Case Study 5: Ria de Aveiro Natura 2000 site Management Area

The case study area includes the downstream section of the Vouga river, the freshwater wetland Pateira de Fermentelos, the Vouga river estuary, which is part of Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon and the adjacent coastal area. The area includes several habitats integrated in the Natura 2000 network, classified as Special Protection Area (SPA) and/or as Site of Community Importance (SCI) (see figure), meaning that this area contributes significantly to the coherence of Natura 2000 and/or contributes significantly to the maintenance of biological diversity within this biogeographic region. The area also includes the São Jacinto Dunes Nature Reserve, and the Pateira de Fermentelos Lake and Águeda and Cértima Valleys are classified under Ramsar convention (1559 ha). This site contains one of the largest freshwater lakes of the Iberian Peninsula with a mosaic of wetland habitats, reed beds and marshland as well as riparian vegetation. The confluence of the Vouga river with Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon, named Baixo Vouga lagunar, forms an area of 3000 ha with unique characteristics due to a strong relationship between man, land and water. This area comprises low depth waterways, freshwater wetlands, salt-marshes and is recognized as model of biodiversity and balance between man activities and wildlife. The lagoon area is classified as a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site ( and has one of the largest continuous salt marshes in Europe. In this lagoon, Spartina maritima (Curt.) Fernald and Juncus maritimus Lam. form extensive mono-specific stands, in low- and mid-marshes respectively.

See for more information on this Case Study on the AQUACROSS website.