Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pripet Marshes (8)

Within red line - the Marshes along the Pripet (author, schematic)
The Pripet Marshes (Russian: Припятские болота) and the Rokitno Marshes also known as the Pripyat (Russian: Пинские болота; Belarusian: Прыпяцкія балоты) or Pinsk Marshes filling much of the watershed of the  Pripyat River and its tributaries. It is one of the largest wetland areas of Europe.  The region stretches from Brest, Belarus in the west, as far northeast as Mogilev and back to the outskirts of Kiev in the southeast. The Marshes thus occupy most of the southern part of Belarus and the north-west of Ukraine (an area about 480 km west to east and  225 km north to south - a total of some 98,400 km2).  Notable tributaries of the Pripyat are the Horyn, Stokhod, Styr, Ptsich, and Yaselda rivers.

Polesie (Wikipedia)
The bioregion is known by its historical name as Polesia (Belarusian: Пале́ссе Paleśsie, Polish: Polesie, Russian: Поле́сье Poles'e, Ukrainian: Полі́сся Polissia). [An inhabitant of Polesia is called Poleszuk in Polish; Palyashuk in Belarusian, Polishchuk in Ukrainian, and Poleshchuk in Russian]. The name of the region is derived from the root les (forest).

The landscape consists of dense woods, interspersed with numerous swamps, moors, ponds and streams . The marshes undergo substantial changes in size during the year, with melting snows in springtime and autumn rainfall causing extensive flooding as the river overflows. Drainage of the eastern portion began in 1870, and significant areas have been cleared for pasture and farmland, much of this in reclamation from the 1960s to the 1980s which has harmed the environment along the course of the Pripyat.

In the tree cover, there is a relatively low degree of deciduousness. Mixed and deciduous forests as well as pure Pinus stands (known as bor in Slavic languages) occur here, the latter mostly on the sandy substrata, intermingling with raised Sphagnum bogs. In the rare drier localities on loamy substrata and more fertile soils, deciduous forests and Quercus-Pinus forests occur. 

Source is
Pripyat Marshes (The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands).

Pripet marshes, a painting by Ivan Shishkin (1831–1898) (Wikipedia)

Polesye Landscape 1884, by Ivan  Shishkin (Wikipedia)

A website with more photos of the watery landscape - Polesia Czar

Part of this landscape extends into Poland, celebrated in a photographic exhibition "W niezwykłym świecie bagien i jezior Polesia Lubelskiego"

Article about the threat to the natural environment (in Polish) 'Torfowiska Polesia – czy grozi nam kolejna katastrofa?'

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