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Disturbance accumulation hampers fish assemblage recovery long after the worst mining spill in the Iberian Peninsula

AutorMiguel, R. J. de; Gálvez Bravo, Lucía ; Oliva-Paterna, F. J.; Fernández-Delgado, C.
Fecha de publicación2016
CitaciónJournal of Applied Ichthyology 32(1): 180-189 (2016)
ResumenThe influence of environmental variables on native and exotic fish species richness and diversity was analysed 8 years after one of the most environmentally harmful toxic spills worldwide. Environment-diversity relationships were addressed on different scales, and values were also compared with those of six similar basins not affected by the spill, with the aim of determining whether this disturbance was still exerting an influence on the fish assemblage. Results showed higher native species richness in environments with low human influence, no reservoirs upstream, a large drainage area and coarse substrate reaches. For native fish, variables at both the catchment and site were equally relevant. Exotic fish were mainly favoured by site-scale factors such as valley width downstream from the reservoir, where the alteration of the river channel and accumulated disturbances give them an advantage vs native species. Overall, 8 years after the accident, richness and diversity of the Guadiamar fish assemblage seemed more affected by anthropogenic impacts than by the long-term influence of the toxic spill. This work highlights that the potentially synergic effects of anthropogenic factors must be taken into account when monitoring the long-term effects of pollution events.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1111/jai.13021
e-issn: 1439-0426
issn: 0175-8659
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