The introduction of exotic species and the extirpation of native species that occurred during the past two centuries have strongly modified the structure of most plant and animal assemblages across the globe. Such a biotic change is particularly marked in isolated environments such as islands or isolated lakes. Most studies reported drastic changes between before and after human disturbances, but the dynamics of change in assemblage structure through the invasion and extirpation processes are rarely reported. Here we measured the aquatic ecosystem degradation through exotic species introduction and native species extirpation experienced by Lake Erhai (China) during the last 50 years using structural, functional and taxonomic distinctness biodiversity indices. Structural diversity (species richness) did not varied monotonically along the temporal gradient, due to an opposite trend between exotic species increase and a concomitant decline of native species richness. Functional diversity displayed unclear ascending trends driven by the introduction of exotic species having distinct functional traits than natives. Taxonomic distinctness indices exhibited an increase of the average taxonomic distinctness (Delta(+)), but a decrease of the variation in taxonomic distinctness (Lambda(+)) through time. Structural, functional and distinctness indices providing complementary information on ecosystem degradation, we here proposed a new multifaceted degradation index integrating these three facets of biodiversity. Such an index provided an accurate representation of the faunistic changes experienced by Lake Erhai and might constitute a comprehensive way to measure ecosystem degradation through exotic fish species introductions and native fish species extirpations. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.