CHIPS: A database of historic fish distribution in the Seine River basin (France)
The evolution of freshwater fish distribution and long term change in the composition of fish assemblages in rivers are currently the subject of various ecological studies. These studies usually focus on a relatively short range of time, rarely exceeding the last few years. However, this interval is far too short to understand in what extent human societies impact their environment. In order to study interactions between human activities and rivers and their fish assemblages over longer periods of time, we searched the historical record to retrieve information on fish and their distribution in streams in the Seine River basin. A database, named CHIPS (Catalogue HIstorique des Poissons de la Seine), was developed to organize the information. In a first step, we focused data collection on the last two centuries. We present preliminary qualitative analyses using selected parts of this database. They show notably that the distribution area has changed for some species and that a substantial evolution in fish assemblages has occurred in certain rivers since the beginning of the 19th century.