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C-GRASS – Seagrass meadows: Blue carbon spatio-temporal changes at Murtosa region (Ria de Aveiro)
Coordinator - Ana Isabel Sousa
Programme - Observatoire Hommes-Millieux International (OHMI)
Execution dates - 2017-06-01 - 2018-05-31 (12 Months)
Funding Entity - CNRS/INEE, via OHMI (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut Ecologie et Environnement, via OHMI – International Observatory Hommes-Millieux)
Funding for CESAM - 6000 €
Total Funding - 6000 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro


Seagrass meadows are globally significant blue carbon (C) sinks contributing to climate regulation, reduce sediment erosion and increase the sediment stability; thus, playing a key role in many ecosystem functions and ecological processes. Nevertheless, seagrass loss and degradation is occurring worldwide, leading to the release of C stored over millennia at these ecosystems. In Ria de Aveiro, seagrass meadows followed the global trend, and there was a great loss along the last decades of 20th century, mainly due to hydrological changes and dredging activities in the lagoon. Subtidal seagrass meadows disappeared and there was a great reduction of intertidal meadows extension and biodiversity. The harvesting of “moliço” (a mixture of seagrasses and macroalgae) and its use as fertilizer in agriculture was a traditional activity at Ria de Aveiro until the 1960’s. “Moliço” was collected and transported using traditional boats (“moliceiro”) and was frequently unloaded and commercialized at Murtosa wharfs. However, the economic value of this activity decreased over the 20th century and is currently lost. In the context of the OHM-Estarreja research topics “Biodiversity Evolution – ‘Evaluation of changes at Ria de Aveiro ecosystems’ and ‘Interaction among species, communities, population and ecosystems’”, this proposal intends to evaluate the spatio-temporal changes in Zostera noltei meadows at Murtosa region and the impacts of its vulnerability on the blue C stock. Potential drivers of change in these meadows will also be addressed.




Members on this project
Ana Isabel Sousa
Coordinator