, Volume 104, Issue 1-3, pp 19-35

Adaptive Management, Monitoring, and the Ecological Sustainability of a Thermal-Polluted Water Ecosystem: A Case in Sw Spain

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Abstract

The construction of the Almaraz nuclear power plant in Spain in the 1970s posed interesting environmental problems concerning the construction of a cooling reservoir (Arrocampo reservoir) to cool the steam condensers and the consequent heating of the reservoir’s water. The socio-political context forced decision makers to set up a project for the monitoring and management of the environmental impacts derived from the construction and operation of the power plant. Numerous scientific and technical specialists collaborated with the representatives of social groups towards two goals: the improvement of the biodiversity and of the efficiency of the cooling system. These goals involved the monitoring and managing of the system with respect to different biological aspects, mainly limnology, ichthyology, avian fauna and vegetation. The management plan yielded numerous results. The control of the water eutrophy is one of the most important due to its repercussion on the rest of the ecosystem, especially the fish fauna. The development of the shore vegetation slowly increased the patchwork nature of the reservoir, leading to a greater diversity of the avian species. This paper describes the monitoring and management of the Arrocampo ecosystem, the condition before and after the construction of the reservoir and the results obtained concerning some biological communities.