Tidal marshes are an important habitat and nursery area for fish. In the past few decades, rapid economic development in the coastal areas of China has led to the interruption and destruction of an increasing number of tidal marshes. The growing interest in tidal marsh restoration has increased the need to understand the relationship between geomorphological features and fish assemblages in the design of marsh restoration projects. We studied temporal variations in, and the effects of creek geomorphological features on, the estuarine tidal creek fish community. Using modified channel nets, we sampled fish monthly from March 2007 to February 2008 from seven tidal creeks along an intertidal channel system in Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve. Fourteen creek geomorphological variables were measured or derived to characterize intertidal creek geomorphological features. The Gobiidae, with 10 species, was the most speciesrich family. The most abundant fish species were Liza affinis, Chelon haematocheilus, and Lateolabrax maculatus. The fish community was dominated by juvenile marine transients, which comprised about 80% of the total catch. The highest abundance of fish occurred in June and July, and the highest biomass occurred in December. Canonical redundancy analyses demonstrated that depth, steepness, cross-sectional area, and volume significantly affected the fish species assemblage. L. affinis favored small creeks with high elevations. Synechogobius ommaturus, Acanthogobius luridus, and Carassius auratus preferred deep, steep creeks with a large cross-sectional area and volume. These findings indicate that the geomorphological features of tidal creeks should be considered in the conservation and sustainable management of fish species and in the restoration of salt marshes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology