Meso-scale habitat description in the Gaià River (Tarragona, Spain)

Published: 10-02-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/7svhmvpxrs.1
Paolo Vezza


This dataset represents a first attempt of meso-scale habitat modellig in temporary streams. In particular the dataset shows how habitat changes with flow and when water flows cease, defining the so-called "habitat-flow-time rating curve". Data were collected in the Gaià River (Tarragona Province, Iberian Peninsula) during both flow and non-flow phases. Multiple, stage-dependent surveys of geomorphological units provided basic maps for the characterization of mesohabitats in a reach located close to the El Catllar village. Following the MesoHABSIM model protocol (Vezza et al., 2014), these surveys were used to calculate spatio-temporal variation of habitat availability and draw curves that represent the relationship between discharge/zero flow days and (i) wet area, (ii) suitability habitat of key species, and (iii) connectivity . The level of each variable can also be represented in a percentage of its maximum level. As an example, an autochthonous fish species (European eel) was used as an ecological target. Rating curves were developed between habitat and flow, and habitat and time quantified habitat availability for fish species in space (% of channel area) during both flow and non-flow phases.