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Environ Manage. 2006 Mar;37(3):322-35.

A spatially explicit resource-based approach for managing stream fishes in riverscapes.

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  • 1Aquatic Ecology, Cemagref-HBAN, 92163 Antony, France.


The article describes a riverscape approach based on landscape ecology concepts, which aims at studying the multiscale relationships between the spatial pattern of stream fish habitat patches and processes depending on fish movements. A review of the literature shows that few operational methods are available to study this relationship due to multiple methodological and practical challenges inherent to underwater environments. We illustrated the approach with literature data on a cyprinid species (Barbus barbus) and an actual riverscape of the Seine River, France. We represented the underwater environment of fishes for different discharges using two-dimensional geographic information system-based maps of the resource habitat patches, defined according to activities (feeding, resting, and spawning). To quantify spatial patterns at nested levels (resource habitat patch, daily activities area, subpopulation area), we calculated their composition, configuration, complementation, and connectivity with multiple spatial analysis methods: patch metrics, moving-window analysis, and least cost modeling. The proximity index allowed us to evaluate habitat patches of relatively great value, depending on their spatial context, which contributes to the setting of preservation policies. The methods presented to delimit potential daily activities areas and subpopulation areas showed the potential gaps in the biological connectivity of the reach. These methods provided some space for action in restoration schemes.

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