Main content area

The human impact on the current hydromorphological states of small watercourses in the Czech Republic

Jakubínský, Jiří
International journal of ecohydrology & hydrobiology 2014 v.14 no.4 pp. 313-322
anthropogenic activities, ecosystems, ecotones, hinterland, land use, landscape management, landscapes, rivers, surface water, watersheds, Czech Republic
Rivers are a dynamic part of the landscape, influencing the extent and spatial structure of adjacent ecosystems formed or conditioned by them (collectively called river landscapes). An important prerequisite for the function and sustainability of a river landscape is the quality of the long-term contact with its water body, supported by proper landscape management. This paper aims to quantify the hydromorphological features of three small watercourses in the Czech Republic and to understand the nature of the relationship between the morphological condition of a river network and the quality of its hinterland ecosystems. The fundamental goal of the research was to identify the hierarchy of factors affecting river morphology driven by forms of land use. One of the main findings was that there is a certain degree of dependency between the state of a watercourse and the nature of human activities in the surrounding landscape, but this relationship is highly dependent on external variables. We have shown that comparable degrees and types of anthropogenic pressures affect the status of a watercourse quite differently, depending on the natural conditions, the presence of the riparian ecotone and the fragmentation of the landscape structure within the catchment.