Ecosystems services

Ecosystem Services are all benefits that humans obtain from ecosystems. The provision of these services is supported by biodiversity and its interactions with the environment. Examples of these ecosystem services include provisioning services (such as wood), regulation and maintenance (such as erosion control and carbon sequestration) and cultural services (such as recreation in natural areas). 

In Ciências, ecosystem services are provided by its green and blue infrastructure, including the one at its Lisbon campus, but especially the one located in its field station located in Alentejo region (Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo). 

The Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo (HRA) is located at Serra de Grândola, and occupies 221 ha. Most area is composed of Mediterranean evergreen woodlands, crossed by several riparian galleries. The HRA is state owned and managed by cE3c – Centre for Ecology Evolution and Environmental Changes at Ciências. It's also part of the Long-Term Ecological Network representing the montado ecosystem.


The Herdade is managed to improve biodiversity and scientific activities. More information about ongoing projects, publications and other topics and be found at its website. 

The HRA supplies important ecosystem services. These include carbon sequestration which, taking into consideration the montado area, can be estimated to be 180 ton C per year, assuming an average value of 88 g C m-2 year-1 (Pereira et al., 2017). The total carbon stock in the montado area is also estimated to be of 52000 ton, assuming an average value of 250 ton ha-1 (Mexia et al., 2018). 

Scientific activities are also and important core ecosystem services at the Herdade, realized as projects, theses and classes. Taking into account the biodiversity-oriented management, the Herdade also delivers services related with life cycle support, habitat and genetic diversity, pollination and seed dispersal. 


References about HRA: