The relative influence of catchment, riparian corridor, and reach-scale anthropogenic pressures on fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages in French rivers

A. Marzin, P.F.M. Verdonschot, D. Pont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study compares the relative influences of physiography and anthropogenic pressures on river biota at catchment, riparian corridor, and reach scales. Environmental data, catchment and riparian corridor land use, anthropogenic modifications and biological data were compiled for 301 French sites sampled from 2005 to 2008. First, relationships between anthropogenic pressures and fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages were analysed using redundancy analysis. Second, the influences of physiography and the three scales of human pressures on biological assemblages were measured using variance partitioning. Distributions of fish and macroinvertebrate taxa along the pressure gradients agreed with bio-ecological knowledge. At the reach scale, assemblage variability among the 301 French sites was related to the presence of an impoundment and to poor water quality, while at larger scales it was linked to a gradient from forest to agricultural covers. In addition, a large proportion of the explained variability in assemblage composition was related to complex interactions among factors (~40%) and to physiographic variables (~30%). Furthermore, our results highlight that catchment land use better reflects local water quality impairments than hydromorphological degradations. Finally, this study supports the idea that human pressure effects on river communities are linked at several spatial scales and must be considered jointly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume704
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • stream biotic integrity
  • multiple spatial scales
  • land-use
  • water-quality
  • landscape influences
  • species traits
  • running waters
  • communities
  • habitat
  • usa

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