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Summer habitat relationships of barbels in south‐west Spain

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An analysis was made of the associations with local habitat features of barbels (Barbus sp.) of a Mediterranean river basin. The analysis was based on the presence data from sampling the upper, middle, and lower reaches of 31 rivers in the middle Guadiana River basin (south‐west Spain). Numerous local habitat variables were determined, including the river's size and substratum, physicochemical variables of water, and the aquatic and riparian vegetation. For each species, a univariate analysis was performed using preference indices, and logistic regression was used to construct a parsimonious multivariate model and Gaussian response models with the most influential variables, quantifying the species’ limits of tolerance. Distinct habitat associations for every species were obtained, mainly relating Barbus comiza to the larger habitats and higher water levels, Barbus microcephalus to the maintenance of lotic conditions and Barbus sclateri to more fluctuating rivers. Barbus steindachneri showed a different habitat relationship from that of the genetically almost identical B. comiza. Cover played a significant role in all but B. comiza.

Keywords: Barbus; conservation; preference models; summer habitat associations; tolerance limits

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2005.00711.x

Affiliations: Grupo de Investigación en Conservación, Área de Zoología, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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