Towards the use of National Census on River Environments data for conservation: Issues and a case study

Masanao Sueyoshi, Takumi Akasaka, Terutaka Mori, Nobuo Ishiyama, Tomoaki Kawamoto, Yuya Takegawa, Mikio Inoue, Hiromune Mitsuhashi, Yoichi Kawaguchi, Norio Onikura, Yo Miyake, Izumi Katano, Futoshi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With rapid declines in global riverine biodiversity, conservation is needed on a nationwide scale. Since 1990, the National Census on River Environments (NCRE) has collected meaningful data on riverine organisms and environments in Japan. However, there are several issues with using the NCRE database for scientific studies. In this study, we summarised issues related to the NCRE database, and used the 3rd NCRE dataset (2001-2005) to evaluate nationwide trends in species richness and the rarity of fishes (primarily freshwater and diadromous fishes) and taxon richness and the rarity of benthic animals (aquatic insects and shellfishes). First, we summarised data quality (e.g. monitoring sites and season) and data formatting issues (e.g. site name and species name). Second, we mitigated these potential issues as thoroughly as possible and tested the relationships of species (or taxon) richness and rarity with latitude using generalised linear models. We found that species and taxon richness showed different latitudinal distributions between primarily freshwater and diadromous fishes and between aquatic insects and shellfishes. In contrast, rarities showed spatial congruence with species diversity, suggesting that more species and rare species could be conserved in the same regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalJapanese Journal of Conservation Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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