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Development of a fish-based index combining data from different types of fishing gear. A case study of reservoirs in Flanders (Belgium)

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



Original languageEnglish
Article numberBelg. J. Zool., 145(1) : 17-39
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)17-39
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015


ABSTRACT. Fish assemblages in reservoirs and lakes are mainly assessed by multiple sampling gear. The
challenge exists in how to combine all the data from the different types of gear to develop a fish-based index.
In this paper, we describe a novel approach to this challenge in reservoirs in Flanders. The developed approach
can also be used for natural lakes in the same eco-region and for any combination of fishing methods. In a first
step, we defined a reference list of fish species occurring in man-made Flemish reservoirs. To compile this
reference list, we adapted the reference for Dutch lakes with recent data from freshwater reservoirs in Flanders.
This reference list contains guild-specific information needed to define metrics. To pre-classify the reservoirs, a
habitat status for each reservoir was set using abiotic parameters (pressures). Fish gear-dependent metrics were
selected according to their response to these pressures. Threshold values for metrics were determined based on
the species reference list and occasionally on the calculated metric values. The ecological quality ratios derived
from the index calculation were validated with an independent set of data. The developed index proved to
successfully assess the ecological status of the reservoirs in Flanders.

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  • Breine_etal_2015_BelgJZool

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.38 MB, PDF document

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