Prespa Lake’s coastline plays a crucial role in its maintenance. It is often said that wetlands are Earth’s kidneys; consequently the reed beds and wet meadows along the coastline are Prespa Lake’s kidneys, filtering out matter and alleviating its eutrophication*.
Having this in mind, in 2018 MES made the effort to make a detailed map of their distribution along Prespa’s coastline. This is a starting point towards the recognition of extremely rare plant communities and therefore future conservation and research priorities. Consequently, our subsequent research is focusing on field and laboratory analyses estimating plant communities’ efficiency in alleviating the negative effects of surplus matter (e.g. organic and chemical pollutants) that ends up in the lake.
As a result, in 2020 MES embarked on a ground-breaking work to manage wet meadows and restore alluvial forests with common alder in collaboration with Resen Municipality, managing Ezerani Nature Park and Lake Prespa Monument of Nature. The work builds upon previous studies that identified restoration options for priority habitat types thanks to the recent mapping of all wetland habitats around the transboundary Prespa Lakes.
Eutrophication is the process of accumulating nutrients in the lake. Nutrients enter the lake naturally from run-off and from decomposing dead matter. Decomposition takes oxygen, thus any artificial addition of nutrients in the lake (e.g. fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) can cause anoxia, causing mass deaths of oxygen breathing organisms (eg. fish). This drastically speeds up the ageing of lakes