THE EFFECT OF THE GEOMETRIC STRUCTURE OF FLOOD PLAIN VEGETATION ON THE PROBABILITY OF PASSING FOR PLANT DEBRIS
Natalia Walczak 1  
,  
Zbigniew Walczak 2  
,  
 
 
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1
Department of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Piątkowska 94A Str., 60-649 Poznań, Poland
2
Institute of Construction and Geoengineering, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Piątkowska 94E Str., 60-649 Poznań, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Natalia Walczak   

Department of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering Poznan University of Life Sciences, ul. Piatkowska 94A, 60-649 Poznań, Poland
Publish date: 2016-09-20
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2016; 17(4):304–310
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ABSTRACT
Flood plains are a specific sedimentary environment. They are a natural clarifier and filter for rivers carrying large amounts of heavy metals, biogenic elements and other contaminants transported during high water and floods. Plenty of it is accumulated in the riverbank zone of channels i.e. a buffer strip. This is a relatively narrow strip of land situated along watercourses, often covered with riparian plants. It is functionally associated with river flooding and it forms a transition zone to ecosystems of mixed (oak-lime-hornbeam) forest plants. These plants unquestionably grow into a natural protective system of surface waters against contamination flowing down from areas used for agricultural purposes. Buffer zones provide the opportunity for self-cleaning, and according researchers they are among the most efficient natural tools to protect a catchment area. They can reduce the amount of sediments and nutrients carried by surface water flowing down from agricultural areas. Besides positive effects, the zones are accompanied by the phenomenon of flow blockage, which is particularly hazardous in case of directing great water away from its main channel. Shrubby vegetation retains small elements of plant origin and thus the free flow of water stopped. The article analyses the effect of vegetation structure density on flow conditions for small plant debris on a laboratory scale.