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Characterizing fish responses to a river restoration over 21 years based on species traits [Conservation Biology]

Keywords : stream restoration, bioenv analysis, long-term monitoring, overshooting response, regional species pool

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Understanding restoration effectiveness is often impaired by a lack of quality, long-term monitoring data and, to date, few studies have used species trait information to gain insight into the processes that drive the reaction of fish communities to restoration. We examined fish community responses using a highly resolved dataset with 21 consecutive years of data (4 years pre- and 17 years post-restoration) at multiple restored and unrestored sampling reaches from a river restoration project at the Lippe River, Germany. This restoration led to a doubling of both species richness and abundance. Abundance exhibited an overshooting response immediately following restoration and both richness and abundance stabilized approximately seven years after the restoration. However, interannual variability remained high, illustrating the challenge to reliably assess restoration outcomes based on data from individual samplings, especially in the first years following restoration.(...)

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