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

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Authors

  • Paul Quataert
  • F Ollevier
  • F. A. M Volckaert
  • J Maes

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume60
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1099-1112
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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.

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  • Breine_etal_2010_MarPollutBull

    Final published version, 862 KB, PDF document

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