Fish communities as indicators of biological conditions of rivers: methods for reference conditions
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FishesWFDBiological integrityReference conditionsSpain
Alonso, C. ; García de Jalón, D. ; Marchamalo, M. Fish communities as indicators of biological conditions of rivers: methods for reference conditions. En: Ambientalia. 2010-2011. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/21687]
SponsorshipUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid
Fish communities are a key element in fluvial ecosystems Their position in the top of the food chain and their sensitivity to a whole range of impacts make them a clear objective for ecosystem conservation and a sound indicator of biological integrity. The UE Water Framework Directive includes fish community composition, abundance and structure as relevant elements for the evaluation os biological condition. Several approaches have been proposed for the evaluation of the condition of fish communities, from the bio-indicator concept to the IBI (Index of biotic integrity) proposals. However, the complexity of fish communities and their ecological responses make this evaluation difficult, and we must avoid both oversimplified and extreme analytical procedures. In this work we present a new proposal to define reference conditions in fish communities, discussing them from an ecological viewpoint. This method is a synthetic approach called SYNTHETIC OPEN METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (SOMF) that has been applied to the rivers of Navarra. As a result, it is recommended the integration of all the available information from spatial, modelling, historical and expert sources, providing the better approach to fish reference conditions, keeping the highest level of information and meeting the legal requirements of the WFD.