STATE OF THE VARDAR RIVER ICHTIOFAUNA BETWEEN 1996-1999
2000, 58 (3) p. 85-100
The Vardar river is the biggest free flow ecosystem in the central Balkan peninsula. The aim of the study is to define actual state of ichthyocenosis in the Vardar river from the aspect of some species being relatively represented in certain parts of the flow as well as the longitudinal changing of the fish colony. The method of relative share of species approximation according to T i m m e r m a n s (1957) was used. 3019 fish specimen of 24 species, of which 19 autochthonous, collected on 12 profiles showed slight changes compared to the state two decades ago. However, the changes are quite significant if compared to the state seven decades ago. The human factor effect on the autochthonous ichthyofauna in the last five decades is significant. Tectonic, orographic and mineralogical conditions of the river basin cause longitudinal ichthyofaunal zoning of the Vardar river that differs from the standards determined for big European rivers. The actual Vardar river ichthyofauna is dominated by eight autochthonous fish species of the Cyprinidae family: B. peloponnesius, L. cephalus, G. gobio, A. bipunctatus, Ch. nasus, V. vimba, A. alburnus and B. barbus. All these species belong to the broad European range, they are primarily reophylic and ecologically eurivalent. Mediterranean climatic influence has limited effect on ichthyofauna and longitudinal fish arrangement.