Riparian_areas_in_urban_settings_two_cas.pdf - Int J Innovation and Sustainable Development Vol 7 No 3 2013 Riparian areas in urban settings two case

Riparian_areas_in_urban_settings_two_cas.pdf - Int J...

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Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2013 271 Copyright © 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Riparian areas in urban settings: two case studies from Greece Valasia Iakovoglou DEMETER Forest Research Institute (DEMETER/FRI), Vasilika, GR-57006 Thessaloniki, Greece Email: [email protected] George N. Zaimes* Laboratory of Mountainous Waters Management and Control, Department of Forestry and Management of the Natural Environment, Kavala Institute of Technology (KavTech), 1st km Drama-Mikrohoriou, GR-66100 Drama, Greece Email: [email protected] *Corresponding author Dimitrios Gounaridis Department of Geography, Aegean University, Mytilene 81100, Lesvos, Greece Email: [email protected] Abstract: Riparian areas are significant ecosystems due to the numerous and substantial services they provide. These ecosystem services can range from wildlife habitat, water quality improvement, flood mitigation and recreational opportunities. Human developments, including cities and towns are frequently established in the riparian areas and degrade their functionality. Maintaining healthy riparian areas in urban settings that sustain their connectivity with the natural riparian areas should be of a great priority. Fragmented riparian areas lose many of the aforementioned ecosystem services. At the same time healthy riparian areas are aesthetically pleasing, creating a feeling of escape for the inhabitants, while also increasing the real estate value of the adjacent structures. In this study examples of healthy and degraded urban riparian areas from two Greek cities are presented. Overall, the proper restoration and sustainable management of these areas can improve the quality of life in urban settings and maintain the services they provide. Keywords: conservation; ecosystem services; restoration; urban riparian areas. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Iakovoglou, V., Zaimes, G.N. and Gounaridis, D. (2013) ‘Riparian areas in urban settings: two case studies from Greece’, Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development , Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.271–288.
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272 V. Iakovoglou, G.N. Zaimes and D. Gounaridis Biographical notes: Valasia Iakovoglou is a Research Assistant at the Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER” Forest Research Institute (FRI) since 2010 and a Teaching Assistant at Kavala Institute of Technology (KavTech), Greece since 2007. She received her MSc in Urban Forestry from the Department of Forestry and her PhD in Ecophysiology from the Department of Natural Resource and Ecology and Management, both degrees at Iowa State University, Ames, USA. Some of her research interests relate to climate change and its implications in rural and urban ecosystems, proper restoration and reforestation, urban ecosystems, stress effects on plants, seed dormancy.
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