Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 17077–17090 | Cite as

River habitat assessment for ecological restoration of Wei River Basin, China

  • Tao Yang
  • Shuo Wang
  • Xiaoping Li
  • Ting Wu
  • Li Li
  • Jia Chen
Research Article


As an important composition component of river ecosystems, river habitats must undergo quality assessment to potentially provide scientific basis for river ecological restoration. Substrate composition, habitat complexity, bank erosion degree, river meandering degree, human activity intensity, vegetation buffer width, water quality, and water condition were determined as indicators for river habitat assessment. The comprehensive habitat quality index (CHQI) was established for the Wei River Basin. In addition, the indicator values were determined on the basis of a field investigation at 12 national hydrological stations distributed across the Wei, Jing, and Beiluo Rivers. The analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the indicator weights and thus distinguish the relative importance of the assessment indicator system. Results indicated that the average CHQIs for the Wei, Jing, and Beiluo Rivers were 0.417, 0.508, and 0.304, respectively. The river habitat quality for the three rivers was well. As for the whole river basin, the river habitat quality for 25% of the cross section was very well, the other 25% was well, and the 50% remaining was in critical state. The river habitat quality of the Jing River was better than that of the Wei and Beiluo Rivers.


Wei River Basin River habitat assessment Ecological restoration River habitat quality index 


Author contributions

The main contributors are Tao Yang, Shuo Wang, Xiaoping Li, and Ting Wu. They made equal contributions to the development of the manuscript. Li Li and Jia Chen contributed to the field investigation.

Funding information

The present study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571512, 41471420), the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (2015JM4124), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (GK201701010).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuo Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaoping Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ting Wu
    • 1
  • Li Li
    • 1
  • Jia Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography and TourismShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.International Joint Research Centre of Shaanxi Province for Pollutant Exposure and Eco-environmental HealthXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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