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Formen part del projecte la Universitat de Girona (Càtedra d’Ecosistemes Litorals Mediterranis – GRECO), la Diputació de Girona i els ajuntaments de Gualta, Torroella de Montgrí i Ullà, el Consorci del Ter i la Junta Central d’Usuaris d’Aigua del Baix Ter, que finançaran part del projecte amb l’ajut dels fons Next Generation

Aquest matí ha tingut lloc, a l’Auditori Teatre Espai Ter de Torroella de Montgrí, la presentació del projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter», una estratègia de prevenció de les inundacions i foment de la biodiversitat aquàtica a partir de superfícies de laminació a la xarxa hídrica del curs baix del riu Ter.

Formen part del projecte la Diputació de Girona i els ajuntaments de Gualta, Torroella de Montgrí i Ullà, la Universitat de Girona, el Consorci del Ter i la Junta Central d’Usuaris d’Aigua del Baix Ter.

A l’acte hi han participat Miquel Noguer, president de la Diputació de Girona; Jordi Colomí, alcalde de Torroella de Montgrí; Josep López, alcalde d’Ullà; Jaume Fontdevila, alcalde de Gualta; Àlex Garrido, vicepresident del Consorci del Ter i alcalde de Manlleu, i Xavier Quintana, director de la Càtedra d’Ecosistemes Litorals Mediterranis de la Universitat de Girona.

En la presentació s’ha destacat que aquest projecte té l’objectiu de replantejar el model actual de drenatge d’inundacions, basat en una evacuació ràpida d’aigua a través de canals pavimentats, i substituir-lo per un nou model basat en la creació i la interconnexió de zones de laminació per alentir progressivament el flux d’aigua i aprofitar-lo per recuperar aiguamolls i zones inundables antigues, actualment dessecades.

Per tant, la implementació d’una solució basada en la natura ha de permetre resoldre uns problemes d’inundació recurrents que pateixen diferents nuclis urbans de l’àrea del Baix Ter, derivats de la reducció històrica de superfícies inundables d’aquesta plana al·luvial, els rius i recs de la qual tenen un règim torrencial. És un aspecte important en l’adaptació al canvi climàtic.

Aquest model transformador del sistema fluvial, a més de beneficis hidrològics, té importants beneficis ambientals, ja que permetrà incrementar la biodiversitat (els aiguamolls i les zones inundables són hàbitats rics en fauna i flora) i millorar l’estat ecològic dels sistemes aquàtics (amb la retenció de nutrients i contaminants), la qual cosa serà objecte d’anàlisi mentre duri el projecte.

Alguns dels resultats que s’esperen del projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter» són:

  • La redacció d’un pla integral de gestió del risc d’inundacions al Baix Ter, que abordarà la manera de mitigar el risc d’inundació a tots els municipis de la zona.
  • L’execució de zones de laminació en punts concrets com a experiències demostratives de referència per a l’aplicació futura del model a tot l’àmbit del Baix Ter.

El finançament total del projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter» és de 2.996.090,18 €  , amb una subvenció total atorgada per la Fundación Biodiversidad del Fons Next Generation de 2.528.062,56 €  .

Cada una de les set entitats que hi participen hi aporten les quantitats següents: Ajuntament de Gualta, 489.467,50 €  ; Ajuntament de Torroella, 954.380,00 €  ; Ajuntament d’Ullà, 559.303,00 €  ; Consorci del Ter, 176.106,94 €  ; Junta Central d’usuaris del Baix Ter, 412.980,20 €  ; Universitat de Girona, 240.608,54 €  , i Diputació de Girona, 163.244,00 €  .

«HidroNet Baix Ter», per reduir el risc d’inundacions i renaturalitzar els recs
El projecte executarà solucions per minimitzar les inundacions en trams urbans del Baix Ter provocades pels rius i séquies amb la recuperació d’antics estanys i zones inundables transformant-les en basses de laminació. Aquesta solució, basada en la natura, permet disposar d’un espai que habitualment es manté sense inundar i, en cas de pluges extraordinàries _com les pròpies del nostre clima mediterrani, que es poden veure incrementades pels efectes del canvi climàtic_, permet emmagatzemar i frenar les aigües que no poden absorbir els sistemes de drenatge existents. És possible instal·lar-hi sistemes de telecontrol i telemesura per monitorar, gestionar i registrar tot el funcionament automàticament.

«HidroNet Baix Ter», pla integral de gestió del risc d’inundació al Baix Ter
Tenint en compte que més d’una dotzena de municipis de la zona del Baix Ter estan afectats pel mateix risc d’inundacions d’aquesta plana al·luvial, la qual es pot considerar que constitueix una mateixa unitat geogràfica i ecològica, el projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter» posarà a la seva disposició un instrument que ha de permetre mitigar aquesta problemàtica concreta.

«HidroNet Baix Ter», per coordinar totes les parts involucrades en la gestió del risc d’inundabilitat
El projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter» permetrà enfortir la governança pel que fa a l’aigua amb la constitució d’òrgans com ara un consell assessor, un òrgan de caràcter informatiu i deliberatiu que permetrà incorporar altres punts de vista i donar a conèixer els avenços i resultats del projecte a altres actors per arribar a debats enriquidors que donin coherència territorial a les solucions i infraestructures verdes que s’aniran executant. El formaran els socis del projecte i una dotzena d’ajuntaments del Baix Ter, responsables de l’Agència Catalana de l’Aigua, responsables del Parc Natural del Montgrí, les Illes Medes i el Baix Ter, i responsables del Departament d’Acció Climàtica, Alimentació i Agenda Rural.

El projecte «HidroNet Baix Ter», amb codi R079, està cofinançat per la Fundación Biodiversidad FSP del  Ministeri per a la Transició Ecològica i el Repte Demogràfic, en el marc de la convocatòria de subvencions per al foment d’actuacions adreçades a la restauració d’ecosistemes fluvials i a la reducció del risc d’inundació en els entorns urbans a través de solucions basades en la naturalesa.
Aquesta convocatòria forma part del Pla de Recuperació, Transformació i Resiliència (PRTR), finançat per la Unió Europea a través dels fons Next Generation EU.

Pel president de la Diputació de Girona, Miquel Noguer, «aquest projecte, que engloba set entitats, amb una inversió de gairebé 3 milions d’euros, només es pot fer amb un programa com HidroNet, un projecte necessari per al futur del Ter i del Baix Ter».
«Aquest any, que celebrem els 200 anys de les diputacions, nascudes per al progrés de les diferents demarcacions, tenim un projecte que encaixa perfectament amb el progrés, en aquest cas de la zona del Baix Ter. I la prosperitat del Baix Ter és la prosperitat per a tots els pobles de la demarcació de Girona», ha afegit el president Noguer.

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Largely neglected and generally undervalued, ponds are actually remarkably important for biodiversity conservation. Dr. Dani Boix from the GRECO team of the Institute of Aquatic Ecology explains the importante of getting to know them in order to protect them.

Video launched for the #WorldWetlandsDay22 #ActForWetlands. A call to take action for wetlands is the focus of this years’ campaign. It’s an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded.

The H2020 project Ponderful website: https://ponderful.eu/

World Wetlands Day: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/

Our Institute:
www.iea.udg.edu
www.udg.edu/ca/instituts/ecologia-aquatica
www.udg.edu/ca/grupsrecerca/ecoaqua
www.udg.edu/ca/grupsrecerca/greco

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Last Friday, November 4, we held the workshop “Costs and Benefits of the Conservation of the la Pletera salt marsh” in l’Estartit with the participation of local actors and stakeholders from the Generalitat. The activity, which is included in the framework of the H2020 PONDERFUL project of which we are part, had a double objective:

– The validation of a policy analysis regarding the conservation and restoration of la Pletera salt marsh. The analysis have been developed by the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and supported by the UdG team associated with the European project.
– Secondly, to gather the perceptions of the participants (from local and Catalonian government, private sector, universities, civil society) on the current barriers and the enabling factors underlying conservation and restoration policies of wetlands and ponds.
The La Pletera case was the main subject of discussion throughout the day, but the discussion and conclusions included and were often referred to the whole wetland landscape of Catalonia.

The last part of the day was an interactive activity aimed at identifying how we can finance the maintenance and other necessary measures for keeping the quality of the Nature Contributions to People (NCP) provided by the salt marsh.

The main challenge pointed out in the long-term to La Pletera is how to deal with Climate Change impacts (sea level rise and intensification of flooding episodes). The response to these risks will be key to ensuring the continuity of such spaces. Another challenge is the maintenance of la Pletera´s visiting infrastructure, which serves as a place of leisure for many people throughout the year. The high flow of visitors during the summer, with a considerable increase in road traffic, generates impacts for the rural traffic during the agricultural harvesting in the nearby area and produces rubbish.

At la Pletera level, the conclusions pointed out the Life restoration project implemented in the salt marsh between 2014 and 2018 as a demo case for restoring other coastal ecosystems. The stakeholders identified a favourable political context, leadership, collaboration among stakeholders in different levels and the knowledge development by the UdG´s Chair of Mediterranean Coastal Ecosystems and the GRECO group, as paramount factors for the success of the Life Pletera project. For the future, the need for improving financing schemes for maintenance, developing better strategies to control traffic and misuse of the space by visitors, and creating space for natural adaptation of the saltmarsh were mentioned.

At the Catalonian level, the challenge is to further develop the institutional framework regarding conservation and ecological restoration. The evolution of the European environmental framework in the last 30 years was pointed out as a key enabling factor to overcome this challenge, once it fosters national and local framework development. As a current barrier, it was mentioned the lack of knowledge and experimentation for supporting planning and development of an ecological restoration policy. In this sense, projects on the ground, such as Life Pletera, and research projects, such as the Ponderful project, were acknowledged by many stakeholders as essential for providing information to policy-making decisions.

To conclude, the following day, in the same EMD room of the Estartit, a technical day took place during the morning in which the annual results on the state of conservation of the species of flora and fauna protected by the Montgrí Natural Park, the Medes Islands and the Baix Ter.

PONDERFUL has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869296

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My research is focused on invertebrate aquatic communities and how they are shaped by biotic and abiotic factors. My studies have been mainly performed in Mediterranean coastal lagoons, but I have also worked in temperate and tropical water bodies, including deep lakes. Regarding abiotic variables, I am especially interested in disentangling how water permanence and the dry phase affect community assembly, but also the influence of salinity and trophic level com aquatic organisms. Additionally, I have studied the effect of fish predation pressure on invertebrates, including the behavioral response of zooplankton to avoid predation. I have been also involved in projects related with aquatic habitat restoration, studying community colonization and assembly and variations on environmental variables.
As part of my current position at UdG, I will estimate ecosystem metabolism in a set of coastal lagoons (ranging in conductivity and water current) and in their main water sources (mostly irrigation canals), through high-frequency monitoring of environmental variables.

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Albert Ruhí

Born in 1984. BSc in Biology (2006) and PhD in wetland ecology at the Institute of Aquatic Ecology of the University of Girona (2007-2011), with research stages at the Linnaeus University, Sweden (2009), and the University of Georgia in Athens, USA (2011).

Since March 2012 I have been working at the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) as a Postdoctoral researcher. My major research interests are focused on (i) quantifying the impacts of global change on the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, with a special emphasis on food webs and biological traits; and on (ii) identifying the variables that make aquatic ecosystems restoration projects succeed or fail, in order to achieve a better knowledge on how to offset current freshwater biodiversity loss. I have participated in several EU LIFE-Nature projects, as well as in DEPREMED and RETROMED Spanish ones.

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Jordi Sala

My interests are focused on the ecology of aquatic fauna of temporary ponds, mainly in the patterns of the biodiversity that hold these ecosystems, and in its conservation issues. I’m also interested in the taxonomical issues related to freshwater crustaceans, specially microcrustaceans and large branchiopods. As this last group is a flagship species of temporary ponds, I’m also interested in their distribution, life histories, and ecological role in the faunal community.

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The main goal of my research is to understand the changes in the trophic and size structure and the composition of the phytoplankton community under the grazer resistance vs. competitive ability trade-off. The results found until now have shown me the importance of the second trait of this ratio, competitive ability, classically knows as bottom up control. Competition based on the ratio surface/volume, or in the r-K dichotomy, nutrients storage ability and alternative nutritional pathways as mixotrophy confer an amazing plasticity to the phytoplankton community, which allow its adaptation to almost any environment. In contrast, top-down control seems to be a secondary factor in environments where nutrients are scarce and only becomes a major factor when nutrient availability is insured.

In Mediterranean coastal lagoons, one of the most important factors on the regulation of nutrient availability is the hydrologic pattern. The combination of the frequency (circulation-confinement gradient) and the origin of the water inputs (salt-freshwater gradient) lead to a particular environment with its particular phytoplankton community. In this sense, the trophic strategy dominating the phytoplankton community will depend on the proportion of inorganic:organic nutrient availability.

The last decade several studies have reported the consequences of climatic change on coastal ecosystems, such as the increase of mean water temperature, increase of sea level and flooded inland surface, and changes in runoff frequency and intensity. The degree of these changes is difficult to evaluate, however it is certain that these changes in hydrological pattern will modify trophic relationships in aquatic ecosystems, at least at the level of the microbial loop. Thus, learning the processes by which the organisms of the microbial loop respond to the hydrological and climatic changes could help us understand the progressive transformation of the planktonic community.

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Jordi Compte

My research is focussed in the ecology of aquatic communities in Mediterranean lagoons and salt marshes. I am interesting in the study of the food webs in Mediterranean coastal lagoons, specifically in the intraspecific competence and predation in these systems (top down control). I have carried up filed experiments with microcosms and mesocosms.

I am also interesting in Mediterranean temporary ponds. In this topic, I study specifically the diversity of macrofauna (macroinvertebrates and amphibians) and their temporal succession. Furthermore, I have performed studies about diel migrations of zooplankton in Mediterranean temporary ponds.

I am also involved in a project for the restoration of Mediterranean salt marshes. The aim of these projects is to carry out a restoration of saltmarsh affected by building works for a residential estate. In this project, my objective is to check the effects of restauration on the aquatic community of the salt marsh.

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Xavier Quintana

My research is focussed in the ecology of aquatic communities in Mediterranean lagoons and salt marshes. I mainly study the factors affecting planktonic species composition and community structure in these ecosystems, where changes in salinity and trophic state are strongly affected by irregularities in hydrology, as are characteristic of Mediterranean climate.

I am interested on the importance of body size and on the analysis of the size distribution of aquatic organisms. I mainly apply the size-diversity for the analysis of the shape of the size distribution. The use of this size-based approach in the study of the community structure is one of my main research interests.

I am also involved in some applied projects for the restoration of Mediterranean salt marshes. The aim of these projects is to recover the ecological values of some coastal areas located in touristic zones.

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Dani Boix

The research I developed is focussed on the ecology of aquatic communities in Mediterranean temporary ponds. I mainly study the biotic and abiotic factors affecting species composition and community structure in these ecosystems, where changes in water turnover and hydroperiod length are strongly affected by Mediterranean climate.

Food webs dynamics of shallow waters are another of the topics of my research. I am also interested on the measurement of the biodiversity and the study of the local, regional and global factors which determine it.

I am also involved in some applied projects for the restoration of Mediterranean wetlands and ponds. The aim of these projects is to recover water ecosystems in areas where they have disappeared in order to improve the populations of aquatic species, mainly threatened ones such as amphibians.

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