Cover Image

Variability of Soil Erosion Intensity Due to Vegetation Cover Changes: Case Study of Orahovacka Rijeka, Montenegro



Vegetation cover change in all the river basins leads to the changes of hydrologic response, soil erosion and sediment dynamics characteristics. Those changes are often viewed as main cause of anthropogenic and accelerated erosion rates in short term and one of the main reasons of climate change in long term. The effects of vegetation cover changes on various parts of water balance and hydrological cycle has to be deeply studied because of its important role on mankind future. The aim of present research was therefore to simulate the responses of soil erosion processes by using a process-oriented soil erosion model IntErO, with the different settings of land use for the years 1977, 1987, 1997, 2006 (2007) and 2016 (2017) in Orahovacka Rijeka watershed; a pilot river basin of the Polimlje Region for the northeastern part of Montenegro. For the current state of land use, calculated peak discharge for the Orahovacka Rijeka was 174-175 m3 s-1 (the incidence of 100 years) and there is a possibility for large flood waves to appear in the studied basin. Real soil losses, Gyear, were calculated on 2614-2921 m3 year-1, specific 229-256 m3 km-2 year-1 (1977-2017). The value of Z coefficient range from 0.444 to 0.478 and indicates that the river basin belongs to III destruction category. The strength of the erosion process is medium, and according to the erosion type, it is surface erosion. According to our analysis the land use changes in the last 40 years influenced the increase of the soil erosion intensity for 11% in the study watershed. Further studies should be focused on the detailed analysis of the land use changes trends with the other river basins at the national level, closely following responses of soil erosion to the changed land use structure. The results and approach also should be used by policymakers in all national natural resources organizations to highlight the role of management.



In press - Online First. Article has been peer reviewed, accepted for publication and published online without pagination. It will receive pagination when the issue will be ready for publishing as a complete number (Volume 47, Issue 1, 2019). The article is searchable and citable by Digital Object Identifier (DOI). DOI number will become active after the article will be included in the complete issue.


IntErO model; land cover; land use; soil erosion; vegetation

Full Text:



Amini H, Honarjoo N, Jalaliyan A, Khalilizadeh M, Baharlouie J (2014). A comparison of EPM and WEPP models for estimating soil erosion of Marmeh Watershed in the South Iran. Agriculture and Forestry 60(4):299-315.

Andjelkovic A, Ristic R, Janic M, Djekovic V, Spalevic V (2017): Genesis of Sediments and Siltation of the accumulation “Duboki Potok” of the Barajevska River Basin, Serbia. Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology 18(4):1735-1745.

Avanzi JC (2009). Soil properties, conditions and soil losses for south and east Brazilian forest areas. PhD Thesis, Federal University of Lavras, Brazil.

Babic Mladenovic M, Obuskovic Z, Knezevic Z (2003). Zasipanje akumulacija u Srbiji – Problemi i pravci resavanja [Siltation in Serbia - Problems and directions of solving]. Vodoprivreda 35:387-393.

Barovic G, Silva MLN, Batista PVG, Vujacic D, Soares Souza W, Avanzi JC, Behzadfar M, Spalevic V (2015). Estimation of sediment yield using the IntErO model in the S1-5 Watershed of the Shirindareh River Basin, Iran. Agriculture and Forestry 61(3):233-243.

Ballesteros-Cánovas JA, Czajka B, Janecka K, Lempa M, Kaczka RJ, Stoffel M (2015). Flash floods in the Tatra Mountain streams: Frequency and triggers. Science of the Total Environment 511:639-648.

Bagherzadeh A, Reza M, Daneshvar M (2011). Sediment yield assessment by EPM and PSIAC models using GIS data in semi-arid region. Frontiers of Earth Science 5(2):207-216.

Batista PVG, Silva MLN, Silva BPC, Curia N, Buenob IT, Júnior FWA, Davies J, Quinton J (2017). Modelling spatially distributed soil losses and sediment yield in the upper Grande River Basin - Brazil. Catena 157:139-150.

Behzadfar M, Tazioli A, Vukleic-Shutoska M, Simunic I, Spalevic V (2014). Calculation of Sediment yield in the S1-1 watershed, Shirindareh watershed, Iran. Agriculture and Forestry 60(4):207-216.

Blinkov I, Kostadinov S (2010). Applicability of various erosion risk assessment methods for engineering purposes, BALWOIS 2010 Conference, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. 25-29 May 2010.

Cavazza W, Roure F, Ziegler PA (2004). The Mediterranean area and the surrounding regions: Active processes, remnants of former Tethyan Oceans and related thrust belts. 77. In: Cavazza W, Roure F, Spakman W, Stampfli GM, Ziegler PA (Eds). The Transmed Atlas. The Mediterranean Region from Crust to Mantle. Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer.

Chang AY, Parrales ME, Jimenez J, Sobieszczyk ME, Hammer SM, Copenhaver DJ, Kulkarni RP (2009). Combining Google Earth and GIS mapping technologies in a dengue surveillance system for developing countries. International Journal of Health Geographics 8(49):1-11.

Curovic M, Stesevic D, Medarevic M, Cvjeticanin R, Pantic D, Spalevic V (2011). Ecological and structural characteristics of monodominant montane beech forests in the National park Biogradska Gora, Montenegro. Archives of Biological Sciences 63(2):429-440.

Dees M, Andjelic M, Fetic A, Jokanovic B, Tepavcevic V, Borota D, Vasiljevic A, Weinreih A, Hahn N, Markovic D, Terzic D (2013). The First National Forest Inventory of Montenegro. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Montenegro.

Djekovic V, Andjelkovic A, Milosevic N, Gajic G, Janic M (2013). Effect of reservoir on flood-wave transformation. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 8(2):107-112.

Efthimiou N (2018). The importance of soil data availability on erosion modeling. Catena 165:551-566.

Fontes JC, Pereira LS, Smith RE (2004). Runoff and erosion in volcanic soils of Azores: Simulation with OPUS. Catena 56:199-212.

Frankl A, Lenaerts T, Radusinovic S, Spalevic V, Nyssen J (2015). The regional geomorphology of Montenegro mapped using Land Surface Parameters. Annals of Geomorphology: Series A, Physical Geography 60(1):21-34.

Fustic B, Djuretic G (2000). Soils of Montenegro [Zemljista Crne Gore]. University of Montenegro, Biotechnical institute. Ed Spalevic V.

Gavrilovic S (1972). Engineering of torrential flows and erosion. Izgradnja, Beograd.

Glavan M, Milicic V, Pintar M (2013). Finding options to improve catchment water quality Lessons learned from historical land use situations in a Mediterranean catchment in Slovenia. Ecological Modelling 261:58-73.

Grimes AP, Latif MA, Vujadinovic-Colic J, Buskovic V (2005). Biodiversity assessment update for Serbia and Montenegro. USAID/Serbia-Montenegro: Belgrade.

Guiçardi ACF, Spalevic V, Mincato R (2017). Diagnóstico do meio físico como subsídio para o planejamento da sub-bacia hidrográfica do Córrego Estiva, Alfenas, Sul de Minas Gerais. XVII Simpósio Brasileiro de Geografia Física. Proceedings pp 370-381.

Haase D, Walz U, Neubert M, Rosenberg M (2007). Changes to Central European landscapes-Analysing historical maps to approach current environmental issues, examples from Saxony, Central Germany. Landscape Use Policy 24:248-263.

Halecki W, Kruk E, Ryczek M (2018). Evaluation of water erosion at a mountain catchment in Poland using the G2 model. Catena 164:116-124.

Jakovljevic M, Pantovic M, Blagojevic S (1995). Laboratory Manual of Soil and Water Chemistry (in Serbian). Belgrade: Faculty of Agriculture.

Kinnell PIA (2010). Event soil loss, runoff and the Universal Soil Loss Equation family of models: A review. Journal of Hydrology 385(1-4):384-397.

Kisic I, Basic F, Nestroy O, Sabolic M (2010). Soil erosion under different tillage and cropping systems in Central Croatia. Chapter in book: Global change - Challenges for soil management, Advances in Geoecology. Catena Verlag GMBH, Reiskirchen 41(1):141-150.

Kostadinov S, Zlatic M, Dragicevic S, Novkovic I, Kosanin O, Borisavljevic A, Lakicevic M, Mladjan D (2014). Anthropogenic influence on erosion intensity changes in the Rasina river watershed - Central Serbia. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 23(1a):254-263.

Kouhpeima A, Hashemi SAA, Feiznia S (2011). A study on the efficiency of Erosion Potential Model (EPM) using reservoir sediments. Elixir Pollution 38:4135-4139.

Nyssen J, Van den Branden J, Spalevic V, Frankl A, Van de Velde L, Curovic M, Billi P (2014). Twentieth century land resilience in Montenegro and consequent hydrological response. Land Degradation and Development 25:336-349.

Oliveira AH, Silva MLN, Curi N, Avanzi JC, Araújo EF, Klinke Neto G (2013). Water Erosion in soils under eucalyptus forests as affected by development stages and management systems. Ciência and Agrotenologia 37(2):159-169.

Sadeghi SH (2005). Semi-detailed technique for soil erosion mapping based on BLM and satellite image applications. Journal of Agricultural Sciences and Technology 7:133-142.

Sadeghi, SHR, Gholami L, Khaledi DA (2013). Suitability of MUSLT for Storm Sediment Yield Prediction in Chehelgazi Watershed, Iran. Hydrological Sciences Journal 58(4):892-897.

Silva MA, Silva MLN, Curi N, Oliveira AH, Avanzi JC, Norton LD (2014). Water erosion risk prediction in eucalyptus plantation. Ciência and Agrotecnologia 38(2):160-172.

Spalevic V, Curovic M, Tanaskovic V, Djurovic N, Lenaerts T, Nyssen J (2015). Application of the IntErO model for the assessment of the soil erosion intensity and runoff of the river basin Dragovo Vrelo, Montenegro. Turkish Journal of Agricultural and Sciences 1(Special Issue):1072-1079.

Spalevic V, Djurovic N, Mijovic S, Vukelic-Sutoska M, Curovic M (2013). Soil Erosion Intensity and Runoff on the Djuricka River Basin (North of Montenegro). Malaysian Journal of Soil Science 17(1):49-68.

Spalevic V (2011). Impact of land use on runoff and soil erosion in Polimlje. PhD Thesis, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Steinhoff-Knoppa B, Burkhard B (2018). Soil erosion by water in Northern Germany: long-term monitoring results from Lower Saxony. Catena 165:299-309.

Stoffel M, Corona C, Ballesteros-Cánovas JA, Bodoque JM (2013). Dating and quantification of erosion processes based on exposed roots. Earth-Science Reviews 123:18-34.

Stoffel M, Huggel C (2012). Effects of climate change on mass movements in mountain environments. Progress in Physical Geography 36:421-439.

Tazioli A (2009). Evaluation of erosion in equipped basins: preliminary results of a comparison between the Gavrilovic model and direct measurements of sediment transport. Environmental Geology 56(5):825-831.

Verheijen FGA, Jones RJA, Rickson RJ, Smith CJ (2009). Tolerable versus actual soil erosion rates in Europe. Earth-Science Reviews 94:23-38.

Volk M, Liersch S, Schmidt G (2009). Towards the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive? Lessons learned from water quality simulations in an agricultural watershed. Land Use Policy 26:580-588.

Vujacic D, Barovic G, Tanaskovikj V, Kisic I, Song X, Silva MLN, Spalevic V (2015). Calculation of runoff and sediment yield in the Pisevska Rijeka Watershed, Polimlje, Montenegro. Agriculture and Forestry 61(2):225-234.

Willaarts BA, Volk M, Aguilera PA (2012). Assessing the ecosystem services supplied by freshwater flows in Mediterranean agroecosystems. Agricultural Water Management 105:21-31.

Wraber T (1983). Map of natural potential vegetation of SFR Yugoslavia, scale 1:1,000,000. Jovan Hadzi Biological Institute ZRC SAZU: Skopje.

Wischmeier WH, Smith DD (1978). Predicting Rainfall Erosion Losses: A Guide to Conservation Planning. Agricultural Handbook (No. 537). Washington DC: US Department of Agriculture.

Zarea M, Panagopoulosb T, Louresc L (2017). Simulating the impacts of future land use change on soil erosion in the Kasilian watershed, Iran. Land Use Policy 67:558-572.

Zia Abadi L, Ahmadi H (2011). Comparison of EPM and geomorphology methods for erosion and sediment yield assessment in Kasilian Watershed, Mazandaran Province, Iran. Desert 16:103-109.


June 1, 2018: Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca in Scopus – Elsevier CiteScore 2017=0.78, Horticulture; Agronomy and Crop Science; Plant Science