The Trajectory of Wetland Development in the Middle Part of the Elbe River Basin in the Past 180 Years
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TGM Water Research Institute, p.r.i., Czech Republic
Submission date: 2022-11-25
Final revision date: 2023-03-10
Acceptance date: 2023-04-11
Online publication date: 2023-05-22
Corresponding author
Pavel Richter   

TGM Water Research Institute, p.r.i., Podbabská 2582, 16000, PRAHA 6, Czech Republic
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2023;32(4):3755-3767
In this article, a change in wetland coverage and the representation of different wetland categories over the last 180 years was analysed for the middle part of the Elbe River basin. Historical maps of the Stable Cadastre, the current orthophoto map, and GIS layers of the current location and classifi cation of different types of land cover were used as sources. Based on the study of the available documents, the following three types of wetlands were classifi ed: swamps and marshes, wet meadows, and wet meadows with woody vegetation. The area of wetlands has dramatically decreased from 1,125.68 ha in 1841-42 (9.55% of the researched area) to 51.04 ha in 2022 (0.43%). While the majority of the area of historical wetlands was wet meadows (97.12%), at present, the largest area of wetlands is swamps and marshes (85.56%). Almost 60% of the area of the disappeared wetlands is now occupied by arable land; therefore, the observed changes can be attributed mainly to an increase in agricultural production. The obtained information can be used in landscape planning with regard to the protection and management of wetlands, or in proposing measures to improve the ecological status of surface water bodies.
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