Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 13–22 | Cite as

Habitat quality affects the condition of Barbus sclateri in Mediterranean semi-arid streams

  • Francisco J. Oliva-Paterna
  • Pedro A. Miñnano
  • Mar Torralva


We investigated the site level relationships between fish condition and environmental variables in Sclater's barbel, Barbus sclateri, from semi-arid streams in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. These freshwater ecosystems are characterized by strong seasonal fluctuations in flow levels (droughts and floods) as a consequence of their irregular hydrological regime on both an annual and pluriannual scale. We analysed the relationships between 11 ecosystem variables [conductivity, oxygen concentration, water temperature, pH, seasonal water flow, dominant substrate, submerged vegetation, QBR (Riparian Ecosystems Quality Index), BMWP' (Spanish version of the Biological Monitoring Working Party), fish refuge index and fish density] and fish condition by comparing mass–length relationships of nine populations of Sclater's barbel located in five sub-basins with different environmental conditions. Fish condition differed between the populations studied and was mainly dependent on the ecological variables related with water flow and, consequently, the physical structure of the streams, which is directly related to substrate and fish refuge.

stream fish mass–length relationships environmental assessment habitat differences 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco J. Oliva-Paterna
    • 1
  • Pedro A. Miñnano
    • 1
  • Mar Torralva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain

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