Diversity of fish fauna in small rivers located in forested and non-forested areas.
The knowledge on the ichthyofauna community in forest complexes in our country is mainly limited to few information on fish species found in rivers and reservoirs located in the protected areas. Hence, the aim of present study was to evaluate the importance of forested and non-forested areas, which include small rivers, on the occurrence of fish communities. The main criteria of evaluation were species richness, biodiversity and density of fish from rivers located in forested and non-forested areas in Roztocze and Puszcza Solska (south-eastern of Poland). The 12 study sites in the two groups of small rivers located on forested and non-forested areas were chosen. The control fishing was performed by electrofishing using IUP-12 gear. The total of 779 individuals of fish and lamprey belonging to 22 species were caught during the study. In the sections of rivers located in non-forested areas we noted 18 species, while in the rivers in forested areas - 16 ones. The analysis of the abundance domination showed that the dominant species in the rivers sections on non-forested areas were perch, roach and gudgeon, while in rivers located in forested areas: gudgeon, dace and brown trout. Simultaneously, in abundance of fish fauna from rivers in forested area a significant share of eastern sculpin, burbot and European brook lamprey were noted. The fish communities from both habitats showed similar values of biological diversity indices, but slightly higher density was observed in the rivers located in non-forested areas. The fish species composition was highly dependent on the close surroundings of the watercourse and the type of riparian zone. For the habitats from river located in non-forested areas the common, associated with aquaculture and also invasive fish species were characteristic. However, in the rivers in wooded areas, the typical for small streams and the rheophilic fish species were more frequent. The results of present study showed, that the largest differences in the dominance in fish structure and indicators of fidelity to the habitat preferences between the groups of rivers were determined.