A zone-specific fish-based biotic index as a management tool for the Zeeschelde estuary (Belgium)

Jan Breine, Paul Quataert, Maarten Stevens, F Ollevier, F. A. M Volckaert, Erika Van den Bergh, J Maes

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

    Abstract

    Fish-based indices monitor changes in surface waters and are a valuable aid in communication by summarising complex information about the environment (Harrison and Whitfield, 2004). A zone-specific fish-based multimetric estuarine index of biotic integrity (Z-EBI) was developed based on a 13year time series of fish surveys from the Zeeschelde estuary (Belgium). Sites were pre-classified using indicators of anthropogenic impact. Metrics showing a monotone response with pressure classes were selected for further analysis. Thresholds for the good ecological potential (GEP) were defined from references. A modified trisection was applied for the other thresholds. The Z-EBI is defined by the average of the metric scores calculated over a one year period and translated into an ecological quality ratio (EQR). The indices integrate structural and functional qualities of the estuarine fish communities. The Z-EBI performances were successfully validated for habitat degradation in the various habitat zones. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
    Volume60
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)1099-1112
    Number of pages14
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Thematic list

    • Environment

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • fishes (Pisces)

    Policy

    • Water Framework Directive

    Geographic list

    • Scheldt

    Technological

    • statistics and modelling

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