UBEST – Understanding the Biogeochemical buffering capacity of ESTuaries relative to climate change and anthropogenic inputs

FCT contribution (national funding): € 152 k
Partners: 2
Start date: 1 July 2016
Duration: 36 months
Project website: http://ubest.lnec.pt/

UBEST aims at improving the global understanding of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries and its susceptibility to future scenarios of anthropogenic inputs and climate change. UBEST will effectively support the short and long-term management of these systems. This goal will be achieved by deploying observatories, which are emerging tools that integrate process-based numerical models and their results, and in-situ observations. To promote the generalization of the conclusions, two Portuguese case studies with very distinct characteristics will be assessed, the Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon.

The specific objectives of UBEST are:

i) - the deployment of a monitoring network for biological and chemical parameters (e.g. chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen and nutrients) that will include an online biogeochemical station and a set of conventional stations;
ii) - the implementation/improvement and validation of state-of-the-art, process-based, coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models in each system;
iii) - the quantification of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of each estuary under present conditions and for projected scenarios of sea level rise, changes in the hydrological regimes, air temperature and nutrients loads;
iv) - the assessment of the estuarine physical and trophic conditions of the two estuaries under global classification metrics, and their comprehensive comparison with other estuaries worldwide.

The UBEST partnership comprises 2 organisations: LNEC and UAlg.

The CIMA researchers involved in UBEST are Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob and Alexandra Rosa