-related contribution of environmental and spatial processes to structuring phytoplankton assemblages. Clean Soil Air Water, 43(12), 1592-1597.