Molecular biogeography of planktonic and benthic diatoms in the Yangtze River

Jiawen Wang, qingxiang Liu, Xianfu Zhao, Alistair Borthwick, Yuxin Liu, Qian Chen, Jinren Ni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Diatoms are of great significance to primary productivity in oceans, yet 24 little is known about their biogeographic distribution in oligotrophic rivers. 25
Results: With the help of high-throughput sequencing analysis of 279 samples from 26 the Yangtze River, we provided the first integral biogeographic pattern of planktonic 27 and benthic diatoms over a 6030 km continuum along the world’s third largest river. 28 Our study revealed spatial dissimilarity of diatoms under varying landforms, 29 including plateau, mountain, foothill, basin, foothill-mountain, and plain regions, 30 from the river source to the estuary. Environmental drivers of diatom communities 31 were interpreted in terms of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, channel 32 slope and nutrients, and human interference. Typical benthic diatoms, such as 33 Pinnularia, Paralia and Aulacoseira, experienced considerable reduction in relative 34 abundance downstream of the Three Gorges Dam and the Xiluodu Dam, two of the 35 world’s largest dams. 36
Conclusions: Our study revealed that benthic diatoms are of particular significance in 37 characterizing motile species in the riverine environment, thus providing insight into 38 diatom biogeography and biogeochemical cycles in large river ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019


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