Research output

Response of fish communities to multiple pressures: Development of a total anthropogenic pressure intensity index

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


  • Sandra Poikane
  • David Ritterbusch
  • Christine Argillier
  • Witold Białokoz
  • Petr Blabolil
  • Nicolaas Jaarsma
  • Teet Krause
  • Jan Kubečka
  • Torben Lauridsen
  • Peeter Nõges
  • Graeme Peirson
  • Tomas Virbickas

External Organisations

  • Institute of Inland Fisheries, Im Königswald 2, 14469 Potsdam-Sacrow, Germany
  • Inland Fisheries Institute, Oczapowskiego 10-719, Olsztyn, Poland
  • Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • Nico Jaarsma E&F, Klif 25, Den Hoorn, Texel, The Netherlands
  • Centre for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
  • Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
  • Environment Agency, Kidderminster DY11 7RA, UK
  • Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, LT-08412 Vilnius-21, Lithuania
  • European Commission Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Sustainable Resources, Water and Marine Resources Unit, I-21027 Ispra, VA, Italy
  • Irstea, UR RECOVER, 3275 Route de Cézanne CS 40061, 13182 Aix en Provence Cedex 5, France


Original languageEnglish
JournalScience of the total environment
Pages (from-to)502-511
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Lakes in Europe are subject to multiple anthropogenic pressures, such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and introduction of alien species, which are frequently inter-related. Therefore, effective assessment methods addressing multiple pressures are needed. In addition, these systems have to be harmonised (i.e. intercalibrated) to achieve common management objectives across Europe. Assessments of fish communities inform environmental policies on ecological conditions integrating the impacts of multiple pressures. However, the challenge is to ensure consistency in ecological assessments through time, across ecosystem types and across jurisdictional boundaries. To overcome the serious comparability issues between national assessment systems in Europe, a total anthropogenic pressure intensity (TAPI) index wasdeveloped as a weighted combination of the most common pressures in European lakes that is validated against 10 national fish-based water quality assessment systems using data from 556 lakes. Multi-pressure indices showed significantly higher correlations with fish indices than single-pressure indices. The best-performing index combines eutrophication, hydromorphological alterations and human use intensity of lakes. For specific lake types also biological pressures may constitute an important additional pressure. The best-performing index showed a strong correlation with eight national fish-based assessment systems. This
index can be used in lake management for assessing total anthropogenic pressure on lake ecosystems and creates a benchmark for comparison of fish assessments independent of fish community composition, size structure and
fishing-gear.We argue that fish-based multiple-pressure assessment tools should be seen as complementary to single-pressure tools offering the major advantage of integrating direct and indirect effects of multiple pressures over
large scales of space and time.

Thematic list

EWI Biomedical sciences

Taxonomic list

Geographic list

Shopping cart
Add to cart Saved citations

Copy the text from this field...




View graph of relations