VIS - Fishes in inland waters in Flanders, Belgium is a species occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) and described in Brosens et al. 2015 (https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.475.8556). The dataset contains over 350,000 fish occurrences sampled between 1992 and 2012 from over 2,000 locations in inland rivers, streams, canals, and enclosed waters in Flanders, Belgium. The dataset includes over 64 fish species, as well as a number of non-target species (mainly crustaceans). The data are retrieved from the Fish Information System (VIS), a database set up to monitor the status of fishes and their habitats in Flanders and are collected in support of the Water Framework Directive, the Habitat Directive, certain red lists, and biodiversity research. Additional information, such as measurements, absence information and abiotic data are available upon request. Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/LifeWatchINBO/data-publication/tree/master/datasets/vis-inland-occurrences
Length and weight measurement data of the individual fishes, absence information, occurrence data since 2013, as well as abiotic data of the sampling points (pH, temperature, etc.) are not included in the Darwin Core Archive and are available upon request.
To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use (http://www.inbo.be/en/norms-for-data-use) and provide a link to the original dataset (https://doi.org/10.15468/gzyxyd) whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to know how you have used or visualized the data, or to provide more information, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata, firstname.lastname@example.org or https://twitter.com/LifeWatchINBO.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 388,120 records.
This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.
Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:
The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.
How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Van Thuyne G, Breine J, Verreycken H, De Boeck T, Brosens D, Desmet P (2013): VIS - Fishes in inland waters in Flanders, Belgium. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Dataset/Occurrence. https://doi.org/10.15468/gzyxyd Data paper: https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.475.8556
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 823dc56e-f987-495c-98bf-43318719e30f. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.
Occurrence; Observation; ecosystem functioning; fish-based index of biotic integrity; fish distribution; freshwater; LifeWatch; open data; River Scheldt; River Yser; River Meuse; Occurrence
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Flanders is one of the three administrative regions in the country of Belgium, located in the centre of Western Europe. The Flemish region is situated in the north of the country and covers an area of 13,522 km² (44,29% of Belgium). Belgium has a temperate maritime climate that is influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with substantial precipitation in all seasons. The summers are moderate and the winters are mild. The two main geographical regions of Flanders are the coastal plain in the North-West and the Central plain, further inland. With 470 inhabitants/km², Flanders is one of the most densely populated areas of Europe. The three major rivers are the River Yser, the River Scheldt, and the River Meuse. All rivers in Flanders flow into the North Sea, but only the River Yser drains directly into the sea within the jurisdiction of Flanders. The dataset comprises enclosed waters, including cut off river arms, gravel pits, ponds, natural lakes, and artificial lakes; and riverine habitats, including head streams, tributaries, and canals part of the drainage basins of the rivers Yser, Scheldt and Meuse. These three drainage basins are divided into eleven Flemish river catchments, which are divided into 102 subbasins. Overall, there are 48 unique enclosed waters sampled at 792 locations and 419 streams and rivers sampled at 1,452 locations.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [50.68, 2.54], North East [51.51, 5.92]|
The dataset contains 64 fish species reported from Flemish enclosed waters and watercourses, as well as a number of non-target species (mainly crustaceans). This dataset also includes a number of typical brackish water fish species which sometimes can be found in inland water sites in proximity to the sea and/or behind the sluice gates. The class of Actinopterygii is best represented (63 species), along with one Petromyzontida (Lampetra planeri) and 7 crustaceans from the order Decapoda.
|Class||Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes), Petromyzontida, Malacostraca|
|Family||Anguillidae, Atherinidae, Centrarchidae, Clariidae, Clupeidae, Cobitidae, Cottidae, Cyprinidae, Esocidae, Gadidae, Gasterosteidae, Gobiidae, Ictaluridae, Lotidae, Moronidae, Mugilidae, Nemacheilidae, Osmeridae, Percidae, Percidae, Pleuronectidae, Salmonidae, Scophthalmidae, Siluridae, Soleidae, Umbridae, Petromyzontidae, Atyidae, Cambaridae, Palaemonidae, Varunidae|
|Start Date / End Date||1992-12-15 / 2012-11-27|
Standardized sampling methods were used as described in Belpaire et al. (2000) and Van Thuyne & Breine (2010) and are specified in the dataset as dwc:samplingProtocol. Per water body, the same method was used for each sampling event. The default method is electric fishing, but additional techniques such as gill nets, fykes, and seine netting (variable sizes) were used as well. Electric fishing was carried out using a 5 kW generator with an adjustable output voltage of 300–500 V and a pulse frequency of 480 Hz. The number of electric fishing devices and hand-held anodes used depends on the river width (Belpaire et al. 2000). In riverine environments, electric fishing was carried out on both riverbanks in upstream direction. All fishes were identified to species level, counted, and their length and weight was measured (measurement data available upon request).
|Study Extent||Over 2,000 locations in estuaries, inland rivers, streams, canals, and enclosed waters in Flanders, Belgium have been sampled, from March to November, since 1992. In 2001, these locations were consolidated in a monitoring network (“VISmeetnet”) of 900 sampling points. The geographic coordinates in the dataset are those of the defined sampling locations (dwc:locationID). However, as these coordinates are not always exact the actual coordinates of the catch, which may be located further up- or downriver, the coordinate uncertainty (dwc:coordinateUncertaintyInMeters) has been set to 250 meter.|
|Quality Control||Strict field protocols where used. The Manual for Application of the European Fish Index (EFI) (Fame consortium 2004) served as a guideline for electrofishing and was used in support of the EU water framework directive.|
Method step description:
- Water type: Running freshwaters (width: 1.5 m, depth: < 1.30 m) Method: electrofishing with 1 anode by wading Effort: 100 m
- Water type: Running freshwaters (width: 6 m, depth: < 1.30 m) Method: electrofishing with 2 anodes by wading Effort: 100 m
- Water type: Running freshwaters (width: > 6 m, depth: < 1.30 m) Method: electrofishing with 2 anodes by wading Effort: 250 m with 1 anode on each riverbank, 2 m from bank
- Water type: Running freshwaters, streaming rivers (width: > 6m, depth: > 1.30 m) Method: electrofishing with 2 anodes by boat Effort: 250 m with 2 anodes on each riverbank, 2 m from bank
- Water type: Canals, slowly running rivers (width: > 6 m, depth: > 1.30 m) Method: electrofishing with 2 anodes by boat AND 2 fykes Effort: 250 m with 2 anodes on each riverbank, 2 m from bank AND 1 fyke for 48 hours parallel with and on both riverbanks
- Water type: Canalized rivers with too high conductivity for electrofishing (depth: < 1.30 m) Method: seine netting Effort: 100 m, two times complete seine netting
- Water type: Lakes Method: electric fishing AND fykes Effort: 15% of riverbank (minimum 1000 m, maximum 2000 m) or 100% if perimeter is less than 1000 m AND 1 fyke/hectare (minimum 4, maximum 20 fykes)
- Brosens D, Breine J, Van Thuyne G, Belpaire C, Desmet P, Verreycken H (2015) VIS – A database on the distribution of fishes in inland and estuarine waters in Flanders, Belgium. ZooKeys 475: 119-145. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.475.8556 https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.475.8556
- Belpaire C, Smolders R, Vanden Auweele I, Erecken D, Breine J, Van Thuyne G, Ollevier F (2000) An Index of Biotic Integrity characterizing fish populations and the ecological quality of Flandrian water bodies. Hydrobiologia 434: 17–33. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004026121254 https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004026121254
- Breine J, Simoens I, Goethals P, Quataert P, Ercken D, Van Liefferinghe C, Belpaire C (2004) A fish-based index of biotic integrity for upstream brooks in Flanders (Belgium). Hydrobiologia 522: 133–148. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:HYDR.0000029991.42922.a4 https://doi.org/10.1023/B:HYDR.0000029991.42922.a4
- Breine J, Maes J, Quataert P, Van den Bergh E, Simoens I, Van Thuyne G, Belpaire C (2007) A fish-based assessment tool for the ecological quality of the brackish Schelde estuary in Flanders (Belgium). Hydrobiologia 575: 141–159. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-006-0357-z https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-006-0357-z
- Breine J, Quataert P, Stevens M, Ollevier F, Volckaert FAM, Van den Bergh E, Maes J (2010) A zone-specific fish-based biotic index as a management tool for the Zeeschelde estuary (Belgium). Marine Pollution bulletin 60: 1099–1112.
- European Commission (2007) Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007 of 18 September 2007 establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel. Official Journal of the European Union 22.9.2007 L 248: 17–23.
- EU Water Framework Directive (2000) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. Official Journal 22/12/2000 L 327: 0001–0073.
- FAME Consortium (2004) Manual for the application of the European Fish Index - EFI. A fish-based method to assess the ecological status of European rivers in support of the Water Framework Directive. Version 1.1, January 2005.
- Karr JR (1981) Assessment of biotic integrity using fish communities. Fisheries 6: 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1577/1548-8446(1981)006%3C0021:AOBIUF%3E2.0.CO;2 https://doi.org/10.1577/1548-8446(1981)006%3C0021:AOBIUF%3E2.0.CO;2
- Van Thuyne G, Breine J (2010) Visbestandopnames in Vlaamse beken en rivieren in het kader van het ‘Meetnet Zoetwatervis’ 2009. Rapporten van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, 2010 (42). INBO, Brussel, 196 pp..
- Verbiest H, Belpaire C, Vandenabeele P, Ollevier F (1996) Het in werking stellen van de visdatabank met de nadruk op de gebruiksvriendelijkheid ervan IBW.Wb.V.R.96.042.
- Verbiest H, Vandenabeele P, Belpaire C, Ollevier F (1994) Ontwerp van de visdatabank en implementatie van historische en recente gegevens IBW.Wb.V.R.94.029.
- Verreycken H, Belpaire C, Van Thuyne G, Breine J, Buysse D, Coeck J, Mouton A, Stevens M, Van den Neucker T, De Bruyn L, Maes D (2014) IUCN Red List of freshwater fishes and lampreys in Flanders (north Belgium). Fisheries Management and Ecology 21: 122–132. https://doi.org/10.1111/fme.12052 https://doi.org/10.1111/fme.12052
|Purpose||The Fish Information System or VIS (http://vis.milieuinfo.be) is a database created by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) which is used to monitor the status of fishes and their habitats in Flanders, Belgium and to calculate the biotic integrity (Karr 1981, Belpaire et al. 2000, Breine et al. 2004, 2007, 2010) of fish assemblages. It contains data regarding occurrences, individual morphometrics, stocks, pollutants, indices, and non-native fish species. Sampling has been going on since 1992, the database model was designed in 1994 (Verbiest et al. 1994), the first database developed in 1996 (Verbiest et al. 1996), and the consolidated database set up in 2001. VIS is used for supporting NATURA 2000, an ecological network of protected areas in Europe and to calculate the EQR (Ecological Quality Ratio) in the framework of the EU Water Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). Further, the database provides updated information for Flemish Red Lists of fishes and lampreys (Verreycken et al. 2014) and on the distribution status of non-native and invasive fish species. The data are also crucial in fish stock management and for reporting on the status of the European eel stock as required by the Eel Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) N° 1100/2007). This dataset is a standardized extraction of all inland water species occurrences from VIS.|