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Projets et initiatives


01/01/2007 - 31/12/2010

Restoration and Management of Biodiversity in the Marine Park Site Arrábida-Espichel.


Management and recovery of biodiversity at the Marine Park in the site Arrábida-Espichel by means of:

  • Restoration of the seagrass meadow at Portinho da Arrábida (habitat 1110) by planting 10 ha of seagrass coverage, a level which enables further natural recovery to pre-destruction coverage (30 ha). Replanting will use the two local subtidal seagrass species Zostera marina and Cymodocea nodosa. An area of 10 ha is selected to create a large enough source for natural recovery to continue to 30 ha by natural seagrass growth after the project. The objective of recovering the seagrass meadow is to increase biodiversity in the area, which has been strongly affected by seagrass disappearance.
  • Conservation of habitat 1170 (reefs) by preventing destruction by illegal fishing, anchoring and inadequate mooring along reef areas in the full protection zone in order to prevent further losses in what is the habitat with highest biodiversity of the Marine Park and in relation to comparable rocky habitats worldwide.
  • Mapping and characterizing the marine park habitats, through acquisition of information on physical seabed characteristics and both on benthic macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages along the marine park area. Identification of new fishing grounds alternative to nearshore protected zones, expected to gain added value from the conservation measures nearshore. This will lead to reach long-term coexistence between local fishing communities and the park management plan by promoting biodiversity preservation and its benefits to both.
  • Sensitization of the stakeholders to the direct and indirect benefits of restoration of the seagrass meadow and conservation of the reef habitats, and of the management of the marine park in general.

List of Partners

  • CCMAR - Centro de Ciências do Mar
  • INIAP - Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e das Pescas
  • ICNB - Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade
  • CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
  • ISPA - Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada

Work packages

  1. A1- Analysis of pre-restoration trends in fishing activity and landings.
  • A2- Development and application of quantitative spatial models to estimate time required for total recovery of a continuous seagrass meadow as a function of different planting densities;
  • A3- Estimation of available meadow area and genetic diversity of donor seagrass populations;
  • A4- Marine habitat characterization;
  • A5- To make recreational boat activities compatible with recovery and conservation of seabed habitats 1110 and 1170 through installation of environmentally sensitive moorings and floating docks;
  • A6- Adaptation of the oceanographic museum to have laboratory space and diving support space for on-site activities;
  • A7- Marking of the intervention area.
  1. C1- Collection preparation, and planting of seagrass transplantation units.
  • C2- Cultivation of seagrass from seeds and propagation of seagrass shoots to be used in the transplanting to ensure genetic structure of the population and reduce local harvesting impacts on already stressed donor populations;
  • C3- Genetic analysis to assure maintenance of genetic diversity of the planted population.
  1. D1- Surveillance in the transplanted area to detect and prevent anthropogenic actions that could damage the target habitats.
  • D2- Conduct monitoring of seagrass populations in the restored area and donor areas pre- and post- habitat restoration to track recovery;
  • D3- Examination of patch dynamics, integrated with the topography survey results, to forecast patch growth and meadow recovery by calibrating the spatial model;
  • D4- Assessment of the benefits of conservation and restoration by monitoring indicators of ecosystem status pre and post- habitat restoration in both habitats 1110 and 1170 and in control areas;
  • D5- Fisheries benefits of restoration and conservation actions by monitoring fisheries indicators over time before and after planting.
  1. E1-E9- Disseminate to the public the reasons, goals and benefits (socio-economic, political, cultural, ecological) of the project and restoration in general by means of exhibits, leaflets and brochures, merchandising, documentary, seminars, press-releases and layman's reports.
  1. F1- Task management and reporting to EC.
  • F2- Financial audit and bank guarantee;
  • F3 - After LIFE conservation plan, contributions to revising the management plan of the Marine Park.

Useful outputs for MAIA

General information on MPA biodiversity, activities, geomorphology, regulation and zoning.

Evaluation on MPA resources, habitat and biodiversity recovery.

Before final products, there are several progress reports available.

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