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Development of a preliminary index of biotic integrity (IBI) based on fish assemblages to assess ecosystem condition in the lakes of central Mexico
Lyons, J.; Gutiérrez-Hernández, A.; Díaz-Pardo, E.; Soto-Galera, E.; Medina-Nava, M.; Pineda-López, R. (2000). Development of a preliminary index of biotic integrity (IBI) based on fish assemblages to assess ecosystem condition in the lakes of central Mexico. Hydrobiologia 418(1): 57-72
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Analytical techniques; Community composition; Ecological effects; Ecosystem disturbance; Endemic species; Environmental conditions; Environmental quality; Environmental quality; Freshwater lakes; Indicator species; Lakes; Pollution indicators; Sampling; Chirostoma Swainson, 1839 [WoRMS]; Goodeidae Jordan & Gilbert, 1883 [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Lyons, J.
  • Gutiérrez-Hernández, A.
  • Díaz-Pardo, E.
  • Soto-Galera, E.
  • Medina-Nava, M.
  • Pineda-López, R.

Abstract
    The lakes of central Mexico have great cultural, economic, and biological value, but they are being degraded at an accelerating rate. We employed historical data on fish communities from 19 of these lakes and case studies of community responses to environmental degradation from four of the best-studied, Xochimilco, Cuitzeo, Chapala, and Patzcuaro, to construct a preliminary index of biotic integrity (IBI). This IBI was designed to be an easily applied method for assessing lake ecosystem health and evaluating restoration efforts. The IBI had 10 metrics: number of total native species, number of common native species, number of native Goodeidae species, number of native Chirostoma species, number of native sensitive species, percent of biomass as tolerant species, percent of biomass as exotic species, percent of biomass as native carnivorous species, maximum standard length of native species, and percent of exotic invertebrate parasite species on or in native fishes. Initial applications of the index showed promise, accurately ranking the relative degradation of the four case-study lakes. Further tests of the index are warranted, and more data are needed to standardize sampling procedures, improve species classifications, and refine metric scoring criteria.

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