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Oldman Dam Alberta
Alberta Update 2010
Saskatchewan Update
Saskatchewan River
Aquatic Insects
Oregon Winter Ponds
Oregon Rivers Intro
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China Yangtze River
Arctic Canada, Rankin
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Teaching Materials

Across China by Train

China environment web.pdf

Across China by river boat, Yangtze.  

(some photos are by Cary Kerst)

yangtze webpage.pdf

I have found a similarity for the Yangtze River in China and  the large rivers of Canada such as the MacKenzie and Athabasca.  In both cases, there is a large amount of information on the internet and in print about the value of this rivers, the amazing rare aquatic mammals and fish of the Yangtze for example, and the herds of caribou and flocks of migratory birds that depend on the MacKenzie delta, yet in both cases(***new, see below for the Yangtze)  I have not found it possible to locate the  most basic information about the rivers as eclogical systems.  I cannot find information on invertebrate community structure and biodiversity for either.  Also, any mention of river function is lacking.  Are they, in the terms of RCC, mid Order for example?  What is the energy source for consumers in the aquatic communities?   Are habitats and substrates a diversity of stones, cobble, sand, bedrock, fallen logs, or just mud and unstable sediments, and what is the distribution of the various substrates?  I am still looking.  Of course, millions of $$ have been and are being spent doing ecological studies by governments and consultants.  So where are the results?   For a visual tour of the Yangtze, see the pdf above. 

Mayflies of China--   http://www.famu.org/mayfly/china/index.html

***The following publication is interesting in that the Xiang Jiang River is a large tributary flowing northward and entering the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) in the area east (downstream) of the Three Gorges.  Thus, we have many hints as to the community composition of the Yangtze. 

Yangtze tributary Xiang Jiang aquatics.pdf

Genera of mayflies mentioned in the above paper are Potamanthus, Ecdyonurus, Cinygma, Ephemerella, Baetis, Centroptilum, Paraleptophlebia, Thraulus, Choroterpes, Ephemera, Caenis, and Prosopistoma.

Trichoptera listed in the above paper are Rhyacophila, Hydroptila, Orthotrichia, Hydropsyche, Diplectrona, Psychomyia, and Leptocerus.

Other genera of interest are: Libellula, Gomphus, and Lestes (Odonata); Pentaneuria, Orthocladius, Polypedilum, Rheotanytarsus, Cryptochironomus, and Chironomus (Chironomidae, Diptera); Ceratopogonidae and Simulium (Diptera);  4 genera or species of Hirudinea and 12  of Oligochaetae; many molluscs.

Several things will be obvious to the experienced aquatic biologist who looks at the above taxonomic lists.  Strangely, no Plecoptera are present.  This is wierd.  Second, all genera will be familiar to the North American river ecologist, since the Holarctic region from North America to Europe to Russia to China and Japan share similar Genera and Families of aquatic insects.  At the species level there is a difference of course.  .  Almost all of the above are found in North America (and Canada).   An exception is  Prosopistoma, for example.

Further regarding the Genera from China:

-some genera are usually restricted to smaller cool streams, not rivers- e.g. Rhyacophila

-some are typically from ponds or other still water (Lestes, Libellula)

-some are widespread regarding habitat-( Paraleptophlebia, Ephemerella, Baetis)

-some are characteristic of large rivers (Ephemera, Choroterpes) (both found in the Saskatchewan, Missouri, and Columbia Rivers).