Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society 48: 15-26, doi: 10.3897/jbgs.e101301
Monitoring of water cycle in karst geosystems and its integration into ecosystem assessment framework
expand article infoPetar Stefanov, Hristina Prodanova, Dilyana Stefanova, Vanya Stoycheva, Gergana Petkova
‡ National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access
Karst is a widely spread natural phenomenon which provides essential benefits to human society, such as drinking water. The water cycle in the karst geosystems is the main factor for their formation and at the same time one of the main drivers for ecosystem services (ES) provision. The monitoring of the water cycle can provide valuable information regarding its functioning and ensure data for ES assessment. This paper aims to present an overview of the monitoring of the water cycle in the karst geosystems and the opportunities to integrate the monitoring data into the water regulation ES assessment. The monitoring of the water cycle is based on the methodological framework ProKARSTerra. It is applied in model karst geosystems, which are representative of the main karst types in Bulgaria. One of them is the Brestnitsa karst geosystem, which is the case study of this work. The monitoring ensures data for analyses of the water cycle which can be used in the assessment of water-related ecosystem services. The results from the analyses of the data requirements and availability show that some services such as water flow regulation and regulation of chemical condition of freshwaters can be easily provided through data for quantification, while for others further studies are needed. The results of the long-term integrated monitoring in Brestnitsa karst geosystem provide the foundation for important conclusions and models for the karst genesis and function under global changes and active anthropogenic pressure. Their integration into the assessment framework and mapping of ecosystem services is an essential step towards the development of models for sustainable use of natural resources in the karst areas.
anthropogenic pressure, global changes, karst monitoring, microclimatic conditions, ProKARSTerra, regulating ecosystem services, soils