Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10316/114919
Title: Fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages reveal extensive degradation of the world's rivers
Authors: Feio, Maria João 
Hughes, Robert M.
Serra, Sónia R. Q. 
Nichols, Susan J.
Kefford, Ben J.
Lintermans, Mark
Robinson, Wayne
Odume, Oghenekaro N.
Callisto, Marcos
Macedo, Diego R.
Harding, Jon S.
Yates, Adam G.
Monk, Wendy
Nakamura, Keigo
Mori, Terutaka
Sueyoshi, Masanao
Mercado-Silva, Norman
Chen, Kai
Baek, Min Jeong
Bae, Yeon Jae
Tachamo-Shah, Ram Devi
Shah, Deep Narayan
Campbell, Ian
Moya, Nabor
Arimoro, Francis O.
Keke, Unique N.
Martins, Renato T.
Alves, Carlos B. M.
Pompeu, Paulo S.
Sharma, Subodh
Keywords: anthropogenic degradation; biological assessment; climate; human development; human footprint; protected areas; streams
Issue Date: Jan-2023
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Project: Australian Research Council, Grant/ Award Number: LP160100093; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Grant/Award Number: UIDB/04292/2020; Fundações de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais e Amazonas 
Serial title, monograph or event: Global Change Biology
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Abstract: Rivers suffer from multiple stressors acting simultaneously on their biota, but the consequences are poorly quantified at the global scale. We evaluated the biological condition of rivers globally, including the largest proportion of countries from the Global South published to date. We gathered macroinvertebrate- and fish-based assessments from 72,275 and 37,676 sites, respectively, from 64 study regions across six continents and 45 nations. Because assessments were based on differing methods, different systems were consolidated into a 3-class system: Good, Impaired, or Severely Impaired, following common guidelines. The proportion of sites in each class by study area was calculated and each region was assigned a Köppen-Geiger climate type, Human Footprint score (addressing landscape alterations), Human Development Index (HDI) score (addressing social welfare), % rivers with good ambient water quality, % protected freshwater key biodiversity areas; and % of forest area net change rate. We found that 50% of macroinvertebrate sites and 42% of fish sites were in Good condition, whereas 21% and 29% were Severely Impaired, respectively. The poorest biological conditions occurred in Arid and Equatorial climates and the best conditions occurred in Snow climates. Severely Impaired conditions were associated (Pearson correlation coefficient) with higher HDI scores, poorer physico-chemical water quality, and lower proportions of protected freshwater areas. Good biological conditions were associated with good water quality and increased forested areas. It is essential to implement statutory bioassessment programs in Asian, African, and South American countries, and continue them in Oceania, Europe, and North America. There is a need to invest in assessments based on fish, as there is less information globally and fish were strong indicators of degradation. Our study highlights a need to increase the extent and number of protected river catchments, preserve and restore natural forested areas in the catchments, treat wastewater discharges, and improve river connectivity.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10316/114919
ISSN: 1354-1013
1365-2486
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16439
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D MARE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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