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This project was financed within the 'Sustainicum' project 'Nachhaltigkeit in der Lehre - die Ökologische Dimension. Basiswissen für Alle' - financed by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research.


FishPop (Virtual fish population simulation model for fragmented river systems) is an individual (age class) based population simulation model (Fig. 1). Up to 5 river sections with definable habitats can be virtually stocked with a selected amount of fish of a specific species in different age classes, year-to-year survival rates, fecundity and weight. Randomness of environmental conditions and predation can also be defined (enhanced survival and mortality, floods with negative effects on larvae and eggs). This allows for an exploration of the potential effects of climate factors like an enhanced unpredictability of catastrophic events (floods). Finally, migrations across artificial migration barriers (weirs) can be simulated taking into account the 'permeability' of weirs for fish and potential for injuries during downstream migration. The result is the development of a fish population in a fragmented river system over 50 years. A slider within the software allows for an exploration of the result of each individual year. It depends on the preferences of the user, which fish species and how many sections are used within the simulation. Editable .txt files allow for a user based definition of age class based parameters of virtually all types of fish species. One could also start only with one section, and exploring the development of a population in a given habitat, under natural environmental variability. In a next step, more complexity can be added to the simulation, limiting habitats, changing climate factors or adding predation. Finally, FishPop allows for simulating fish populations in multiple river sections (up to 5) and the effect of 4 connectivity interruptions on population development. It does not include density related and genetic factors. FishPop comes with a comprehensive documentation of the software design, and the possible user interactions. However, it does not contain any basics on population ecology. Therefore, it makes sense to combine the use of FishPop with a basic introduction in population ecology.

Content and pedagogical design: Andreas Zitek
Technical implementation: Robert Vogl


Cite as: Zitek, A. and Vogl, R. (2012) FishPop 1.0: Virtual fish population simulation model for fragmented river systems.


FishPop 1.0 Zip-File (2 Mb)


DI Dr.nat.techn. Andreas Zitek, MSc (GIS)
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU-UFT)
Konrad-Lorenz-Strasse 24
A-3430 Tulln
Tel: 0043 676 780 65 15

Ing. Robert Vogl
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU-IHG)