Changes in lake area as a consequence of plant overgrowth in the South Baltic Lakelands (Northern Poland)

Rajmund Skowron, Tomasz Jaworski



The authors carried out the analysis of changes in the plant overgrowth of the lakes based on cartographic materials. Among 6 793 lakes with the area exceeding 1 ha located in the lakelands of Northern Poland, 893 lakes were selected for the analysis. The lakes were selected on the grounds of the existing bathymetric plans and information on their overgrowth and depth relations. Over the last 50 years lake area declined by 1.9% (from 140 975.0 ha do 138 273.7 ha) and so did the lake area covered with emergent plants, i.e. by 0.27% (from 11 219.0 ha down to 10 637.2 ha). Emergent plants cover on average 7.69% of the lake area. In the case of the lakes of smaller areas (below 80 ha) or medium areas (80÷200 ha) the extent of plant overgrowth was 14.3 and 9.6% respectively. The article presents two indicators which determine plant overgrowth of the lakes. These are the coefficient of overgrowing the lakes (%) and the coefficient of overgrowing the shoreline (ha km-1). These coefficients make it possible to study the extent of lake overgrowing in the South Baltic Lakeland, regardless the direction of these changes.


Northern Poland; lakes; indicator of plant overgrowth; shoreline plant overgrowth.

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