Fish based multimetric index for Reservoir: a case study from the cascade reservoir system of the Tietê River (SP-Brazil).

Maria Letizia Petesse


Aim: The present paper approached some questions related to the adaptation of multimetric indexes to reservoirs. Method: the index construction adopted for the Tietê cascade reservoir system is presented step by step as case study. Results:  The main questions related to the adaptation of multimetric indexes to reservoir were synthesized as: i – terminology question; ii - representative fish sampling; iii – reference condition. The construction of Reservoir Fish Assemblage Index (RFAI) for the Tietê cascade reservoir system is described in seven steps and the continuous scoring criterion increases the accuracy of the final index when compared to de discrete scoring especially for the most degraded environment. Conclusion: Biological criteria for the assessment of aquatic ecosystems are widely recognized and accepted by scientific community. The increasing value of water resource makes reservoirs the important object of scientific and social interest, justifying the definition of proper tools for their assessment and monitoring.  Among the available tools, the multimetric approach is one of the most useful. The results showed the validity of the approach also for artificial environments, wishing for its official incorporation in biomonitoring programs in Brazil.


biomonitoring, artificial environment, tropical area, icthyofauna

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Departamento de Ecologia – IB - UNESP/Rio Claro. Avenida 24 A n° 1515. CEP 13506-900. Rio Claro (SP) / Brasil