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Open AccessArticle

A Fish-Based Index of Biotic Integrity for Neotropical Rainforest Sandy Soil Streams—Southern Brazil

1
Instituto Federal Catarinense (IFC-Campus Ibirama), Ibirama 89140-000, Brazil
2
PGB/PEA/NUPELIA, State University of Maringá, Maringá 87020-900, Brazil
3
Departamento de Ensino Científico e Tecnológico, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis 88035-901, Brazil
4
Forest Research Centre (CEF), School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
5
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(4), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041215
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 7 April 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 24 April 2020
Multimetric indices are considered a low-cost and rapid means of assessing ecological integrity in streams. This study aimed to develop a fish-based Index of Biotic Integrity (N3S-IBI) in an agricultural region within the domains of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil. We sampled 23 first-order streams and used large-scale land use and a local physical condition index to choose reference sites and to classify sites according to the disturbance level. N3S-IBI resulted in six metrics (Simpson’s dominance; the numbers of Characiformes and non-native individuals (Poecilia reticulata); and the percentages of Characidae species, intolerant insectivorous individuals, and tolerant species), contemplating tolerance, composition, abundance, richness, trophic habits, and origin. The low number of metrics contributes to a quick and easy biomonitoring process. N3S-IBI showed an excellent performance to separate least and most disturbed sites in our study area and can provide additional knowledge about anthropogenic effects within this impacted region. In fact, this tool could be utilized by managers to direct restoration actions for the most disturbed sites and to strengthen the preservation of the least disturbed sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological quality; freshwater ecosystems; biomonitoring; Characiformes; Cyprinodontiformes; Poecilia; sugarcane; IBI ecological quality; freshwater ecosystems; biomonitoring; Characiformes; Cyprinodontiformes; Poecilia; sugarcane; IBI
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Gonino, G.; Benedito, E.; Cionek, V.M.; Ferreira, M.T.; Oliveira, J.M. A Fish-Based Index of Biotic Integrity for Neotropical Rainforest Sandy Soil Streams—Southern Brazil. Water 2020, 12, 1215.

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