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Ecotones, ecoclines and eco-perturbations: the aquatic flora and fauna of the S’Albufera Natural Park, Majorca, a contribution and review

Fred Slater


The S’Albufera Park in Majorca is protected nationally as a Natural Park, as an EU Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA) and as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.  This park is the most extensive area of marshlands in the Balearics at the brackish interface between seawater and freshwater inflow from the hinterland of Majorca. It is suggested that the whole marsh aquatic system is a saline freshwater gradient or ecocline containing a series of ecotones or sharp interfaces between different aquatic and terrestrial habitats changing with time and resulting in a dynamic niches for plants and animals leading to the rich biodiversity of the site. Here, we review some of the existing literature related to the site, particularly concerning the aquatic flora of the brackish water ecocline to which new data are added and the significance of these changing habitat interfaces i.e. ecotones in the present ecology and conservation of the Park.

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