Publication details

Effects of managed flooding on fish assemblages in man-made floodplain water bodies



Year of publication 2005
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The loss of flood plain through river channelization can have adverse affects on riverine fish fauna through a reduction in the abundance and diversity of species. Most of the lowland floodplain rivers in Central Europe have been channelized and regulated. The area along the lower River Dyje (Danube basin) is an exception where a fragment of the flood plain remains. The southern part of this area is under an experimental managed flooding regime to support fish reproduction. The effectiveness of managed flooding was investigated by comparing adult and 0+ juvenile fish assemblages in two types of borrow pits (lakes created after excavation of material for dike construction) during four years. All man-made borrow pits had uniform habitats without shelters and with limited spawning and nursery areas. The habitat conditions in three borrow pits was improved by managed flooding during spring and summer of differing extension and duration. Three control sites were not flooded. The species diversity of adult fish did not differ between flooded and non-flooded sites, but the fish density was higher in flooded borrow pits. Considerable differences between flooded and non-flooded sites were found in species richness, species composition and fish density of 0+ fish assemblages. No difference was observed between flooded and non-flooded sites during short-duration managed flooding. We could conclude that managed flooding is an important factor for supporting fish diversity and production in the substitute man-made lentic water bodies, however the duration of flooding plays an important role.

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