The RIVEAL project aims to map and quantify key ecosystem services (ES) of riparian forests and predict the balance of ES under diverse climatic, land use and water management scenarios in the Portuguese fluvial landscapes. In particular, the case studies are regulated rivers downstream of dams, namely, Alva River downstream of Fronhas Dam, and Lima River downstream of Touvedo Dam.
The project focuses in three ES:
Intermediate Ecosystem Services – Fluvial Ecological Integrity
Regulating and Maintenance – Carbon Stocks and Carbon Sequestration
Cultural services – direct and indirect socio-cultural values
Particularly, the RIVEAL project expects to:
– Provide a relevant ES assessment concerning C sequestration and ecological integrity;
– Determine the trade-offs and synergies of land-use conversion on ES of riparian forests;
– Provide understanding of land-water-riparian linkages across spatial and temporal scales;
– Enlarge understanding of the effects of hydrologic alterations by different dam operations;
– Develop an innovative framework for fluvial ecological integrity based in the concept of ES and functional interactions between aquatic biota and riparian vegetation;
– Assess the socio-cultural values of rivers and riparian forests;
– Deliver a product useful to wide-research community and stakeholders supporting management, conservation, monitoring and planning;
– Map, characterize, and assess the riparian zones in its multifaceted dimensions.