Shore zone in protection of water quality in agricultural landscape—the Mściwojów Reservoir, southwestern Poland

  • Jolanta DąbrowskaEmail author
  • Halina KaczmarekEmail author
  • Joanna Markowska
  • Sebastian Tyszkowski
  • Olgierd Kempa
  • Marta Gałęza
  • Ewa Kucharczak-Moryl
  • Andrzej Moryl


Shore zones are transition areas (ecotones) between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Their function in the environment is crucial because they serve as buffer zones that capture pollutants and slow down erosion of reservoir and watercourse banks provided that they are managed properly. Research on a shore zone was conducted at the Mściwojów retention reservoir with an innovative water self-purification system. After several years of its operation, an increased phosphate concentration in the main part of the reservoir was reported. The mapping of the terrain’s surface and modeling of hydrological processes in the direct catchment area of the said reservoir were done using the digital elevation model (DEM). The DEM was created from LiDAR data obtained in 2012 by airborne laser scanning. Analyses of the surface runoff led to identification of surface runoff transport pathways, along which the eroded material from cultivated fields is discharged directly to the reservoir. Surface runoff transport pathways gather the eroded material from a maximum area of 45,000 m2 in the western part of the direct catchment and 40,000 m2 in the eastern part of it. Due to the reservoir management negligence, the riparian zone designed for the Mściwojów Reservoir no longer exists. The percentage of the natural shore that undergoes erosion processes is over 54. The said processes and fluctuations of the water level in the reservoir, as well as degradation of the shore zone caused by human activity, bring about limited plant development in the littoral zone, which in turn lowers the reservoir’s resistance to degradation.


Buffer zones Ecotones Bank abrasion Dam reservoir Phosphorous Agricultural water pollution Shore zone 



This study was partly supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (grant no. N306 086037 in 2009–2012) and the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analyses (ICLEA) of the Helmholtz Association.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jolanta Dąbrowska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Halina Kaczmarek
    • 2
    Email author
  • Joanna Markowska
    • 1
  • Sebastian Tyszkowski
    • 2
  • Olgierd Kempa
    • 3
  • Marta Gałęza
    • 1
  • Ewa Kucharczak-Moryl
    • 4
  • Andrzej Moryl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental EngineeringWroclaw University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Resources and Geohazards, Institute of Geography and Spatial OrganizationPolish Academy of SciencesToruńPoland
  3. 3.Department of Spatial EconomyWroclaw University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and ToxicologyWroclaw University of Environmental and Life SciencesWrocławPoland

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