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   Basic tools Spatial methods Fides Method evaluation
  The European Fish Index is a site-specific method, thus predicting reference conditions on the site level. In contrast, the spatially based methods define reference conditions on a river-type level. Within the FAME project the spatially based approach was initially applied on the ecoregional and in a later stage also on the European level.
A standardized procedure was agreed, comprising the following steps:
:
  • Definition of a fish-based typology (= biotic typology)
  • Linking biotic and abiotic typology by identifying abiotic factors and thresholds structuring fish assemblages
  • Screening of potential metrics for each river type (= metrics supposed to respond to human pressures)
  • Selection of candidate metrics for each river type (= metrics proved to respond to human pressures)
  • Selection of the final metrics for each river type (tests of sensitivity to human pressures, redundancy tests)
  • Establishment of a type-specific multi-metric index
  • Assignment of 5 classes for the ecological status.
Due to data availability (sufficient number of reference sites for the analyses of fish types and sufficient number of data for different human pressure levels), the spatially based approach was applied to 11 ecoregions (Iberian Peninsula, Pyrenees, Alps, Western Highland, Central Highlands, Western Plains, Central Plains, Baltic Province, Great Britain, Borealic Uplands, Fenno-Scandian Shield). For 6 further ecoregions the number of data in FIDES was too low for statistical analyses. Within the analysed ecoregions, 60 river types were identified. For 44 types, specific metric sets demonstrating a statistically proved correlation between the fish fauna and human pressures were identified.
For 16 river types the number of data for different degradation levels was too low for analyses. In a subsequent step the spatially based approach was applied on the European scale. Altogether, 15 European fish-based river types were defined based on the 60 ecoregional types. Type-specific methods could have been developed for 13 river types.
Further details about the statistical tests and the type-specific assessment methods can be found in the reports about the spatially based approach.


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