School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

Research projects

Palaeo-indicators (subfossil cladocerans) to track changes in key ecosystem services in the Yangtze River Basin, China

Principal Investigator

Dr Giri Kattel, Federation University Australia


Prof Prem Chhetri, RMIT Melbourne
Prof Xiangdong Yang, NIGLAS
Dr Xuhui Dong, NIGLAS


The tributaries and floodplain wetlands of the large river system have contributed to significant ecosystem services. However, the coupled human-climate disturbances have become critical for sustainable livelihoods of the local people as a result of the loss of ecosystem services.

The Yangtze River Basin is one of the most densely populated basins in the world. Understanding the ecosystem services generated by the Yangtze River system to the local people is very important for managing the basin's future on sustainability. This project will extract information regarding the historical changes in ecosystem services from three lakes (Shaobo Lake, Liangzi Lake and Chaohu Lake) along the Yangtze River by using multi proxies including diatoms, cladocerans, and geochemistry records.

As a result of this research, the patterns and driving factors of ecosystem services in different geographic areas will be revealed, and thus will provide insight for developing the future management strategies of the Yangtze River system. Temporal and spatial mapping of ecosystem services would further help local stakeholders identify changes in ecosystem regimes over extended time scales, and assist resource managers with policy implementation and making effective decisions.