|LTER-RAVE - Long term monitoring in the Ria de Aveiro: towards a deeper understanding of ecological, environmental and economic processes|
Programme - Ciências Biológicas - Biodiversidade, Ecologia e Conservação
Execution dates - 2011-12-31 - 2014-12-30 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 187159 €
Total Funding - 199999 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências (FFC/FC/UL)
Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC)
Estuarine ecosystems are extremely productive and provide crucial ecosystem services that influence climate, nutrient cycles and primary productivity on a global scale. Human-induced disturbance, however, has severely affected these ecosystems. In Europe, in particular, there has been a drastic decline in coastal marine habitats. Of those remaining, less than 15% are deemed to be in good condition.
The goal of the present proposal is a reappraisal of the ecological and economic value provided by an estuarine ecosystem, through integrated monitoring, analysis and understanding of the multiple habitats. In terms of cultural, economic and biological diversity, few ecosystems can compare to estuaries. Essential ecosystem services provided by estuaries include carbon storage, flood control, fish production, aquifer recharge, nutrient recycling and biodiversity maintenance among others. The continued provision of these services, however, depends on a thorough understanding and proper large-scale management of the whole estuarine ecosystem. Further degradation could seriously impair these services causing among other things estuaries to change from a net carbon sink to an important source of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane.