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Lesnoy Zhurnal

The Hydrological Role of Wetlands and Water Supply of Rivers

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B.V. Babikov

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The influence of wetlands on the water supply of rivers has been discussed in media and some academic papers for more than 100 years. The first papers were published after draining the Polesye wetlands in Belarus in 1880’s. Formation and hydrological role of wetlands in biosphere are considered. The influence of wetlands on the water supply of rivers is shown on the basis of multi-year stationary research. The reasons for reducing of water discharge in rivers with overgrowing of lakes and formation of wetlands on their place are described. The features of value of water flow from drained swamps in rivers obtained in 15-years stationary water-balance research were calculated according to the runoff rates. Water permeability of wetlands along the peat deposit depth were studied. The reasons for change in filtration of groundwater after hydromelioration of wetlands were established. The influence of steam flows inside the swamps on water discharge and entry of water into rivers were studied. There is a break in water flow from wetlands to rivers, especially in summer period. The reasons for “drainless periods” duration and the concept of “zero flow” (when groundwater flows into channels, but does not enter rivers) were explained. The influence of hydromelioration on the growth of pine forest stands, the improvement of their bonitet class in swamps were studied. The dependence of water discharge on bonitet class of forest stands was shown. It was established that water discharge from drained swamps during the year is more leveled off by reducing the spring flood flow and increasing the flow in summer period, which ensures the uniformity of river water supply.


B.V. Babikov, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Professor


Saint-Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Institutski per., 5, Saint-Petersburg, 194021, Russian Federation; 


water balance, water discharge, filtration, water permeability

For citation

Babikov B.V. The Hydrological Role of Wetlands and Water Supply of Rivers. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Forestry Journal], 2018, no. 5, pp. 38–47. DOI: 10.17238/issn0536-1036.2018.5.38


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Received on April 18, 2018

The Hydrological Role of Wetlands and Water Supply of Rivers


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