The Llobregat pp 347-368 | Cite as

Ecosystem Services in an Impacted Watershed

The Relevance of Hydrology, Human Influence, and Global Change
  • Marta TerradoEmail author
  • Jordi Honey-Rosés
  • Vicenç Acuña
  • Sergi Sabater
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 21)


Climate change previsions in the Mediterranean regions are associated with more frequent extreme climatic conditions, which could alter water availability and impact the delivery of ecosystem services. In this chapter, the vulnerability of hydrological ecosystem services to recently observed climatic extremes in the Llobregat River basin is assessed. Provisioning (water) and regulating services (erosion control and water purification) were quantified under mean climatic conditions and subsequently compared to their provision under wet and dry conditions. Results stress that in semiarid basins submitted to chronic human pressure, hydrological services are very sensitive to climatic extremes. Provisioning services are important in mean and wet climatic conditions and are the most threatened in dry conditions when their reduction can approach 100%. Conversely, water purification (regulating service) has its largest contribution to human well-being in dry conditions. These results constitute a lower boundary of the possible benefits provided by ecosystem services in the basin.

Graphical Abstract

Impact of climatic extremes in the annual provision of ecosystem services in the Llobregat basin


Climate change Hydrological ecosystem services Mediterranean basin Water scarcity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Terrado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jordi Honey-Rosés
    • 1
  • Vicenç Acuña
    • 1
  • Sergi Sabater
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut Català de Recerca de l’Aigua (ICRA)Parc Científic i Tecnològic UdGGironaSpain
  2. 2.Institut d’Ecologia AquàticaUniversitat de GironaGironaSpain

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