Patterns of fish community composition along a river affected by agricultural and urban disturbance in south-central Chile

Rodrigo Orrego, S. Marshall Adams, Ricardo Barra, Gustavo Chiang, Juan F. Gavilan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Patterns of fish community composition in a south-central Chile river were investigated along the altitudinal-spatial and environmental gradient and as a function of anthropogenic factors. The spatial pattern of fish communities in different biocoenotic zones of the Chillan River is influenced by both natural factors such a hydrologic features, habitat, and feeding types, and also by water quality variables which can reduce the diversity and abundance of sensitive species. A principal component analysis incorporating both water quality parameters and biomarker responses of representative fish species was used to evaluate the status of fish communities along the spatial gradient of the stream. The abundance and diversity of the fish community changed from a low in the upper reaches where the low pollution-tolerant species such as salmonid dominated, to a reduced diversity in the lower reaches of the river where tolerant browser species such as cypriniformes dominated. Even though the spatial pattern of fish community structure is similar to that found for the Chilean Rivers, the structure of these communities is highly influenced by human disturbance, particularly along the lower reaches of the river.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume620
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Assemblages
  • Cause-effect relationship
  • Fish
  • Sewage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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