, Volume 259, Issue 3, pp 157–167 | Cite as

Patterns of fish species richness in the Seine River basin, France

  • Thierry Oberdorff
  • Eric Guilbert
  • Jean-Claude Lucchetta


Variation in fish assemblage structure was examined in different rivers of the Seine Basin. Factor analysis was used to identify similarities among samples and species, and to show ichtyological changes along an upstream-downstream gradient. Fish species richness was correlated with catchment area, distance from the source and number of individuals. Relationships between species richness and number of individuals in a sample were largely an artifact of sampling.

Species richness increased with river size, reached a maximum in midsize rivers, then decreased in large rivers. This species richness pattern was consistent with the model of the River Continuum Concept. However, possible causes could include greater pollution effects in large rivers. Distribution of feeding guilds was related to river size. Species richness and proportion of omnivores and piscivores increased with river size, whereas species richness and proportion of invertivores declined downstream. These patterns suggest that trophic diversity of fish assemblages may be related to food availability.

Key words

assemblage organisation trophic guilds food availability anthropogenic perturbations 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thierry Oberdorff
    • 1
  • Eric Guilbert
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Lucchetta
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d IchtyologieMuséum National d Histoire NaturelleParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.Conseil Supérieur de la Pêche, Délégation Régionale N° 1CompiègneFrance

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