Understanding the Impact of a Major Hydro-Agricultural Project in Low Mondego Area (Portugal) | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Fevereiro 2021
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ISBN / Resource ID: 
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The Low Mondego (Baixo Mondego, in Portuguese) river basin has been considerably modified by human interventions to prevent floods and to improve agricultural conditions over recent decades. This work analyzes the main impacts arising from those interventions and the socio-economic context in which they occurred. The development and application of a framework to compute the variation of the nitrogen surplus between 1986 and 2018 in the Low Mondego watershed in the central part Portugal is presented. The nitrogen mass balances take into consideration different land use types, inputs and outputs, thereby making it possible to understand how human interventions have impacted the variation of the surplus. It is noticeable that the major nitrogen sources are related to the agricultural sector. However, factors such as the implementation of the Code of Good Agricultural Practices, as well as social conditions, and regulations to reduce nitrogen emissions to the atmosphere helped to cut the nitrogen surplus. This work shows how improving the agricultural conditions has served to increase the crop productivity in improved areas. Very particular social circumstances led to the reduction in anthropogenic nitrogen sources, which has been accompanied by a decline in the nitrogen that is exported at the river outlet.

Autores e editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Cunha, Maria
Marques, João
Azevedo, José
Castilho, Ana


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