To investigate possible changes in the present genetic diversity in natural populations of some European freshwater fishes due to human impacts.
This project will investigate the possible impact of the restriction and greater uniformity of habitats, and of connections between catchments via artificial canals and the introduction of foreign strains by stocking on the genetic diversity of freshwater fishes.
The exploitation of space and territories by fish populations in large, medium and small rivers in western, central and southern Europe (e.g. Rhône, Danube, Acheloos, Hérault, Tejo tributaries) will be investigated, and the genetic importance of natural and man-made barriers to the movements of "non-migrating" species will be quantified. The following fish species will be included in the investigations: brown trout, grayling, roach, nase, chub and barbel.
The project will comprise the following specific topics:
- Identification of the colonization of western and southern Europe from the Danube basin.
- Identification of the local strains, aiming for their conservation.
- Establishment of the influence of the equipment of large rivers on the biodiversity of species, considering spatial scales of genetic structures, means of dispersion, kinds of rivers, habitat partitioning, river bed alteration, water pollution and stocking.
Finally, the project will present a valid and coordinated overview of the present genetical status of several European riverine fishes, and general management principles applicable to most southern and western/central European countries for fish populations will be proposed.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts