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  • Author: Mirosław Grzybowski x
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Ecomorphological evaluation of the Łyna River along the Kotowo-Ardapy section

Ecomorphological evaluation of the Łyna River along the Kotowo-Ardapy section

The Water Framework Directive of the European Parliament and the European Union Council No 2000/60/EC, of 23rd October 2000, on the common water policy, modifies provisional rules of river monitoring. Being an EU country, Poland has been obliged to introduce the new regulations and, additionally, to elaborate and implement regional methods for hydromorphological assessment of quality of river water no later than 2006. In the present study, hydromorphological evaluation of the Łyna River along a 7-km-long section between Kortowo and Adrapy has been completed. Along this section, the Łyna is a lowland, gravel and highly natural river. Two methods of evaluation, based on different assumptions, were applied. One is a British method, called River Habitat Survey (RHS), whereas the other one is based on German methods, known as ecomorphological river evaluation, and has been developed by Ilnicki (University of Agriculture in Poznań). A comparative analysis of the usefulness of both methods was performed, based on the results obtained with each method. The scope of our study has been to include a survey of the flora, phytosociological relationships and fauna of the river and its environs. Both methods implied that the river was more natural upstream and the results are shown on maps. The ecomorphological river evaluation, according to Ilnicki, assesses the river along its entire course, which is in accord with the Directive's assumptions. In contrast, the RHS method, which analyses selected, 500-meter-long sections, results in a non-continuous river evaluation. I our study, the assessment by RHS led to the omission of the most valuable section of the river. However, RHS (owing to the HQA index) more accurately indicates anthropogenic influences on the river, unlike the ecomorphological evaluation by Ilnicki, which lacks such an index. Consequently, the estimation of the degree of naturalness or extent of man-made pressure is not free from some subjectivity, which means that the surveyor needs certain experience. The RHS method is objective and unambiguous but still needs adaptation to the Polish conditions. Both methods can be statistically elaborated. At present, it is difficult to compare the reliability of the results obtained by both methods. The RHS method requires an application of a reference group of rivers, which has not been prepared for Poland yet. Assuming that the RHS database on the examined rivers (the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, August Cieszkowski Agricultural University in Poznań) could correspond to that missing reference group for Polish rivers, the results obtained by both methods were comparable.

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The Principal Threats to the Standing Water Habitats in the Continental Biogeographical Region of Central Europe

Abstract

This paper discusses threats of standing water habitats of high importance to the European Community in the Continental Biogeographical Region (CBR) of Europe, specifically in Poland, as a reference. The study covers five standing water habitats types distinguished in Natura 2000: 3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160, occurring in 806 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in Poland. The most significant threats to standing water habitats in the Continental biogeographical region, result from human-induced changes in hydrological conditions that have modified whole natural systems. Based on multivariate analysis, we found that significant differences in the conservation status of the standing water habitats resulted from a variety of threats, pressures, and activities, among which the most significant are decreased and unstable water resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), fishing and harvesting aquatic resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), pollution from use of the catchment (3130, 3140, 3150), improper management and use of the agricultural catchment (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160) and forest catchment (3110, 3140, 3160), urbanisation, residential and commercial development (3150, 3140), transportation and service corridors (3140> 3160 > 3110, 3150), including parking areas (3140), changes in biocenotic evolution, succession, plant species composition (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), succession of invasive species (3130), and more intense touristic exploration (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160). Only in the case of habitats 3110, 3130, 3140 changes in their conservation status have been associated with climate change.

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Principles of hydromorphological surveys of Polish rivers

Principles of hydromorphological surveys of Polish rivers

This paper presents the key principles of the new Polish methodology for hydromorphological river surveys which is consistent with the provisions of the Water Framework Directive. This method proposes to investigate only the main watercourse of the water body. The assessment is based on cartographic maps, satellite images and the existing databases. Field surveys are limited to selected stretches of the water body. The classification of the river's ecological status and ecological potential is based on a hierarchical system comprising four elements: hydrological regime, river continuity, channel morphology and floodplain. They are evaluated in view of features characterized by selected attributes. The method is the same for natural and heavily modified water bodies, while a simplified methodology is used to investigate artificial water bodies. It does not account for differences in abiotic type, landscape or size of the catchment area. The results are presented in abridged and field protocols. The attributes are evaluated on a five-point grading scale or through a descriptive approach which supports the calculation of ecological quality ratios for quality elements, hierarchical system elements and the water body. The usefulness of the proposed method has been tested on 11 pilot water bodies. The presented approach enables to perform hydromorphological surveys of Polish rivers by 2015, as required under the Water Framework Directive.

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Ecological quality classes of river hydromorphology in Poland

Ecological quality classes of river hydromorphology in Poland

This work presents rules and results of classifications of hydromorphological status of watercourses used presently in Europe. The Water Framework Directive introduced an obligation to monitor hydromorphological elements of rivers, which include hydrological regime, river continuity and bed morphology. European standards require somewhat different quality indicators and the way of their assessment for such investigations. Classification of status and ecological potential shall include categories and types of rivers, however, the methods existing so far do not provide such a distinction. Assessment of much differentiated features and attributes, as well as the requirement of presenting the outcome in EQR form, within limits from zero to one, cause that all the studied parameters, which are very diverse, must be conveyed to numerical form. The MHR method takes into account the above conditions and proposes a classification which includes limit values for five classes of status and four classes of ecological potential. It assumes limit values of classes lowering from natural watercourses through heavily modified to artificial.

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