Studies of the ichtyological communities in the River Meuse (Belgium)

Project: PHD

Project Details


The ecological quality of an aquatic ecosystem is based on the
spatiotemporal integration of the different physical, chemical and
biological components. In order to improve the protection, the long term
use and the adequate monitoring of the aquatic ecosystems, it is
required to identify and take into account some global metrics,
complementary to those used in traditional water quality assessment.

This project intends to adapt and standardize to the European
ichthyofauna a new index of ecological quality assessment based on
the attributes of fish communities (from the concept of IBI originally
developed in the United States), in order to evaluate the global quality,
the conservation and restoration of lotic ecosystems in an international
river basin (The Meuse).

This objective will be reached through an international collaboration
between concerned countries (France, Belgium and The Netherlands).
1. Determination of potential zonation in the whole Meuse River basin,
through an analysis of historical and recent data.
2. Determination of reference systems by prospecting sites without
perturbations in the tributaries and the less altered sites in the main
3. Selection of IBI metrics for tributaries and main channel, respectively.
4. Study of IBI spatiotemporal variation and comparison of its sensibility
with other physico-chemical and biological indicators.
Effective start/end date1/01/9731/12/01


  • IBIP
  • River Meuse
  • ichtyological communities