Chapter 135 - Wetlands in cave and karst regions


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Encyclopedia of Caves (Third Edition)


Wetlands are areas whose soil is saturated with moisture either permanently or seasonally, and include swamps and marshes. Karst areas are underrepresented among wetlands in part because they are well drained. Most karst wetlands are hydrologically isolated and occur near areas of groundwater discharge. Important wetlands occur in the Dinaric karst, including disappearing lakes (Cerkniško jezero/polje), poljes (Planinsko polje), and intermittent lakes (Pivka intermittent lakes). These wetlands differ among themselves in the frequency and duration of flooding, and are major features of the Dinaric landscape. The Ramsar Convention is an important tool in the protection of karst wetlands. A total of 130 karst wetlands comprising more than 105,000 km2, are listed, including poljes, permanent surface water features, large ecoregions, and cave systems.

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