Distribution characteristics of fish assemblages and environmental variation in emerged plant, floating-leaved plant and blank habitats were studied. Emergent plant habitat supported the greatest fish biomass, density and body size, followed by floating-leaved plant habitat, and those of blank habitat was the lowest. Transparency of emergent plant habitat decreased during the period, but of blank habitat increased. Species number of dominant fish of emergent plant habitat compared to the others decreased from four species, i.e., Hemicculter leuciclus, Pseudobramasimoni, Carassius auratus and Ophicephalus argus in May to the single one, C. auratus in September. Those of blank habitat increased from two species, H. leuciclus and Pseudorasbora parva to four species, H. leuciclus, C. auratus, P. parva and O. argus. This result suggested that emergent plant with excessively high density could worsen habitat physical and chemical conditions, resulted in the fish’s emigration to unvegetated area. Those of floating-leaved plant habitat from two species, Cultrichthys erythropterus and P. simoni, changed into four species, C. erythropterus, P. simoni, H. leuciclus and P. parva. The increasing structure complexity and biomass of floating-leaved macrophyte promoted the increase of dominant fish species number with seasonal change. C. auratus, C. erythropterus and H. leuciclus displayed special preferences on emergent plant, floating-leaved plant and blank habitats respectively. Fish’s special habitat preference was determined by plant physical morphology, habitat characteristics and fish breeding habits.
Cite this paper
J. Wang, X. Song, G. Zou and W. Zhou, "Effects of Aquatic Vegetation on Fish Assemblages in a Freshwater River of Taihu Lake Basin, East China," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2013, pp. 37-45. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.51005.
 M. Meerhoff, N. Mazzeo, B. Moss and L. Rodríguez-Gallego, “The Structuring Role of Free-Floating versus Submerged Plants in a Shallow Subtropical Lake,” Aquatic Ecology, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2003, pp. 377-391.
 A. A. Agostinho, S. M. Thomaz, L. C. Gomes and S. Baltar, “Influence of the Macrophyte Eichhornia azurea on Fish Assemblage of the Upper Parana River Floodplain (Brazil),” Aquatic Ecology, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2007, pp. 611-619. doi:10.1007/s10452-007-9122-2
 S. M. Thomaz, E. D. Dibble, L. R. Evangelista, J. Higuti and L. M. Bini, “Influence of Aquatic Macrophyte Habitat Complexity on Invertebrate Abundance and Richness in Tropical Lagoons,” Freshwater Biology, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2008, pp. 358-367.
 L. E. Miranda, M. P. Driscoll and M. S. Allen, “Transient Physicochemical Microhabitats Facilitate Fish Survival in Inhospitable Aquatic Plant Stands,” Freshwater Biology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2000, pp. 617-628.
 F. Pelicice, A. A. Agostinho and S. M. Thomaz, “Fish Assemblages Associated with Egeria in a Tropical Reservoir: Investigating the Effects of Plant Biomass and Diel Period,” Acta Oecologica, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2005, pp. 9-16. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2004.08.004
 C. Phiri, A. Chakona and J. A. Day, “Aquatic Insects Associated with Two Morphologically Different Submerged Macrophytes, Lagarosiphon ilicifolius and Vallisneria aethiopica, in Small Fishless Ponds,” Aquatic Ecology, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2011, pp. 405-416.
 J. M. Caffrey, “Aquatic Plant Management in Relation to Irish Recreational Fisheries Development,” Journal of Aquatic Plant Management, Vol. 31, 1993, pp. 162-168.
 O. J. Ferrer-Montano and E. D. Dibble, “Aquatic Plant Densities and Larval Fish Abundance in Vegetated Habitats on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway System,” Journal of Freshwater Ecology, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2002, pp. 455-460. doi:10.1080/02705060.2002.9663920
 J. Q. Wang, X. F. Song, F. X. Liu, G. Y. Zou, Z. S. Fu, C. E. Liu, Y. Q. Liu, Q. Pan and Z. D. Sun, “Fish Assemblage Status in Longyanhe River System, Tributary of Zhihugang, Taihu Basin,” Journal of Lake Science, Vol. 23, No. 6, 2011, pp. 982-990.
 M. A. Rodriguez and W. M. Lewis, “Structure of Fish Assemblages along Environmental Gradients in Floodplain Lakes of the Orinoco River,” Ecological Monographs, Vol. 67, No. 1, 1997, pp. 109-128.
 C. Bronmark and S. E. B. Weisner, “Indirect Effects of Fish Community Structure on Submerged Vegetation in Shallow, Eutrophic Lakes: An Alternative Mechanism,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 243, No. 1, 1992, pp. 293-301.
 L. P. Rozas and W. E. Odum, “Occupation of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation by Fishes: Testing the Roles of Food and Refuge,” Oecologia, Vol. 77, No. 1, 1988, pp. 101-106. doi:10.1007/BF00380932
 M. Cazzanelli, T. P. Warming and K. S. Christoffersen, “Emergent and Floating-Leaved Macrophytes as Refuge for Zooplankton in a Eutrophic Temperate Lake without Submerged Vegetation,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 605, No. 1, 2008, pp. 113-122. doi:10.1007/s10750-008-9324-1
 A. A. Padial, S. M. Thomaz and A. A. Agostinho, “Effects of Structural Heterogeneity Provided by the Floating Macrophyte Eichhornia azurea on the Predation Efficiency and Habitat Use of the Small Neotropical Fish Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 624, No. 1, 2009, pp. 161-170.
 M. Scheffer, “The Effect of Aquatic Vegetation on Turbidity: How Important Are the Filter Feeders,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 408-409, 1999, pp. 307-316.
 M. P. Marchetti and P. B. Moyle, “Effects of Flow Regime on Fish Assemblages in a Regulated California Stream,” Ecological Applications, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2001, pp. 530-539.
 J. E. Argentina, M. C. Freeman and B. J. Freeman, “The Response of Stream Fish to Local and Reach-Scale Variation in the Occurrence of a Benthic Aquatic Macrophyte,” Freshwater Biology, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2010, pp. 643-653.
 D. E. Shoup and D. H. Wahl, “Fish Diversity and Abundance in Relation to Interannual and Lake-Specific Variation in Abiotic Characteristics of Floodplain Lakes of the Lower Kaskaskia River, Illinois,” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Vol. 138, No. 5, 2009, pp. 1076-1092. doi:10.1577/T07-272.1
 S. De Backer, S. Van Onsem and L. Triest, “Influence of Submerged Vegetation and Fish Abundance on Water Clarity in Peri-Urban Eutrophic Ponds,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 656, No. 1, 2010, pp. 255-267.
 D. M. Warfe and L. A. Barmuta, “Habitat Structural Complexity Mediates Food Web Dynamics in a Freshwater Macrophyte Community,” Oecologia, Vol. 150, No. 1, 2006, pp. 141-154. doi:10.1007/s00442-006-0505-1
 Y. Ni and C. D. Zhu, “Fishes of Taihu Lake,” Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, Shanghai, 2005.
 Z. Y. Xie, X. F. Wu, L. H. Zhuang and D. S. Li, “Investigations of the Biology of Hemiculter leucisculus in Fenhe Reservoir,” Journal of Shandong College of Oceanology, Vol. 16, No. 4, 1986, pp. 54-69.
 M. Kobayashi, H. Kuroyanagi, S. Otomo and Y. Hayakawa, “Involvement of Aquatic Plants in the Spawning Behaviour of Goldfish and Crucian Carp,” Cybium, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2008, pp. 310-311.