Monday, February 9, 2015

Evros/Meric River: How many river-islands?

The Ardas river near its confluence with the Evros: The largest remnant riparian forest in the river valley was found here.

Published: Paper on the Evros-Meric Greenbelt

One of the most intriguing and frustrating places to study is a river-border in an area of intense political friction. My colleagues and I have worked on the Evros river (Meric in Turkish, Maritsa in Bulgarian). The lower part of this large river creates an uneasy border between Greece and Turkey.

What we set to do is to count the so-called stable river islands in this large river and to assess the conditions of the riparian zone. In fact in 218 kms of river we counted 219 islands, 145 of these are larger than 1000 m2. Of these we looked into their condition by assessing the amount of woodland on them - a simple and truthful metric of ecological integrity. We also mapped the 12 largest forested hot spots along both the Turkish and Greek banks of the river.

This kind of work was fairly easy and productive and gave us a good insight into green-belt conservation of a large trans-boundary river. We hope this kind of work can assist conservation initiatives, especially since the river has severe problems with flooding and water mismanagement.

To download our paper see: EVROS/MERIC RIVER (Greece/Turkey)

(Photos are from an HCMR sampling trip in summer 2009)

Ardas at Kastanies (on the Greek side) near Edirne.
Meric on the Edirne Bridge (Turkey) looking downstream after the Tundza confluence.
Meric at Edirne with river-side fish restaurants

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