EUROPEAN PROJECT OF AMPHIBIAN AND AQUATIC REPTILES' HABITAT RECOVERING IN BAIX TER WETLANDS

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ENVIRONMENT


Different types of environments resulting from the dynamic equilibrium between the sea, the river and freshwater can be found in the Baix Ter plain. The interaction between the sea, the river and the sediments it carries has given rise to a wide variety of ecosystems, with very subtle variations in the duration of floods, depth, salinity, nutrient content or type of substrate. The variety of environments and the diversity of organisms that can be found in them are two of the most important ecological aspects of the area. A description of the main aquatic ecosystems found in the Baix Ter follow.


- marshlands and coastal lagoons

- coastal freshwater ponds
- springs



- inland temporary ponds


The uneven distribution of sediments deposited by the rivers and the flatness of the terrain have given rise to multiple depressions of the land that drain, with some difficulty, waters accumulated when it rains. Water is held back and eventually evaporates, resulting in temporary ponds that get flooded during the wet season and dry completely in summer. Many aquatic species adapted to drought periods colonize them.
Long ago, the plain was teeming with these ponds, but most of them were drained between the 18th and 19th centuries. Nowadays only the remains of what in the past were big ponds, with an extension of 200 hectares, remain; and its surface is used to grow crops that need or tolerate high quantities of water such as rice and black poplar groves or just kept as enclosures. Some examples are the ponds of Pals, Boada, Ullastret and Bellcaire, all situated in the Baix Ter plain.

Pond of Ullastret



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river Ter estuary
- strongly humanized aquatic atmospheres