The ISECI (or F index) has been the first fish index to be recommended by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to assess the rivers ecological status with regard to fish communities, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EC. In addition to ISECI, other fish indices have been developed such as the Forneris Ichthyic Index (I.I.) and a revised version of ISECI, the so-called NISECI. The latter is nowadays the reference Italian index in the framework of the Water Framework Directive. In this work, we analyzed 30 sampling sites along 18 watercourses in Northern Italy and computed the results of fish monitoring to evaluate the strength of ISECI and NISECI, as well as to assess weak points limiting their application. We detected several issues that undermine the ISECI effectiveness. The weakest point regarded the mismatch between the expected reference fish community and the sampled ones, which decreased the overall algorithm efficiency in the evaluation process. On the other hand, the results confirm the improvements introduced by NISECI. Although with some advancement, all three proposed indices revealed their weaknesses in the overall assessment of the ecological status of the water course, as also highlighted by a pioneering comparison with three expert-based blind judgements.

Strengths and weaknesses of different italian fish indices under the water framework directive guidelines / Pagani, S.; Voccia, A.; Leonardi, S.; Moschini, L.; Rontani, P. M.; Piccoli, F.; Nonnis Marzano, F.. - In: WATER. - ISSN 2073-4441. - 13:10(2021), p. 1368.1368. [10.3390/w13101368]

Strengths and weaknesses of different italian fish indices under the water framework directive guidelines

Pagani S.;Voccia A.;Leonardi S.;Moschini L.;Rontani P. M.;Piccoli F.;Nonnis Marzano F.
2021

Abstract

The ISECI (or F index) has been the first fish index to be recommended by the Italian Ministry of the Environment to assess the rivers ecological status with regard to fish communities, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 EC. In addition to ISECI, other fish indices have been developed such as the Forneris Ichthyic Index (I.I.) and a revised version of ISECI, the so-called NISECI. The latter is nowadays the reference Italian index in the framework of the Water Framework Directive. In this work, we analyzed 30 sampling sites along 18 watercourses in Northern Italy and computed the results of fish monitoring to evaluate the strength of ISECI and NISECI, as well as to assess weak points limiting their application. We detected several issues that undermine the ISECI effectiveness. The weakest point regarded the mismatch between the expected reference fish community and the sampled ones, which decreased the overall algorithm efficiency in the evaluation process. On the other hand, the results confirm the improvements introduced by NISECI. Although with some advancement, all three proposed indices revealed their weaknesses in the overall assessment of the ecological status of the water course, as also highlighted by a pioneering comparison with three expert-based blind judgements.
Strengths and weaknesses of different italian fish indices under the water framework directive guidelines / Pagani, S.; Voccia, A.; Leonardi, S.; Moschini, L.; Rontani, P. M.; Piccoli, F.; Nonnis Marzano, F.. - In: WATER. - ISSN 2073-4441. - 13:10(2021), p. 1368.1368. [10.3390/w13101368]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2898585
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