Effects of Landscape and Riparian Condition on a Fish Index of Biotic Integrity in a Large Southeastern Brazil River Article Received: 09 October 2005 Revised: 16 March 2005 Accepted: 07 July 2005 DOI:
Cite this article as: Pinto, B.C.T., Araujo, F.G. & Hughes, R.M. Hydrobiologia (2006) 556: 69. doi:10.1007/s10750-005-9009-y Abstract
Environmental conditions of a large river in southeastern Brazil were assessed by evaluating fish assemblage structure (index of biotic integrity, IBI), landscape use (forest, pasture, urban area, and tributary water) and riparian condition. A survey of the 338 km-long middle reach of the Rio Paraiba do Sul, containing a large urban-industrial complex, was conducted in two seasons: summer/wet and winter/dry. Fish were sampled with a standardized level of effort twice at seven sites, between March 2001 and April 2002, by gill nets, cast nets, sieves and seines. Riparian condition was evaluated by direct observations, and land use maps were used to assess landscape condition of an 8 km
2 buffer surrounding each site. IBI scores ranged from 5 to 36 (out of a possible range of 4–40), with lowest values at an urban-industrial landscape, and highest scores upstream and downstream, indicating the river’s recovery capacity. The most appropriate time to assess IBI was during the winter/dry period, when sampling was more effective and the IBI was more sensitive to changes in environmental quality. Landscape use and riparian condition were correlated, and IBI was positively correlated with % pasture, % tributary area, and riparian condition, but negatively correlated with % urban area. In some cases urban areas eliminated riparian woody vegetation, destabilizing site physical habitat structure. Keywords fish assemblages landuse tropical rivers pollution References Agostinho, A. A., Thomaz, S. M., Minte-Vera, C. V., Winemiller, K. O. 2000 Biodiversity in the high Parana River floodplain Gopal, B. Junk, W. J. Davis, J. A. eds. Biodiversity in Wetlands: Assessment, Function and Conservation Backhuys, Leiden The Netherlands 89 118 Google Scholar Allan, J. D., Erickson, D. L., Fay, J. 1997 The influence of catchment land use on stream integrity across multiple spatial scales Freshwater Biology 37 149 161 Google Scholar Allan, J. D. 2004 Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 35 257 284 Google Scholar Allen, A. P., Whittier, T. R., Larsen, D. P., Kaufmann, P. R., O’Connor, R. J., Hughes, R. M., Stemberger, R. S., Dixit, S. S., Brinkhurst, R. O., Herlihy, A. T., Paulsen, S. G. 1999 Concordance of taxonomic composition patterns across multiple lake assemblages: effects of scale, body size, and land use Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56 2029 2040 Google Scholar Araújo, F. G. 1998 Adaptação do índice de integridade biótica usando a comunidade de peixes para o rio Paraíba do Sul Revista Brasileira Biologia 58 547 558 Google Scholar Araújo, F. G., Fichberg, I., Pinto, B. C. T., Peixoto, M. G. 2003 A preliminary index of biotic integrity for monitoring condition of the Rio Paraíba do Sul, Southeast Brazil Environmental Management 32 516 526 PubMed Google Scholar
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