Samothraki Nature Observatory: HCMR's Wetland Inventory!

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Samothraki Nature Observatory: HCMR's Wetland Inventory!

The south and southwest of the island are drier, with little wetland or surface water.

At the beginning of May 2014

Wetlands are special places where enough water accumulates to act on vegetation and soil in a way that creates a natural feature: a semi-aquatic oasis. They are especially important in the Mediterranean islands, which are very dry during the season.

Samothrace, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, has many truly unique and varied wetlands.

This spring we visited the island for research and collaboration in HKMR. In addition to our excellent work with the social ecology group at Albin Adria University and planning the "network" for the Samothrace Natural Observatory, we spent a few days focusing on wetlands; the benefits are extraordinary.

We have visited over twenty-five wetlands. 15 lots with over 2,000 square meters of wetland. Many other areas that make up "micromarshlands" have yet to be fully assessed, but for the first time we have identified and described 12 of these micromarshlands. We have made careful notes about aquatic plants and animals. Match images, videos, and locations with GIS tools.

Of course, as expected, wetlands are one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the island. Many of these are very small and are directly linked to runoff systems that are heavily affected by increased water withdrawals, barriers to fish movement, habitat degradation, and general mismanagement and underestimation of the value of wetlands.

I'm posting our initial view and some photos of the swamp to show what it's like to be there in the spring.

Thanks to Nikos, Anastasia and Natalia for working hard with me in this area. And we are all grateful to the well-organized university team from abroad (Marina, Banos, Aguilos... everyone). Our research is still in its early stages, but it looks like amazing things are happening on the island. We have work for Samothrace.

Pictures from another spring trip...
















* The last Google Earth screenshot shows a map of Samothrace with numbered places to visit. Code 00 indicates areas that were not explored prior to our spring visit. So, this is an incomplete "action map" created during the course of the study; Distribution scheme indicator. most of the wetlands are on the wetter north coast, and we did not find any inland wetlands.


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