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|Title:||A Zone-Specific Fish-Based Biotic Index as a Management Tool for the Zeeschelde Estuary (Belgium)|
|Authors:||BREINE Jan; QUATAERT Paul; STEVENS Maarten; OLLEVIER Frans; VOLCKAERT Filip; VAN DEN BERGH Ericia; MAES JOACHIM|
|Citation:||MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN vol. 60 no. 7 p. 1099–1112|
|Publisher:||PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||Fish-based indices monitor changes in surface waters and are a valuable aid in communication by summarising complex information about the environment (Harrison and Whitfield, 2004). A zone-specific fish-based multimetric estuarine index of biotic integrity (Z-EBI) was developed based on a 13 year time series of fish surveys from the Zeeschelde estuary (Belgium). Sites were pre-classified using indicators of anthropogenic impact. Metrics showing a monotone response with pressure classes were selected for further analysis. Thresholds for the good ecological potential (GEP) were defined from references. A modified trisection was applied for the other thresholds. The Z-EBI is defined by the average of the metric scores calculated over a one year period and translated into an ecological quality ratio (EQR). The indices integrate structural and functional qualities of the estuarine fish communities. The Z-EBI performances were successfully validated for habitat degradation in the various habitat zones.|
|JRC Institute:||Institute for Environment and Sustainability|
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