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Floodplain hay meadows along the river Tisza in Hungary

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Chapter Summary

For thousands of years, the character of the floodplain meadows along the river Tisza was determined by the meandering river. Though humankind settled on the edges of the floodplains of the river during the Neolithic, management of the landscape only began in the late Copper Age. The floodplain meadows and marshes along the river were utilized for floodplain management. The basis for water level control was allowing the floodwater to inundate the lower-lying marshes and meadows. This was achieved by making gaps in the sediment ridges running along the river. After the flood, the water was allowed to gradually drain away from the meadows. The drained meadows were grazed by herds of grey cattle, horses, sheep or pigs. Owing to the regular flooding of the river, habitats along the Tisza form an ecological corridor of outstanding importance, which is demonstrated by the downward dispersion of the fauna from the mountains.

Keywords: floodplain hay meadows; river Tisza



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