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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Relevance of Intermittent Rivers and Streams in Agricultural Landscape and Their Impact on Provided Ecosystem Services-A Mediterranean Case Study

Kaletova, Tatiana; Loures, Luis; Castanho, Rui Alexandre; Aydin, Elena; da Gama, Jose Telo; Loures, Ana; Truchy, Amelie


Ecosystem services (ES), as an interconnection of the landscape mosaic pieces, along with temporal rivers (IRES) are an object of research for environmental planners and ecological economists, among other specialists. This study presents (i) a review on the importance of IRES and the services they can provide to agricultural landscapes; (ii) a classification tool to assess the impact of IRES to provide ES by agricultural landscapes; (iii) the application of the proposed classification to the Caia River in order to identify the importance of this intermittent river for its surrounding agricultural landscape. The classification of the ES follows the Common International Classification of Ecosystem (CICES) classification that was adapted for the purposes of this study. Firstly, the list of ES provided by agricultural landscape was elaborated. In the next step, we assessed the potential of IRES to provide ES. Next, IRES impacts to ES within the agricultural landscape were evaluated according to observations from the conducted field monitoring in the study area. This study focuses on the relevance of the intermittent Caia River-a transboundary river in Spain and Portugal-and its ephemeral tributaries in the agricultural landscape. Our study estimates that each hydrological phase of IRES increases the ES provided by the agricultural landscape. However, the dry phase can potentially have negative impacts on several services. The intensification of the agricultural sector is the main provision of the water resource within the Caia River basin, but we were able to identify several other ES that were positively impacted. The present study is in line with the conclusions of other authors who state that IRES constitute a valuable resource which should not be underestimated by society.


agricultural landscapes; temporal rivers and streams; ecosystem services; Caia River; Iberian territories

Published in

International journal of environmental research and public health
2019, volume: 16, number: 15, article number: 2693
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Kaletova, Tatiana
Slovak University of Agriculture Nitra
Loures, Luis
Universidade do Algarve
Castanho, Rui Alexandre
Universidad de Extremadura
Aydin, Elena
Slovak University of Agriculture Nitra
da Gama, Jose Telo
Polytechnic Institute of Porto
Loures, Ana
Polytechnic Institute of Porto
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

Publication Identifiers


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