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Article

Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Italian Fish Indices under the Water Framework Directive Guidelines

1
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Viale delle Scienze 11, 43124 Parma, Italy
2
IMC—International Marine Centre, Loc. Sa Mardini, Torregrande, 09170 Oristano, Italy
3
Academic Spin off Gen-Tech, Viale delle Scienze 11, 43124 Parma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Massimiliano Scalici, Salvatore Fasulo and Giuseppe Mancini
Water 2021, 13(10), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101368
Received: 25 February 2021 / Revised: 29 April 2021 / Accepted: 4 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
The ISECI (or F index) has been the first fish index to be recommended by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to assess the rivers ecological status with regard to fish communities, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EC. In addition to ISECI, other fish indices have been developed such as the Forneris Ichthyic Index (I.I.) and a revised version of ISECI, the so-called NISECI. The latter is nowadays the reference Italian index in the framework of the Water Framework Directive. In this work, we analyzed 30 sampling sites along 18 watercourses in Northern Italy and computed the results of fish monitoring to evaluate the strength of ISECI and NISECI, as well as to assess weak points limiting their application. We detected several issues that undermine the ISECI effectiveness. The weakest point regarded the mismatch between the expected reference fish community and the sampled ones, which decreased the overall algorithm efficiency in the evaluation process. On the other hand, the results confirm the improvements introduced by NISECI. Although with some advancement, all three proposed indices revealed their weaknesses in the overall assessment of the ecological status of the water course, as also highlighted by a pioneering comparison with three expert-based blind judgements. View Full-Text
Keywords: multilevel monitor approach; fish ecology; alien fish species; WFD multilevel monitor approach; fish ecology; alien fish species; WFD
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pagani, S.; Voccia, A.; Leonardi, S.; Moschini, L.; Rontani, P.M.; Piccoli, F.; Nonnis Marzano, F. Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Italian Fish Indices under the Water Framework Directive Guidelines. Water 2021, 13, 1368. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101368

AMA Style

Pagani S, Voccia A, Leonardi S, Moschini L, Rontani PM, Piccoli F, Nonnis Marzano F. Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Italian Fish Indices under the Water Framework Directive Guidelines. Water. 2021; 13(10):1368. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101368

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pagani, Samuele, Andrea Voccia, Stefano Leonardi, Lorenzo Moschini, Pietro M. Rontani, Federica Piccoli, and Francesco Nonnis Marzano. 2021. "Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Italian Fish Indices under the Water Framework Directive Guidelines" Water 13, no. 10: 1368. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101368

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