Aiguestortes / Lleida (ES-SNE) - Spain

The National Park (14,119 ha) and its Peripheral Protected Area (26,733 ha) is located in the center of the Pyrenean range, in the southern axial chain, in northwest Catalunya (42º 34’ N, 00º 56’ E). It is a high mountain area considered one of the best representations of the Quaternary glacial erosion with typical glacial cirques and "U" shaped valleys. The range of altitudes varies between 1,383 and 3,023 m asl, with a mean altitude of 2,236 m asl. The Aigüestortes National Park has as a particular identity a wide variety of aquatic ecosystems (peatlands, lakes and streams) and few artificial (dammed lakes, small reservoirs and open channels). There are more than 200 lakes (with the local denomination of "estanys") within its boundaries, which make the Park the most important alpine lacustrine area of Europe and, of course, of the Pyrenees. Some of these lakes have been naturally replenished causing the development of peatlands and wet meadows where the stream meanders, locally called "aigüestortes" (literally, "twisted waters"). Climate is of mountain Atlantic type with precipitation abundant all year round (range 1,200 to 1,300 mm) and monthly average usually higher than 100 mm. Temperatures are low with yearly average of 5.2ºC and thermal amplitude 16ºC. The vegetation is a typically alpine landscape of great phytogeographic interest with extensive meadows, scree and snow bed endemic communities. In the montane and subalpine belts there are beech, mixed deciduous, fir, and pine forests, diverse scrubs, and a number of wetlands and peatlands which are the main feature of this space. There are at least eight vulnerable or threatened iconic species of animals living in the Park: Rosalia alpina (rosalia beetle), Salmo trutta (trout), Galemys pyrenaicus (Pyrenean desman), Gypaetus barbatus (bearded vulture), Aquila chrysaetos (golden eagle), Lagopus mutus (ptarmigan), Tetrao urogallus (capercaillie), and Ursus arctos (brown bear).

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Metadata Access
Creator Lluis Camarero
Publisher Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe
Contributor DEIMS-SDR Site and Dataset registry
Publication Year 2012
Rights No conditions apply to access and use; no limitations to public access
OpenAccess true
Contact camarero(at)
Language English
Format text/html
Discipline Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Aquaculture; Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Aquaculture and Veterinary Medicine; Ancient Cultures; Archaeology; Atmospheric Sciences; Biogeochemistry; Biology; Biospheric Sciences; Chemistry; Ecology; Geography; Geology; Geosciences; Geospheric Sciences; Glaciology; History; Humanities; Life Sciences; Medicine; Medicine and Health; Meteorology; Natural Sciences; Physics; Physiology; Social Sciences; Social and Behavioural Sciences; Soil Sciences
Spatial Coverage (0.793W, 42.510S, 1.069E, 42.632N)