AB 3:237-250 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00077

Minho River tidal freshwater wetlands: threats to faunal biodiversity

Ronaldo Sousa1,2,*, Sérgia Costa Dias1,2, Lúcia Guilhermino1,2, Carlos Antunes1,3

1CIMAR/CIIMAR—Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
2ICBAS—Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, Lg. Prof. Abel Salazar 2, 4099-003 Porto, Portugal
3Aquamuseu do Rio Minho, Parque do Castelinho, 4920-290 Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal

ABSTRACT: Tidal freshwater wetlands (TFWs) support a characteristic type of community and perform fundamental environmental and ecological functions, however, studies conducted in this type of habitat are scarce and very fragmented. In the present paper, an overview of the TFW diversity and conservation state in the Minho River is provided, including temporal comparisons documenting indigenous fish and macrozoobenthos (principally mollusc) declines and information about the introduction of non-indigenous invasive species. We also discuss how this study can be exemplary of the actual ecological and conservational conditions of TFWs and the alarming present rates of indigenous biodiversity losses. Other TFW areas with comparable characteristics are probably under similar pressure and should therefore also be considered for conservation purposes. Better management of the flow regime, prohibition of construction near the margins, definition of more restricted areas for fishing, prohibition of some fisheries activities in defined periods of the year, enforcement of inspection, an increase in education and information for fishermen and local populations, and restoration of degraded habitats are some practical measures that should be implemented to mitigate this situation.

KEY WORDS: Tidal freshwater wetlands · Minho River estuary · Biodiversity · Conservation · Non-indigenous invasive species

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Cite this article as: Sousa R, Dias SC, Guilhermino L, Antunes C (2008) Minho River tidal freshwater wetlands: threats to faunal biodiversity. Aquat Biol 3:237-250. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00077

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