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Fish as bioindicators and conservation targets of large rivers Fische als Bioindikatoren und Naturschutzziel von grossen Fliessgewaessern

, : Fish as bioindicators and conservation targets of large rivers Fische als Bioindikatoren und Naturschutzziel von grossen Fliessgewaessern. Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft fuer Ichthyologie (GfI) e V. 2002 ; 3: 19-35

Human impacts in the catchment and habitat destruction by river engineering have deteriorated the conditions of many river systems. This is expressed in a high number of endangered species, e.g. fish. Modern river management and the conservadon of river floodplain systems requires the development of an ecologically orientated engineering concept in order to restore their functions and high biodiversity levels. To achieve this goal it is necessary to develop evaluation criteria. Fish are good indicators of environmental health of rivers and their catchments as well as important conservation targets. Management and conservation have to be based on an understan- ding of ecological processes and the requirement of characteristic species. Detailed studies on the structure of fish assemblages and the ecophysiology and population dynamics of characteristic "flag ship species" improve the indication value of fish. Especially the requirements in the reproductive and 0+ stage of fish are critical and the "match or mismatch" between requirements and habitat conditions are responsible for success or failure of a species. For an improved understanding a combination of studies on the ecophysiology and the field ecology of these species are required. Results are presented on Chondrostoma nasus, a target species for monitoring and conservation in large European river systems experimental are compared with field studies in order to evaluate the match-mismatch between performances and microhabitat choice and population dynamics in the field.

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