Utilization of ecological indexes on assemblages of fish as instrument of assessment of the environmental degradation in monitoring programs

Several ecological indexes in taxocenoses of fish (constancy, diversity, richness, evenness, and integrated quality index - IQ) are used as indicators of environmental degradation through the analysis of standardized and seasonal fish samples taken along two years in eleven localities of the Lake Guaíba drainage. Localities that showed regular diversity indexes along two years are coincident with those with better environmental quality indicated by other factors (frequency of abnormalities in fishes, DBO5, temperature, total coliforms, dissolved oxygen). The integrated quality index, however, was mostly influenced by abundance and richness, being the localities indicated as the best quality by this index coincident with those indicated as bad quality by other factors. The accomplished analysis demonstrated that when the measure of water quality gets better, the Margalef Index decreases. This demonstrates that even having an improvement in water quality, there is no improvement of structure of the fish community of this place.

environmental impact; integrated quality index; Guaíba Lake

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