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The Importance of Riparian Ecotones for Diversity and Productivity of Riverine Fish Communities

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The heterogeneity of habitat structure as well as water quality are main factors for the maintenance of a diverse fish fauna in rivers. One of the most promising approaches to improving management of riverine ecosystems is the maintenance and restoration of well-functioning land/water ecotones. The buffering strip between land and water determines habitat structures, access to light, and temperature. It reduces the transfer of nutrients and pollutants and stabilizes the organic matter supply to the aquatic environment. These factors to a great extent influence the structure and function of fish communities. The hierarchy of ecotone effects changes in a predictable pattern along the river course.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Limnology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, A 1090 Vienna, Austria; 2: Institute of Environmental Biology, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90237 Lodz, Poland


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