Land (Sep 2023)

Management Implications at a Protected, Peri-Urban, Salt Lake Ecosystem: The Case of Larnaca’s Salt Lakes (Cyprus)

  • Eleni S. Bekri,
  • Ioannis P. Kokkoris,
  • Charalambos S. Christodoulou,
  • Antonia Sophocleous-Lemonari,
  • Panayotis Dimopoulos

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 9
p. 1781


Read online

Larnaca’s salt lakes constitute one of the most important protected areas in Cyprus and in the southeast Mediterranean. It is in continuity with the urban area of Larnaca city, being the major green infrastructure in the area, supporting (among others) biodiversity, recreation, culture, and food production. The present study aims to provide an overview of the area’s ecosystem types and their potential to provide ecosystem services, focusing on assessing the water ecosystem condition and drafting the relevant baseline accounts. The results of the study include an ecosystem type map of the area, followed by potential supply maps of ecosystem services, for the three major categories (i.e., provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural) and the estimation and assessment of ecosystem condition variables for wetlands, as proposed by the EU-wide methodology to map and assess the ecosystem condition, in line with the System of Environmental Economic Accounting—Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA). A critical exceedance (over 10%) of the imperviousness and the increase in the soil moisture deficit within the wider salt lakes area have been identified and can constitute useful variables associated with the anthropogenic, climatic, and other effects on the condition of the salt lakes. Discussion for integrating this information to existing knowledge is provided toward supporting scientifically informed decision and policymaking for the sustainable development of protected areas.