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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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    Abstract - Issue Sep 2020, 41 (5)                                     Back


nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Mediterranean Riparian AreasĖClimate change implications and recommendations

 

G.N. Zaimes 

UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect, Department of Forest & Natural Environment Sciences, International Hellenic University, Drama-66100, Greece

*Corresponding Author Email : zaimesg@teiemt.gr

Paper received: 19-03-2020††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Revised received: 13-07-2020††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Accepted: 22-07-2020

 

Abstract

 

Riparian areas are unique ecosystems and ecotones that provide many ecosystem services. Their importance is even larger in dryland areas because of the water scarcity conditions. This is especially true in the Mediterranean region where their value has been recognized and utilized for thousands of years. This utilization has led to severe† their degradation, and in many cases, elimination. The Mediterranean Basin is also considered one of the most sensitive regions to climate change impacts. In this review, review, firstly the characteristics of the riparian areas of the region were identified, based on its climatic and geographic conditions but also anthropogenic impacts. Secondly, the potential impacts of climate change on riparian areas were assessed by understanding the associated effects on the hydrologic regimes of rivers. Flow patterns are expected to become flashier with greater periods of drought and peak flows with higher magnitudes.

This should impact the ecological processes of riparian areas and their vegetation assemblages and exacerbate the existing pressures they already face due to the numerous and diverse anthropogenic activities in the region. Based on the current and future conditions, it is imperative that measures should be taken to protect and re-establish riparian corridors in the Mediterranean. Although many areas are protected by initiatives such as the Natura 2000 Network or the the Ramsar Convention, additional and innovative practices need to be implemented. Specifically, the adoption of ecosystem-based approaches such as nature-based solutions and soil and water bioengineering are recommended because they take into consideration the ecosystem services of riparian areas. Even when practices are implemented at a local scale, they need to adopt a watershed scale approach to understand the drivers of riparian areas and the impacts from anthropogenic activities. The key for the successful restoration of riparian areas is restoring the natural hydrologic and geomorphologic regimes. Finally, the methods utilized need to have a transdisciplinary approach that involves academics, policy makers, local experts and stakeholders.

 

Key words: Ecotones, Ecosystem services, Hydrologic regime, Mediterranean region, Riparian areas  

 

 

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