Transformation of aquatic plant diversity in an environmentally sensitive area, the Lake Taihu drainage basin.
Located downstream of the Yangtze River Delta, the Lake Taihu drainage basin (LTDB) is one of the most developed areas in China. This area currently faces population and development issues, as well as many environmental problems, such as cultural eutrophication, algal blooms, and loss of native aquatic plants. Changes in aquatic biodiversity have received less attention than have changes in terrestrial habitats because relevant observations are lacking. In this study, information from 2010, 2014, and 2018 concerning the transformation of the aquatic plant biodiversity was obtained. The results showed that the dominant aquatic plants have changed from native plants to invasive plants. Aquatic plant biodiversity showed a decreasing trend, which may reduce the freshwater ecosystem function, and anthropogenic activities accounted for these changes. How to prevent the decline in aquatic plants and control the invasion of introduced aquatic plants should be a priority in the management of aquatic plants in the LTDB.