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Structure of the Gironde estuarine fish assemblages: a comparison of European estuaries perspective

Abstract : An estuary is an ecotone. It plays various vital roles in the functioning of the different fish species encountered. Each estuary has its own geographical, hydraulic, sedimentological and biological characteristics. These specific features influence the makeup and structure of the fish assemblages and the dynamics of the fish populations. The Gironde estuary is the biggest estuary in France and one of the largest in Europe. It is considered to be relatively unspoilt. The aim of this study is to provide an initial reference document on the specific composition of its fish assemblage. This study establishes a list of the fish species sampled by two different and complementary methods which have been regularly undertaken since 1979.A typology is recognized according to a series of ecological criteria. The relative proportion of fish species that spend all their life cycle in the Gironde estuary is very small. Moreover, the Gironde would appear to be the European estuary with the largest migratory amphihaline fish assemblage. Considering the study made by Elliott and Dewailly (1995), the Gironde estuarine fish population can be compared to those of 17 other European estuaries. The classification we obtained, raised a number of questions on the particularities of estuarine environment, with regard to ecological diagnostics and comparisons. Important points include the need for an inter-calibration of sampling practices, the relevance of taking into account the physical dimension of the environment (tidal range, upstream limit of saline intrusion, etc.), the degree of anthropogenic influence and its evolution.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 9:07:06 PM
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Jérémy Lobry, L. Mourand, Eric Rochard, Pierre Elie. Structure of the Gironde estuarine fish assemblages: a comparison of European estuaries perspective. Aquatic Living Resources, EDP Sciences, 2003, 16 (2), pp.47-58. ⟨10.1016/S0990-7440(03)00031-7⟩. ⟨hal-02581413⟩



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