Typology of historical sources and the reconstruction of long-term historical changes of riverine fish: a case study of the Austrian Danube and northern Russian rivers

Gertrud Haidvogl, Dmitry Lajus, Didier Pont, Martin Schmid, Mathias Jungwirth, Julia Lajus

Research output

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Historical data are widely used in river ecology to define reference conditions or to investigate the evolution of aquatic systems. Most studies rely on printed documents from the 19th century, thus missing preindustrial states and human impacts. This article discusses historical sources that can be used to reconstruct the development of riverine fish communities from the Late Middle Ages until the mid-20th century. Based on the studies of the Austrian Danube and northern Russian rivers, we propose a classification scheme of printed and archival sources and describe their fish ecological contents. Five types of sources were identified using the origin of sources as the first criterion: (i) early scientific surveys, (ii) fishery sources, (iii) fish trading sources, (iv) fish consumption sources and (v) cultural representations of fish. Except for early scientific surveys, all these sources were produced within economic and administrative contexts. They did not aim to report about historical fish communities, b
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-515
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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