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Open AccessArticle

Forested Riparian Zones Provide Important Habitat for Fish in Urban Streams

1
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), 0349 Oslo, Norway
2
Institute of Landscape Ecology, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
3
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Aquatic Ecology Research Unit, Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
5
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Department of Computational Landscape Ecology, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
6
Department of Systems Ecology and Sustainability, University of Bucharest, 050095 Bucharest, Romania
7
Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, 050663 Bucharest, Romania
8
Freshwater Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
9
[email protected] and School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xing Fang
Water 2021, 13(6), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060877
Received: 4 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 13 March 2021 / Published: 23 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Functioning in Rivers and Riparian Zones)
Riparian zones form a boundary between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with disproportionate influences on food web dynamics and ecosystem functioning in both habitats. However, riparian boundaries are frequently degraded by human activities, including urbanization, leading to direct impacts on terrestrial communities and indirect changes that are mediated through altered connectivity with adjacent aquatic ecosystems. We investigated how riparian habitat influences fish communities in an urban context. We electrofished nine urban site pairs with and without forested riparian buffers, alongside an additional 12 sites that were located throughout the river networks in the Oslo Fjord basin, Norway. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) were the dominant fish species. Riparian buffers had weak positive effects on fish densities at low to moderate levels of catchment urbanization, whereas fish were absent from highly polluted streams. Subtle shifts in fish size distributions suggested that riparian buffers play an important role in metapopulation dynamics. Stable isotopes in fish from buffered reaches indicated dietary shifts, pointing to the potential for a greater reliance on terrestrial-sourced carbon. Combining these results, we postulate that spatially-mediated ontogenetic diet shifts may be important for the persistence of brown trout in urban streams. Our results show that using a food web perspective is essential in understanding how riparian buffers can offset impacts in urban catchments. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic-terrestrial linkages; salmonids; food webs; stable isotopes; urban stream syndrome; urbanization; nature-based solutions; blue-green infrastructure aquatic-terrestrial linkages; salmonids; food webs; stable isotopes; urban stream syndrome; urbanization; nature-based solutions; blue-green infrastructure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kupilas, B.; Burdon, F.J.; Thaulow, J.; Håll, J.; Mutinova, P.T.; Forio, M.A.E.; Witing, F.; Rîșnoveanu, G.; Goethals, P.; McKie, B.G.; Friberg, N. Forested Riparian Zones Provide Important Habitat for Fish in Urban Streams. Water 2021, 13, 877. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060877

AMA Style

Kupilas B, Burdon FJ, Thaulow J, Håll J, Mutinova PT, Forio MAE, Witing F, Rîșnoveanu G, Goethals P, McKie BG, Friberg N. Forested Riparian Zones Provide Important Habitat for Fish in Urban Streams. Water. 2021; 13(6):877. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060877

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kupilas, Benjamin; Burdon, Francis J.; Thaulow, Jens; Håll, Johnny; Mutinova, Petra T.; Forio, Marie A.E.; Witing, Felix; Rîșnoveanu, Geta; Goethals, Peter; McKie, Brendan G.; Friberg, Nikolai. 2021. "Forested Riparian Zones Provide Important Habitat for Fish in Urban Streams" Water 13, no. 6: 877. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060877

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