The presence of non-native species is not associated with native fish sensitivity to water pollution in greatly hydrologically altered rivers

Alberto Maceda-Veiga, Ralph MAC NALLY, Adolfo de Sostoa

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    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There is a risk of 'ecological surprises' if multiple potentially interacting stressors are managed individually, which is a question attracting significant current interest. Habitat degradation and species introductions are major threats to global biodiversity, and riverine fish are among the most threatened taxa in the world. Our interest was whether the presence of non-native species can affect native fish sensitivity to water quality deterioration in a large region in northeastern Spain (99,700km2, 15 catchments, 530 sites). We used a 'base model' with geographical and hydro-morphological variables, which are the major shaping factors in rivers. We tested whether water pollution, non-native species, or their interaction provided an improved understanding of patterns of distributions and health measurements of the twelve most common native species. There was little evidence that variation in native species abundance, where they occurred, the presence of diseases and changes in mean fish length or body condition was affected by water deterioration, the presence of non-native species, or their interaction. The disease rate and occurrence of native species might be affected, to a minor degree, by water quality changes and the presence of non-native species. Environmental conditions between sites with and without non-native fish differed in the condition of riparian areas and in water quality. Based on presence-absence data and changes in abundances through weighted average equations we also derived potential safe levels of salinization, nutrient pollution, and pH for the native fish. Overall, additive effects of stressors prevail over interactions, and the restoration of natural hydro-morphology in rivers is likely to be the most effective management approach to improving the prospects for the native fish fauna.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    Water pollution
    water pollution
    Fish
    Rivers
    fish
    river
    native species
    Water quality
    water quality
    Deterioration
    Biodiversity
    salinization
    body condition
    Catchments
    Nutrients
    Restoration
    Pollution
    environmental conditions
    Health
    catchment

    Cite this

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    title = "The presence of non-native species is not associated with native fish sensitivity to water pollution in greatly hydrologically altered rivers",
    abstract = "There is a risk of 'ecological surprises' if multiple potentially interacting stressors are managed individually, which is a question attracting significant current interest. Habitat degradation and species introductions are major threats to global biodiversity, and riverine fish are among the most threatened taxa in the world. Our interest was whether the presence of non-native species can affect native fish sensitivity to water quality deterioration in a large region in northeastern Spain (99,700km2, 15 catchments, 530 sites). We used a 'base model' with geographical and hydro-morphological variables, which are the major shaping factors in rivers. We tested whether water pollution, non-native species, or their interaction provided an improved understanding of patterns of distributions and health measurements of the twelve most common native species. There was little evidence that variation in native species abundance, where they occurred, the presence of diseases and changes in mean fish length or body condition was affected by water deterioration, the presence of non-native species, or their interaction. The disease rate and occurrence of native species might be affected, to a minor degree, by water quality changes and the presence of non-native species. Environmental conditions between sites with and without non-native fish differed in the condition of riparian areas and in water quality. Based on presence-absence data and changes in abundances through weighted average equations we also derived potential safe levels of salinization, nutrient pollution, and pH for the native fish. Overall, additive effects of stressors prevail over interactions, and the restoration of natural hydro-morphology in rivers is likely to be the most effective management approach to improving the prospects for the native fish fauna.",
    author = "Alberto Maceda-Veiga and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph and {de Sostoa}, Adolfo",
    year = "2017",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Science of the Total Environment",
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    T1 - The presence of non-native species is not associated with native fish sensitivity to water pollution in greatly hydrologically altered rivers

    AU - Maceda-Veiga, Alberto

    AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

    AU - de Sostoa, Adolfo

    PY - 2017

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    N2 - There is a risk of 'ecological surprises' if multiple potentially interacting stressors are managed individually, which is a question attracting significant current interest. Habitat degradation and species introductions are major threats to global biodiversity, and riverine fish are among the most threatened taxa in the world. Our interest was whether the presence of non-native species can affect native fish sensitivity to water quality deterioration in a large region in northeastern Spain (99,700km2, 15 catchments, 530 sites). We used a 'base model' with geographical and hydro-morphological variables, which are the major shaping factors in rivers. We tested whether water pollution, non-native species, or their interaction provided an improved understanding of patterns of distributions and health measurements of the twelve most common native species. There was little evidence that variation in native species abundance, where they occurred, the presence of diseases and changes in mean fish length or body condition was affected by water deterioration, the presence of non-native species, or their interaction. The disease rate and occurrence of native species might be affected, to a minor degree, by water quality changes and the presence of non-native species. Environmental conditions between sites with and without non-native fish differed in the condition of riparian areas and in water quality. Based on presence-absence data and changes in abundances through weighted average equations we also derived potential safe levels of salinization, nutrient pollution, and pH for the native fish. Overall, additive effects of stressors prevail over interactions, and the restoration of natural hydro-morphology in rivers is likely to be the most effective management approach to improving the prospects for the native fish fauna.

    AB - There is a risk of 'ecological surprises' if multiple potentially interacting stressors are managed individually, which is a question attracting significant current interest. Habitat degradation and species introductions are major threats to global biodiversity, and riverine fish are among the most threatened taxa in the world. Our interest was whether the presence of non-native species can affect native fish sensitivity to water quality deterioration in a large region in northeastern Spain (99,700km2, 15 catchments, 530 sites). We used a 'base model' with geographical and hydro-morphological variables, which are the major shaping factors in rivers. We tested whether water pollution, non-native species, or their interaction provided an improved understanding of patterns of distributions and health measurements of the twelve most common native species. There was little evidence that variation in native species abundance, where they occurred, the presence of diseases and changes in mean fish length or body condition was affected by water deterioration, the presence of non-native species, or their interaction. The disease rate and occurrence of native species might be affected, to a minor degree, by water quality changes and the presence of non-native species. Environmental conditions between sites with and without non-native fish differed in the condition of riparian areas and in water quality. Based on presence-absence data and changes in abundances through weighted average equations we also derived potential safe levels of salinization, nutrient pollution, and pH for the native fish. Overall, additive effects of stressors prevail over interactions, and the restoration of natural hydro-morphology in rivers is likely to be the most effective management approach to improving the prospects for the native fish fauna.

    M3 - Article

    JO - Science of the Total Environment

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