Biometric parameters of the bream (Abramis brama ) as indicators for long-term changes in fish health and environmental quality - data from the German ESB

2015, Journals

Teubner, Diana; Paulus, Martin; Veith, Michael; Klein, Roland
Environ Sci Pollut Res 22 (2015), 3, 1620-1627


Piscifaunal health depends upon the state and quality of the aquatic environment. Variations in physical condition of fish may therefore be attributed to changes in environmental quality. Based on time series of up to 20 years of biometric data of bream from multiple sampling sites of the German environmental specimen bank (ESB), this study assessed whether changes in biometric parameters are able to indicate long-term alterations in fish health and environmental quality. Evaluated biometric parameters of fish health comprised length and weight of individuals of a defined age class, the condition factor, lipid content and hepatosomatic index (HSI). Although there are negative trends of the HSI, the overall development of health parameters can be interpreted as positive. This seems to suggest that health parameters conclusively mirror the long-term improvement of water quality in the selected rivers. However, the applicability of the condition factor as well as lipid content as indicators for fish health remained subject to restrictions. Altogether, the results from the ESB confirmed the high value of biometric parameters for monitoring of long-term changes in state and quality of aquatic ecosystems.

doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-3008-3