Open Access

Applying of Indicator Vertebrate Species to Environmental Assessment in the Landscape: Danube – Oder – Elbe Water Canal in the Czech Republic


The aim of the study is to assess potential impact of construction of the Danube - Oder - Elbe (DOL) water canal on populations of vertebrate species - amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - and present using these species as bioindicators on landscape level. For analysis of the data, the canal route was divided into smaller sections which were assessed separately. The following criteria were analysed: 1) current occurrence of target vertebrate species, 2) identification of species affected by canal construction, including evaluation of their numbers, 3) identification of affected species protected by Czech legislation, 4) identification of affected species protected by EU legislation, 5) impact assessment of the DOL project on Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), 6) data synthesis and impact assessment of the DOL vertebrates in the particular catchment areas. It is apparent that the most important negative impacts on vertebrate populations and their habitats in case of implementation of the DOL plan can be expected in the following sections of the Morava river: Hodonín - Břeclav, Kroměříž - Otrokovice, Veselí na Moravě - Hodonín, Troubky - Kroměříž, Doubravice - Střelice; of the Oder river: Jeseník nad Odrou - Ostrava, Ostrava - state border; and of the Elbe river: Česká Třebová - Pardubice. In case of construction of the DOL canal, disturbance, damage or loss of vertebrate habitats will occur at least at 6 out of 9 studied sections in the Morava catchment area, at 3 of 4 sections in the Oder catchment area and at 2 of 3 sections in the Elbe catchment area.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Geosciences, other, Life Sciences, Ecology