The Upper Biebrza (Poland)

The Upper Biebrza Basin (Northeast Poland) is a protected river valley which is a part of the Biebrza National Park - added to the RAMSAR Convention list as one of the most important worldwide wetlands. The valley has been formed as an ice marginal valley and is relatively long (40 km) and narrow (2-3 km), which is crossed by numerous ditches of reclamation system build in 70’ties of 20th century and play a role of floodplain during a spring floods. It is filled with the thick deposits of peat (usually 2-5 m) partly underlain by gyttja layer (1-4 m).

The Upper Biebrza Basin, spring 2013, fot. Joanna Suliga

The Upper Biebrza Basin, spring 2013, fot. Joanna Suliga

 

The Hautes Fagnes

Hautes Fagnes wetland is located in the Vesdre catchment. The Vesdre river basin covers an area of about 710 km2 and the river itself is about 71 km long originating in a natural, protected wetland area (Haute Fagnes). Hautes Fagnes just like Biebrza is a part of the RAMSAR list.

The Hautes Fagnes, autumn 2014, fot. José Miguel Barrios

The Hautes Fagnes, autumn 2014, fot. José Miguel Barrios

 

Doode Bemde (Belgium)

The study area is located in the central part of Belgium, 8 km south of Leuven, in the valley of the middle course of the river Dijle. The valley contains a lot of wetland areas, which periodically flood due to the regime in the river. The entire valley of the Dijle is greatly influenced by groundwater seepage. Because the Doode Bemde nature reserve wetlands are predominantly fed by discharging groundwater they are mainly characterized by phreatophytic vegetation, which are plant species that occur exclusively in or are limited to the sphere of influence of the groundwater table.

Doode Bemde, autumn 2014, fot. Joanna Suliga

Doode Bemde, autumn 2014, fot. Joanna Suliga

 

Alzette (Luxembourg)

The special protection area LU0001115 "Upper Alzette Valley" covers 1,040 ha and is a part of restoration project. The area mainly comprises the floodplain of the upper and lower valleys of its tributaries. The alluvial plain of the Alzette is currently characterized by its water being channeled. Ditches drain a portion of the site. A small part of the plain is drained by a network of underground pipes. Occasionally the are remains of the original semi-natural formations as alluvial forest, extensive reedbeds and wet meadows.

Alzette, spring 2015, fot. José Miguel Barrios

Alzette, spring 2015, fot. José Miguel Barrios