Mokřady Liběchovky a Pšovky

Liběchovka and Pšovka Brooks

Localisation: 50.417486N 14.578811E
Area: 361.041 ha
Category: Wetlands of International Importance
Inclusion in the list of Wetlands of International Importance: 1998
Criteria for inclusion in RS: 1, 2, 3, 7
The degree of protection: PLA, NNM, SCI, NR, NM
Altitude: 175 - 350 m
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Wetland’s figure

Brief characteristics

A complex of small-size wetlands of different types in the valleys and floodplains of the two smaller streams of Liběchovka and Pšovka. Along the lower course of the Pšovka stream, black soils have developed on fen soils with a high content of calcium. In deep stream valleys, sandy alluvial sediments are widespread, often waterlogged, creating various wetland biotopes, including pools. The watercourses of both streams are natural, in places without apparent stream beds. The area is rich in springs, thanks to the rectangularly-blocked sandstone with high permeability and thus suitable for infiltration. Water infiltrates through the rectangular sandstone down to the layer of the mainly fine calcareous sandstone, which is less permeable and on which water flows and partially disolves it. The largest proportion of the site is occupied by alder carr, reedbed and sedge wetlands. Some wetlands that were drained and used for agricultural production in the past are, at present, following the cessation of agriculture, in different stages of succession, leading, in most cases, to the recreation of alder carr. In the floodplain of the Pšovka stream, there are abundant pools and fishponds, and on the lower stream are then developed black soils, typical for the region of the Labe floodplain.

Geographical and geological data

Wetlands are situated in the deep valleys of the Liběchovka and Pšovka Brook in the area of acid sandstones with a good infiltration capacity. The beds of lime sandstones laying lower enrich running water by calcium compounds. Valleys were created by water erosion of brooks. Two main brooks - Liběchovka and Pšovka - are small rich tributaries (Liběchovka - 0.89 m3/s, 157 km2, 24 km; Pšovka - 0.86 m3/s, 158 m2, 33.6 km) of the Elbe River. Climate is relatively hot and dry - average year temperature is about 8.5°C and yearly rainfall is about 600 m.

Ecological characteristics

Wetlands include springs, brooks, pools, ponds, alder carrs, flooded and wet meadows, reedswamps and calcareous fens. Plant communities of the wetland include the following alliances: Potametum alpini, Potametum natantis, Beruletum angustifoliae, Batracietum circinati, Lemnetum trisulcae, Caricetum paniculatae, Caricetum acutiformis, Sparganietum ramosi, Eguisetum fluviatilis, Phragmitetum communis, Typhetum latifoliae, Nupharo lutei - Nymphaetum albae, Caricetum gracilis, etc. Specific calcareous fens on the lower part of the Psovka Brook are inhabited by plant communities Phragmition communis, Caricion gracilis, C. davallianae and Molinion.

Forma ochrany území

The biggest part (257.766 ha) is situated in the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area (in a core zone) and the most important parts in small-size protected areas too (“Kokořínsky důl” Nature Reserve - wetlands 64,5143 ha, “Mokřady horní Liběchovky” Nature Reserve - 75,1178 ha, “Prameny Pšovky” Nature Monument (8,7727 ha). Wetlands besides the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area are not protected, except “Polabská černava” National Nature Reserve (7,3834 ha). The management plan exists for all wetlands in the Kokořínsko protected Landscape Area and for Polabská černava National Nature Reserve. The mowing of suitable parts of the meadows is the most important conservation activity for Polabská černava NNR.

The main human activities

The main human activities are forestry, recreation and, to a lesser extent, agriculture. All these activities, however, take place mostly outside the wetland biotopes. Several of the pools and fishponds are used by sports fishermen with irregular, artificial fish stocking, sometimes unsuitable from the point of view of habitat conservation. The lower part of the Pšovka stream is affected by groundwater uptake (pumping).

The main negative factors

The streams themselves are affected due to the pollution coming from neighbouring agricultural areas and populated settlements. To some extent, they might also be impacted by the unsuitable management of forests which grow on the steep slopes of stream valleys. Wetlands in the lower Liběchovka floodplain have been suffering, in the last few years, from decreases in the groundwater table. Groundwater uptake in the catchment of the Pšovka stream causes severe reduction of water flow in the lower Pšovka stream, leading to the partial drying up of wetlands in this area.

Value for water management

Wetlands accumulate water from the major river basin and clear possible pollution. The area is an important reservoir of groundwater for a major part of Central Bohemia.

Social and cultural significance

The wetlands are used for scientific research and especially the surrounding area is used for tourism and recreation.

Flora and vegetation characteristic

The floodplain of the Pšovka stream, which, for the past several decades, was left to its natural development, is covered by stands of aquatic and wetland plant communities, supporting a number of endangered species. Abundant is the community of Beruletum angustifoliae, while less abundant is that of Potametum natantis and the stands of Nuphar lutea found in the stream bed. In places where the stream bed is full of silt and covered by vegetation, and water flows through a thin alder carr (Carici acutiformis-Alnetum), there are abundant communities of the associations Batrachietum circinati, Beruletum angustifoliae, Elodeetum canadensis, Potametum alpini and Lemnetum trisulcae. For the more open floodplain (former meadows), the following associations are typical: Caricetum acutiformis, Caricetum paniculatae, Equisetetum fluviatilis, Sparganietum ramosi, etc. In the deeper areas of ponds occur communities with Nymphaea candida: Potametum natantis, Nupharo lutei-Nymphaeetum albae. Most common among the tall sedge communities surrounding ponds (especially on the upper Pšovka stream) is Caricetum paniculatae. Wet meadows in the Pšovka floodplain host communities of Caricetum acutiformis and C. gracilis. Rare and endangered plant species of the floodplain found in the region of Kokořín are Dactylorhiza majalis, Epipactis palustris, Hippuris vulgaris, Hippochaete hyemalis, H. varigeata, Leucojum vernum, Menyanthes trifoliata, Ophioglossum vulgatum, Parnassia palustris, Pedicularis palustris, Potamogeton alpinus (with its largest locality in the Czech Republic), Ranunculus lingua, Thelypteris palustris; and on the lower Pšovka stream, Nasturtium officinale. On the black soils of the lower Pšovka stream, the following communities are characteristic: Caricion davallianae, C. gracilis, Molinion and Phragmition communis. The most important species are: Calamagrostis varia, Cladium mariscus, Dactylorhiza incarnata, Epipactis palustris, Gentianella amarella, Gymnadenia conopsea, Juncus subnodulosus, Liparis loeselii, Ophioglossum vulgatum, Orchis militaris, O. ustulata, Parnassia palustris, Pedicularis palustris, Pinguicula vulgaris, Schoenus ferrugineus, S. nigricans, Sesleria caerulea, Taraxacum ancoriferum, T. calcem-amans, T. irrigatum, T. paucilobum, T. turfosum, Tetragonolobus maritimus and Triglochion palustre.

Fauna characteristic

The site is a refugium of numerous populations of several relict species of molluscs, whose development flourished in the Late Holocene and, at the present time, they are very rare, found mainly in the few remaining calcareous wetlands. These are: Cochlicopa nitens, Vertigo moulinsiana, V. angustior. The streams are host to, e.g., Pisidium amnicum and P. tenuilineatum, being the largest known localities in the Czech Republic. The site is rated as the most important and interesting wetland complex of this type for molluscs in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the site is invaluable for spiders, such as Enoplognatha caricis, Mysmellena jobi only found here in the Czech Republic or Bohemia, and other rare species found only on a few sites and also for dragonflies (Odonata) when populations of Gomphus vulgatissimus and Leucorrhinia pectoralis belong to most valuable. Wetlands also host rare species from other insect orders, e.g. caddis flies (Trichoptera), mayflies (Ephemeroptera), beetles (Coleoptera) or true bugs (Heteroptera). The Pšovka stream hosts an abundant population of Astacus astacus and Cobitis elongatoides. Important amphibians to mention are small populations of Salamandra salamandra, and a big population of Triturus alpestris and Rana dalmatina.

Research activities

Botanical research was carried out. Basic research of vertebrates has been performed since the 1980s. Detailed research of molluscs has been started since 1994 as well as the research of several taxonomic groups of Arthropoda (Arachnida, Coleoptera). Research is performed by specialists from the Kokořínsko PLA Administration, Faculty of Science of the Charles University at Prague, National Museum, Regional Museums of Kolín, Česká Lípa and Roztoky, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Botanical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Recreational use

Wetlands are not directly interesting for tourists but the surrounding area is frequently visited by them because of the unique geomorphological phenomena.

Reasons for inclusion in the Ramsar Convention

The wetlands of the Liběchovka and Pšovka brooks are unique examples of calcareous wetlands in an area of acid sandstone with occurrence of endangered or rare species of invertebrates, plants and fish species. The site meets Criteria 1, 2, 3 and 7.

Natural habitats

Habitat code Habitat name Code of the habitat type Name the habitat type Area Relative area (%) Habitat quality (1-4)
L5.4 Acidofilní bučiny 9110 Bučiny asociace Luzulo-Fagetum 1.010 ha 0.28 3.16
T5.5 Acidofilní trávníky mělkých půd -- -- 0.020 ha 0.01 4
T1.4 Aluviální psárkové louky -- -- 6.826 ha 1.89 2.18
L8.1B Boreokontinentální bory, ostatní porosty -- -- 0.241 ha 0.07 2
T8.3 Brusnicová vegetace skal a drolin 4030 Evropská suchá vřesoviště 0.016 ha -- 2
M1.3 Eutrofní vegetace bahnitých substrátů -- -- 0.338 ha 0.09 2.74
L3.1 Hercynské dubohabřiny 9170 Dubohabřiny asociace Galio-Carpinetum 3.981 ha 1.1 2.97
L5.1 Květnaté bučiny 9130 Bučiny asociace Asperulo-Fagetum 0.018 ha 0.01 3.25
L8.2 Lesostepní bory 91U0 Lesostepní bory (Cytiso-Pinetalia) 0.001 ha -- 3
V1F Makrofytní vegetace přirozeně eutrofních a mezotrofních stojatých vod, porosty bez druhů charakteristických pro V1A-V1E 3150 Přirozené eutrofní vodní nádrže s vegetací typu Magnopotamion nebo Hydrocharition 23.092 ha 6.4 1.5
V1G Makrofytní vegetace přirozeně eutrofních a mezotrofních stojatých vod, porosty bez ochranářsky významných vodních makrofytů -- -- 5.440 ha 1.51 1.92
V4A Makrofytní vegetace vodních toků, porosty aktuálně přítomných vodních makrofytů 3260 Nížinné až horské vodní toky s vegetací svazů Ranunculion fluitantis a Callitricho-Batrachion 0.354 ha 0.1 2.44
V4B Makrofytní vegetace vodních toků, stanoviště s potenciálním výskytem vodních makrofytů nebo se zjevně přirozeným či přírodě blízkým chrakterem koryta -- -- 9.520 ha 2.64 2.51
T1.1 Mezofilní ovsíkové louky 6510 Extenzivní sečené louky nížin až podhůří (Arrhenatherion, Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis) 4.557 ha 1.26 2.37
L1 Mokřadní olšiny -- -- 17.962 ha 4.98 1.56
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List of species of conservation finding database

Category Latin name of the species Czech name of the species Protection category
(Law 114/92 Sb.)
Directive of birds/
Red list Invasiveness (i) Year of last record
Brouci Abdera affinis -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2019
Lišejníky Xanthoria polycarpa -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2018
Brouci Luperus longicornis -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2020
Brouci Microrhagus lepidus -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2023
Brouci Mogulones abbreviatulus -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2020
Brouci Mycetophagus piceus -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2019
Brouci Oedemera croceicollis -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2020
Brouci Orchesia luteipalpis -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2020
Brouci Pediacus depressus -- -- -- Zranitelný (VU) -- 2019
Brouci Plateumaris braccata -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2021
Brouci Rhizophagus nitidulus -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2023
Brouci Rhizophagus perforatus -- -- -- Téměř ohrožený (NT) -- 2023
Brouci Scaphisoma boreale -- -- -- Ohrožený (EN) -- 2023
Motýli Cameraria ohridella -- -- -- -- BL3 2020
Měkkýši Arion vulgaris -- -- -- -- BL3 2023
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