Principal Threats to the Conservation of Running Water Habitats in the Continental Biogeographical Region of Central Europe
Journal of Landscape Ecology
AbstractThis paper discusses the threats to the running water habitats that are highly important to biodiversity the European Community in the Continental Biogeographical Region (CBR) of Europe, specifically in Poland. This study covers four water course habitat types distinguished in Natura 2000, which is a network of nature protection areas in the territory (3260, 3220, 3240, 3270 - the code of the habitat, as in Annex I of the Habitat Directive), occurring in 806 Special Areas of
... in Poland. Based on a multivariate analysis, we found significant differences in the conservation status of running water habitats resulting from a variety of threats, pressures, and activities. Agriculture has a number of negative impacts on running water habitats, which are most evident for the following habitats: 3260 > 3270. Forest management may have both negative (3260) and positive effects on habitats (3270). Natural system modifications strongly affect habitats 3240, 3270 > 3260. Among the negative anthropogenic influences are pollution (3260 > 3220); human intrusions, disturbances, and tourism (reported most often) (3260, 3270); transportation and service corridors (3260, and 3270); urbanization, residential, and commercial development tourism (3260); biological resource use other than for agriculture and forestry (3270 > 3260); and mining, extraction of materials, and energy production (3270). Geological events and natural catastrophes—most often inundation—were identified as important hazards for habitat 3240. The development of alien and invasive species strongly affects habitats 3240 > 3260, 3270, and natural biotic and abiotic processes affect habitats 3220 > 3260. Negative impacts associated with climate change were detected mostly for habitat 3260. Taking into account the threats identified, a list of recommended practices for running water habitat types is presented, to be considered in habitat conservation programmes.