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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Fish status survey of Nordic lakes: Effects of acidification, eutrophication and stocking activity on present fish species composition

Tammi, J; Appelberg, M; Beier, U; Hesthagen, T; Lappalainen, A; Rask, M


The status of fish populations in 3821 lakes in Norway, Sweden and Finland was assessed in 1995-1997. The survey lakes were chosen by stratified random sampling from all (126 482) Fennoscandian lakes ≥ 0.04 km2. The water chemistry of the lakes was analyzed and information on fish status was obtained by a postal inquiry. Fish population losses were most frequent in the most highly acidified region of southern Norway and least common in eastern Fennoscandia. According to the inquiry results, the number of lost stocks of brown trout (Salmo trutta), roach (Rutilus rutilus), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and perch (Perca fluviatilis) was estimated to exceed 10 000. The number of stocks of these species potentially affected by the low alkalinity of lake water was estimated to exceed 11 000. About 3300 lakes showed high total phosphorus (> 25 μg L-1) and cyprinid dominance in eastern Fennoscandia, notably southwestern Finland. This survey did not reveal any extinction of fish species due to eutrophication. One-third of the lakes had been artificially stocked with at least one new species, most often brown trout, whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus s.l.), Arctic char, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca), grayling (Thymallus thymalius), pike (Esox lucius), bream (Abramis brama), tench (Tinca tinca) and European minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus). The number of artificially manipulated stocks of these species in Fennoscandian lakes was estimated to exceed 52 000. Hence, the number of fish species occurring in Nordic lakes has recently been changed more by stockings than by losses of fish species through environmental changes such as acidification.

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2003, Volume: 32, number: 2, pages: 98-105

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Fish and Aquacultural Science
      Environmental Sciences

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