a. River Habitat Research
In the future, ESRI will focus on river habitat models, improvement and restoration engineering methods, and the establishment of assessment indicators, as well as conducting experimental research on fishways and their application.
b.Study of Environmental Change along Taiwan`s Western Coast
Researchers will explore the present status and factors that influencing environmental change,using remote sensing data and analyze images acquired from remote sensing, GIS and global positioning system (GPS) technologies. This information will be provided to the relevant authorities for coastal wetlands conservation, design, and management.
Also in the future, ESRI will establish a database of
Taiwan`s earthworm species and their distributions with the aim of better understanding the status of this indicator species and their significance in biogeography.
d. Degraded Habitat Research
The Institute will also strengthen the improvement and/or restosatin of degraded coastal wetland habitat along
Taiwan`s southwestern coast to upgrade its quality and preserve biological diversity.
e. Study of
Taiwan`s Freshwater Shrimps
ESRI will investigate the migratory behavior of
Taiwan`s freshwater shrimps and study their ecology and biology in order to draw up appropriate conservation measures.
f. Study of the Impact of Habitat Change
Another important area of research will be strengthening our understanding of how much post-construction habitat change affects biological diversity. ESRI will expand its river habitat database to provide a scientific basis for the use of relevant authorities in planning and designing construction projects and minimizing the ecological impact of such projects.
g. River Habitat Restoration
Finally, ESRI will study fish species’ preferences and usage of habitat and environmental factors,such as water depth and water flow speed,to establish a habitat suitability curve for freshwater fish. This can then be used in river habitat restoration and ecological base flow assessment.
h. Monitoring of biodiversity and management of wildlife sanctuary in Tainan area
To understand the interaction of benthic macro-invertebrate community and its surrounding environments in the tidal zone, sampling sites were established at two wildlife sanctuaries in Tainan area. Monitoring of biodiversity and environmental factor were analyses in the survey area, and to connect the relationship of fauna congregation and environmental and climatic factors of their habitat. The results indicated that there was conspicuous variation in the benthic macro-invertebrate community structure among sampling stations, but not among the seasons. Water quality and the heavy metal contents affected the community structure. We also attempted to elect those rare and endangered species in our study area, and make a suggestion on the proposition of proper habitat for black-faced spoonbill and Formosan fiddler crab.
i. The biodiversity of the algal reef ecosystem in Tao Yuan County
Most of the coastlines in western Taiwan are muddy or sandy beaches. As sands are easily moved by water waves and transported by water currents, the sandy beaches are not a favorable substrate for the growth of the calcareous algae. An exception is the coastline of the Taoyuan County, where the algal reefs are formed by crystalline calcium carbonates left by dead calcareous algae. These vast but rare algal reefs are formed by extremely slow growth of the algae whose rate is usually at 0.01 to 0.1 cm per year. Although such algal reefs have been spotted in several parts in the coast of the Taoyuan County, most of them have either stopped growing or died due to pollution and environmental deterioration. Kwanyin's reef is the largest patch of such living algal reef discovered so far in the county. It is 5 km long and 500 m wide. At presence, these algal reef areas have been arranged as a temporarily nature reserve area protected under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 2008. The other algal reefs along the other parts of northern coastline are only sparsely. The questions about how those algal reefs formed, conditions of their growth environments, and the marine biota living around these reefs will be addressed in this proposed study. In addition to the basic ecological surveys, we will compare the communities of the marine organisms in these algal reefs seasonally based on our investigation data from various reefs along the northern coastlines. We expect to obtain useful information about optical conditions of algal reef formation, mechanisms of ecosystem maintenance, and ecological roles or function of the algal reefs and their associate communities. And we also expect to be able to provide our investigation information as a reference for our relative government departments on issues of marine coastline conservation and management.