Hydromorphological assessment of the anastomosing section of the Narew River after restoration

Open access


Five parallel channels of the Narew River (NE Poland) were hydromorphologically assessed with the River Habitat Survey (RHS) method. Four out of the five studied channels were partly separated from the functioning system of the anastomosing river by a dike for more than 20 years, and were subjected to gradual overgrowing and shallowing. In the 1990’s and in 2002, a number of renaturisation measures were implemented, restoring sufficient discharge for the channels to make them active again. The Habitat Modification Score (HMS) obtained as a result of the survey only classifies the fragment ecologically to the third class of streams with high HMS value in the case of the current main channel of the Narew River (largely formed in an artificial manner). This suggests substantial anthropogenic changes in the river channel and its vicinity. The aggregate values of the Habitat Quality Assessment (HQA) index suggest the preservation of numerous environmentally valuable elements at all of the five studied sites of the anastomosing Narew River system. This even concerns channels which remained almost separated and functioned as oxbow lakes for more than 20 years. The highest HQA values were recorded in the case of the channel constituting the main channel before the regulation, and a neighbouring regulated channel currently fulfilling the function of the main water course in this cross-section. In spite of long-term negative changes, the studied fragment of the ecosystem of the anastomosing river is distinguished by high resistance to “anthropogenic stress”, and high capacity for spontaneous restoration of a state close to the natural one. Although lotic ecosystems constitute elements of the natural environment particularly sensitive to anthropopressure, they retain the ability to regenerate for a long time, under the condition of providing them with relevant hydrological and ecological conditions.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Banaszuk H. 1996 Paleogeografia naturalne i antropogeniczne przekształcenia Doliny Górnej Narwi (Paleogeography natural and anthropogenic transformations of Upper Narew Valley) Wyd. Ekonomia i Środowisko Białystok p. 213 (in Polish).

  • Banaszuk H. 2004a Geomorfologia doliny Narwi (Geomorphology of the Narew valley) [in:] Banaszuk H. (ed.) Przyroda Podlasia. Narwiański Park Narodowy - monografia przyrodnicza (Nature of Podlasie. Narew National Park - nature monograph) Wyd. Ekonomia i Środowisko Białystok: 42-69 (in Polish).

  • Banaszuk P. 2004b Gleby i siedliska glebotwórcze Narwiańskiego Parku Narodowego (Soils and soil-forming habitats of Narew National Park) [in:] Banaszuk H. (ed.) Przyroda Podlasia. Narwiański Park Narodowy - monografia przyrodnicza (Nature of Podlasie. Narew National Park - nature monograph) Wyd. Ekonomia i Środowisko Białystok: 141-155 (in Polish).

  • Czerniawska-Kusza I. Szoszkiewicz K. 2007 Biologiczna i hydromorfologiczna ocena wód płynących na przykładzie rzeki Mała Panew (Biological and hydromorphological assessment of running waters based on the example of Mała Panew) Sindruk Opole p. 67 (in Polish).

  • Dawson F.H. Szoszkiewicz K. 1999 Relationship of some ecological factors with the associations of vegetation in British rivers Hydrobiologia 415: 117-122. [EA] Environment Agency 2003 River Habitat Survey in Britain and Ireland. Field Survey Guidance Manual: 2003 Environment and Heritage Services Warrington p. 140.

  • Górniak A. 2000 Klimat województwa podlaskiego (Climate of Podlaskie Voivodeship) IMGW Białystok p. 119 (in Polish).

  • Górniak A. Piekarski M.K. 1999 Hydrologiczne aspekty funkcjonowania zbiornika Siemianówka (Hydrological aspects of the functioning of the Siemianowka reservoir) Gosp. Wod. 2: 52-55 (in Polish).

  • Grabowska M. Mazur-Marzec H. 2011 The effect of cyanobacterial blooms in the Siemianówka Dam Reservoir on the phytoplankton structure in the Narew River Oceanol. Hydrobiol. Stud. 40: 19-26.

  • Jędryka E. 2003 Renaturyzacja małych cieków nizinnych (Restoration of small lowland streams) IMUZ Falenty p. 76 (in Polish).

  • Logan P. 2001 Ecological quality assessment of rivers and integrated catchment management in England and Wales J. Limnol. 60: 25-32.

  • Mioduszewski W. 1999 Koncepcja renaturyzacji doliny Narwi na odcinku Żółtki-Rzędziany. Aktualna problematyka ochrony mokradeł (Narew valley restoration concept on the Żółtki-Rzędziany section. Current problems of wetland protection) Seminar Proc. 43 IMUZ Falenty (in Polish).

  • Moss T. 2004 The governance of land use in river basins: prospects for overcoming problems of institutional interplay with the EU Water Framework Directive Land Use Policy 21: 85-94.

  • Okruszko H. 1989 Dokumentacja i koncepcja zagospodarowania doliny Narwi na odcinku Żółtki-Rzędziany; stanowiąca podstawę do projektu technicznego melioracji i zagospodarowania (Documentation and development concept of the Narew valley section Żółtki-Rzędziany; the basis for the technical project of melioration and management) [manuscript] IMUZ Falenty (in Polish).

  • Raven P.J. Holmes N.T. Dawson F.H. Everard M. 1998 Quality assessment using River Habitat Survey data Aquat. Conserv. 8: 477-499.

  • Raven P.J. Holmes N.T. Naura M. Dawson F.H. 2000 Using river habitat survey for environmental assessment and catchment planning in the UK Hydrobiologia 422: 359-367.

  • Suchowolec A. 2012 Renaturalizacja strefy buforowej Narwiańskiego Parku Narodowego (Restoration of the buffering zone of the Narew National Park) [in:] Suchowolec A. (ed.) Ocena efektów renaturalizacji strefy buforowej Narwiańskiego Parku Narodowego (Assessment of restoration effects in the buffering zone of Narew National Park) PTOP Białystok: 10-11 (in Polish).

  • Szoszkiewicz K. Buffagni A. Davy-Bowker J. Lesny J. Chojnicki B. H. Zbierska J. Staniszewski R. Zgoła T. 2006 Occurrence and variability of River Habitat Survey features across Europe and the consequences for data collection and evaluation Hydrobiologia 566: 267-280.

  • Szoszkiewicz K. Zgoła T. Giełczewski M. Stelmaszczyk M. 2009 Zastosowanie metody River Habitat Survey do waloryzacji hydromorfologicznej i oceny skutków planowanych działań renaturyzacyjnych (Application of River Habitat Survey method for hydromorphological assessment of rivers and for evaluating potential restoration efforts) Nauka Przyr. Technol. 3: 1-9 (in Polish English summary).

  • Szoszkiewicz K. Zgoła T. Jusik Sz. Hryc-Jusik B. Dawson F.H. Raven P. 2007 Hydromorfologiczna ocena wód płynących (Hydromorphological assessment of running waters) Bogucki Wyd. Nauk. Poznań-Warrington p. 134 (in Polish).

  • Walker J. Diamond M. Naura M. 2002 The development of physical habitat objectives Aquat. Conserv. 12: 381-390.

  • Zieliński P. Górniak A. Bralski M. 2012 Ecological status assessment of the urbanized river applying hydromorphological features Inż. Ekol. 29: 246-256 (in Polish English summary).

  • Zieliński P. Górniak A. Suchowolec T. 2003 Changes in water chemistry along the course of two rivers with different hydrological regimes Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 12: 111-117.

  • Zieliński P. Jekatierynczuk-Rudczyk E. Górniak A. 2008 Changes in dissolved organic carbon concentration in renaturalized lowland river Limnological Papers 3: 69-77.

  • Żelazo J. Popek Z. 2002 Podstawy renaturyzacji rzek (Basis of river restoration) SGGW Warszawa p. 319 (in Polish).

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 149 79 3
PDF Downloads 81 55 1