Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

Science Monday Challenges and challenges of Global Change

Monday, 27 February 2023

On Monday, February 27, Dr. Vicenç Acuña, Dra. Anna Freixa and Dr. Josep Pueyo participated in the conference organized by the CSIC Research Residence at BCN with the presentation “Gorgues, between leisure and conservation” . Work that won the Guilleries Award 2020, from the Water, Nature and Welfare Chair

River gorges are typically the only habitats with year-round water in semi-arid climates, thus becoming a refuge for freshwater biota. However, human crowds also gather in gorges during the warm season, threatening biodiversity. The aim of the work was to analyze the factors that explain the recreational activity in gorges (number of visits), to evaluate the relationship between the visit and the impacts on water quality (DOC, NH4+, caffeine and solar filter EHMC) and bacterial biodiversity (as an indicator of biodiversity) and develop a method to determine the carrying capacity (ie the number of visitors per day) of each gully. The results indicate that recreation impacts both water quality and biodiversity, and that changes in biodiversity were particularly rapid when recreation increased from zero to low. The conservation implications are to prohibit recreation in those NSHs with a high conservation value and to determine the recreation limit using river flow and upstream water quality for gulls with a conservation value lower

Video of the conference